Yesterday, Shimon Peres, the Israeli President, was met by protests as he visited Strasbourg to address the European Parliament
Shimon Peres’ address to the European Parliament was filled with the usual propaganda of the Israeli establishment. He spoke of Israel as being an ‘island in a stormy ocean’ – a crude attempt to enforce a siege mentality amongst the Israeli people. He repeated the nonsense of describing Israel as a ‘western democracy’.
These lies are contradicted by the daily reality on the ground in Israel/Palestine. The recent moves to segregated bussing for Palestinians travelling from the West Bank give a taste of the discrimination faced by Palestinians on a daily basis.
The death of 30 year-old Arafat Jaradat after violent torture in Israeli detention is only the latest outrage against any basic sense of human rights. He is one of 200 Palestinian political prisoners to have been killed by torture in Israeli prisons since 1967. Almost 5,000 Palestinians including over 200 children are currently being held in Israeli prisons, in inhumane conditions with the widespread use of torture and brutality. They should be released immediately.
If the EU leaders were serious about their commitment to human rights, instead of upgrading relations with Israel, the EU Israel Association Agreement would be suspended. Of course they are not serious. They occasionally cry crocodile tears for the Palestinian people, but actively support their oppression, providing research funding from EU taxpayers’ funds for Israeli armaments companies.
There is no road to peace in the Middle East based on the continuation of the rule of the capitalist Israeli establishment supported by US imperialism. A struggle of the Palestinian people from below, using the methods of mass struggle developed in the first intifada, with mass protests, strikes and democratic committees of struggle, is needed. Together with the struggle of Israeli workers and poor, they can challenge the rule of imperialism and capitalism in the Middle East and open the road to a real lasting peace based on an independent and viable socialist Palestine, alongside a socialist Israel in a confederation of the Middle East.