Trade unions must take action to boycott Israel, and halt all arms supplies!


ISRAELI warplanes struck multiple targets across the Gaza Strip on Friday after a 72-hour ceasefire agreement ended at 8am, killing a child and injuring 11 Palestinians.

The ceasefire ended after Israel refused to make a single concession to Hamas’ very moderate demands, and insisted that before anything else can happen the Gaza Strip must be demilitarised, and Hamas must disarm!

What Israel was unable to achieve through one of the most ferocious assaults on a heavily populated area since the SS attacked the Warsaw Ghetto, it is now trying to achieve by the threat that it will carry on with the action, if Hamas does not surrender.

It is not just throwing down the gauntlet to Hamas, it is issuing a challenge to the working people of the world, who have mobilised in their millions in the past weeks to march and campaign for Palestine, causing havoc to Israel and its allies such as the British government. It saw one of its Foreign Office Ministers, Baroness Warsi, resign in disgust at the Cameron government.

Hamas has in fact been offering Israel a ten-year truce if it agrees to its ten major demands, none of which in themselves are enormously revolutionary. What has made them revolutionary is that Israel will not concede a single demand, and intends to keep Gaza as its own concentration camp.

The ten demands are the withdrawal of Israeli tanks from the Gaza border; Freeing all the prisoners that were arrested after the killing of the three settler youths; Lifting the siege and opening the border crossings to commerce and people; Establishing an international seaport and airport which would be under UN supervision; Increasing the permitted fishing zone to ten kilometres; Internationalising the Rafah Crossing and placing it under the supervision of the UN and some Arab nations; and having an international force on the borders; Easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque; Prohibition on Israeli interference in the reconciliation agreement; Reestablishing an industrial zone and improvements in further economic development in the Gaza Strip.

Israel will not have a single one of them.

Sections of the working class all over the world, including the UK, are now determined that the Palestinians will not be allowed to fight alone against the Israeli mass murder military machine, that has been been built and is sustained by the US and the UK governments.

The Cameron government has already been shaken by the resignation of Warsi, and the statements of deputy PM Clegg that the arms contracts must be suspended if the ceasefire fails, as it has.

Now the struggle must be stepped up.

This requires that every trade union, and the TUC Congress in September decides on, and organises, a worldwide trade union boycott of Israel, to last as long as the occupation.

The trade unions must demand the immediate end of the occupation, and must recognise the government of national unity as the government of Palestine.

For two years now the TUC has been considering the practicalities of calling a general strike to bring down the coalition government.

With the government staggering over the mass anger at its austerity programme at home, and its refusal to condemn Israel’s slaughter of the Palestinians and end its arms supplies, now is the time for the TUC to call a general strike over these fundamental issues.

When Warsi cannot stand Cameron’s policies, now is the time for the TUC to take action. The Young Socialists are organising a march from the TUC HQ in London on Tuesday 19 August, at 10am, to the TUC Congress in Liverpool, for a mass lobby on Sunday September 7, to demand that the TUC calls a general strike for Jobs for Youth, in defence the NHS and for the end of the occupation of Palestine.

The TUC has got the power of the working class at its disposal. It must be made to use it to bring down Cameron and bring in a workers government that will bring in socialism at home, and abroad recognise the state of Palestine, with its capital in Jerusalem.