Palestinian protesters near the fence between Gaza and Israel. Credit: Hosam Salem for The New York Times
On Monday, May 14, Israeli soldiers killed 60 Palestinian protesters in Gaza. At least 2,400 people were wounded, including 13 journalists. According to Gaza’s health ministry, the dead included eight children under the age of 16, and most of the dead were killed by snipers.
The killings took place during demonstrations at the Gaza border fence, at the same time that Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and a couple of fascist evangelicals presided over the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Trump’s decision to move the embassy sparked six-weeks of protests and Israeli snipers have regularly fired on unarmed demonstrators. Former State Department and Pentagon official Ilan Goldenberg said of the new embassy, “Traditionally, we’ve tried to play a role of fireman in the Middle East. Now we’re playing the role of arsonist.”
UN officials called the recent killings an “outrageous human rights violation.” The World Health Organization said the number of wounded threatened to overwhelm Gaza’s depleted health system, where under the Israeli occupation two million people have faced systemic violence, starvation, deprivation of clean water, destruction of waste disposal, and a blockade of all necessities of life.
May 15 is the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled in the 1948 war that created Israel. In Gaza, tens of thousands rallied to bury the dead. On the West Bank, there was a General Strike against the massacre!
At our 2017 National Executive Board meeting, NWU passed a resolution against Islamophobia and Trump’s travel ban. These latest provocations are pushing the world closer to all-out war between Israel and Iran and will only increase attacks on Muslims everywhere.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), issued a statement that says in part, “[IFJ] joins the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) in strongly condemning the brutal and ongoing indiscriminate use of lethal force which has resulted in loss of life and serious injury to peaceful protesters and journalists covering the protests.”
I urge all of our members, wherever you are, to participate in local rallies to oppose this fascist terror and the growing threat of a wider war.
Nakba Day 2018: Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm – Times Square – New York, NY
Larry Goldbetter, President