Palestine: Raids by Israeli forces on Palestinian TV stations

"A conscious policy to undermine the freedom of the media"

Speach by Paul Murphy in the European Parliament, 16 February:

"Mr President, I agree that the raids on Al-Watan TV and Al-Quds should be condemned very clearly by this Parliament. They highlight the attack by the Israeli establishment on the freedom of the media. This is not an accidental policy or a one-off incident; it is a conscious policy to undermine the freedom of the media to prevent the reporting of the real situation facing the Palestinians on the ground. I personally am still awaiting the return of a laptop which is the property of this Parliament, and of my own mobile phone, which the Israeli security forces have now had for over four months.

It also illustrates the conscious strategy of the Israeli elite in relation to the West Bank, which is to undermine any prospect of real self-rule by the Palestinians, even within Area A. It is part of the same strategy of which the settlements are part: to undermine any capacity for self-rule. It is also completely in breach of the Oslo Accords.

I have to take the opportunity to speak about the murderous assault on Gaza. Benjamin Netanyahu proudly proclaimed that the Israeli establishment has exacted a very high price. Let us look at that price. It is the murder of Ayub Asaliya, a 12-year-old boy who lived in Jabaliya refugee camp, and the killing of at least 22 other Palestinians and the injuring of around 100 Palestinians, including children. This was a barbaric, murderous assault on the people of Gaza. It has nothing to do with stopping terrorism and everything to do with the continuation of the military and psychological warfare and collective punishment against the Palestinians living within the Gaza Strip. And what was the response of the so-called international community? Again, unfortunately very predictable: an underscoring of the complicity that imperialism has with the oppression of the Palestinians.

From the US we had the usual blaming of the Palestinians for their own oppression, and simply a condemnation of the rocket fire from Gaza, ignoring the murderous bombing raids by the Israeli forces. From the EU we had the striking of the usual even-handed pose (supposedly), an incredible statement by Catherine Ashton deploring the loss of civilian lives – essential to avoid further escalation – and urging all sides to re-establish calm: incredible in the context of a murderous assault on the people of Gaza. There must be a condemnation from the EU of this assault. It should go beyond words. The EU-Israel Association Agreement should be suspended.

It is clear that international imperialism will not provide a just solution here. The only solution will be found on the basis of a joint struggle of the Palestinian masses together with the Arab masses generally, and ordinary Israeli workers and poor who share the same enemy of the Israeli capitalist elite and the right-wing establishment in a joint struggle for a secular, socialist Palestine with a capital in East Jerusalem, alongside a secular, socialist Israel, part of a socialist confederation of the region."

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April 2012