July 03, 2011

Greece's self-styled "Socialist" government: Nothing short of disgusting, Morning Star, Sunday 03 July 2011



http://bit.ly/iEcMMg

Greece's self-styled "Socialist" government, which has thrown its own working class to the wolves of imperialism, has demonstrated its non-partisanship by treating the Palestinian people likewise.

George Papandreou's willingness to dance to Israel's tune is nothing short of disgusting.

His government has thrown its weight behind the oppressor and abandoned the oppressed by using the law against the Freedom Flotilla 2 - Stay Human campaigners.

Not that Papandreou's government stands alone. It is backed by the so-called Quartet, fronted by war criminal Tony Blair, which is happy to parrot Tel Aviv's propaganda about Gaza.

The Quartet - the UN, US, EU and Russia - claims to have concerns about difficult conditions facing Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

But it notes "a marked increase in the range and scope of goods and materials" entering Gaza over the past year.

And this group of influential global powers, which has failed to take any action to halt Israel's rapacious colonisation of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, or to weaken Israel's stranglehold on Gaza open prison, lectures those who wish to deliver aid to use "established channels."

Perhaps they are unaware that Israel's capricious control of the "established channels," otherwise known as the border crossings with Israel and Egypt, is a key factor in the impoverishment of Palestinians in Gaza.

Gazans are not the victims of an uncontrollable force of nature.

They have been "put on a diet," as one cynical Israeli politician put it, as part of a collective punishment, which is illegal under international law.

That punishment is to endure until one Israeli prisoner of war is released, even though it is the Netanyahu government that is frustrating negotiations to free Gilad Shalit.

Who says this? Hamas? No, it is Shalit's family, who regard Netanyahu as the biggest disaster to befall their son and see the prime minister as prepared to see Shalit come home in an Israeli flag-covered coffin.

But as tragic as Shalit's case is, his name is known all over the world.

The thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are, with the exception of prominent activists such as Marwan Barghouti, held hostage in anonymity.

While they languish in foreign jails, their compatriots in Gaza suffer a more insidious imprisonment.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency reported last month that unemployment in Gaza has risen to 45.2 per cent, purchasing power fell by 7.9 per cent in the second half of 2010, marking a cumulative decline of 34.5 per cent since 2006.

Electrical power is subject to continual cuts, 95 per cent of the water supply is unfit for human consumption and shortage of medical supplies has brought the health system to virtual collapse.

Great power complicity with Israel's occupation and expansionism has conspired to deny not only Palestinians' human rights but even their very humanity.

Freedom Flotilla 2 - Stay Human was organised to expose this reality and to bring hope to a victimised population.

It is being scuppered by a government that is bankrupt in more ways than one.

The Palestinians are not alone.

The majority of the world is with them, which is why over 120 countries back UN recognition of their sovereign state, no matter what the rich and powerful pretend.

Once again, our government and all others collaborating with Israel's repression must face protests and be told that their shameful collusion must end.

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