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With a clear green light from the US today, Israel will not be backing down from its military assault on Gaza. With a dozen dead including two children, and many more injured, the attacks have attracted international condemnation, all except for those in the West who have taken to stressing the need for Israel to defend itself from crude home-made and almost completely symbolic rockets. So escalation on yesterday’s blitz should be expected.

In a clear indication that Obama’s re-election means more of the same war-mongering that characterised his first term, Russia Today has reported:

US Ambassador Susan Rice got behind Israel during the UN session, saying that there is no justification “for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel.”

The breathtaking hypocrisy of this statement, as bombs fall on Gaza and shatter the bodies of Palestinians, will not go unnoticed by the rest of the world. The Russia Today report adds:

Netanyahu’s office said that he “deeply appreciated” the president’s support.

I bet he has. It’s nice being able to call on the leader of the most powerful military force in the world just after you’ve committed indiscriminate murder.

In London, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have called for a demonstration tonight outside the Israeli embassy. Details here.

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A new survey out today reveals that 59% of Israeli Jews would favour a formal apartheid system of Government if the West Bank were to be completely annexed.

Ha’aretz documents the substantial numbers of Israeli Jews who advocate near-total racial separation and legal discrimination:

The majority of the Jewish public, 59 percent, wants preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to jobs in government ministries. Almost half the Jews, 49 percent, want the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones; 42 percent don’t want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don’t want their children in the same class with Arab children.

A third of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and a large majority of 69 percent objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.

A sweeping 74 percent majority is in favor of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. A quarter – 24 percent – believe separate roads are “a good situation” and 50 percent believe they are “a necessary situation.”

In what should be a constant rebuke to those who demonise supporters of Palestinian rights for using the rhetoric of apartheid, the report also notes that:

Although the territories have not been annexed, most of the Jewish public (58 percent ) already believes Israel practices apartheid against Arabs. Only 31 percent think such a system is not in force here.

Israeli Jews weren’t born supporting such inhuman policies. They have been conditioned to do so by decades of brutal colonial expansion and aggression conducted in their name.

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Press TV reports from Gaza, where an international aid convoy arrived yesterday.

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Venezuelanalysis carries an interesting report on collaboration between Venezuela’s counter-revolutionary opposition and the Israeli government. Both hope to beat President Hugo Chavez in this year’s elections, though the Chavez government maintains a solid lead in the polls.

Over the weekend, Venezuela’s anti-Chavez minority confirmed reports that one of their own recently met with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and promised to re-establish ties with Israel if the opposition is somehow successful in this year’s presidential election. Speaking on behalf of the opposition’s socalled Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma is said to have promised both economic and political rewards in exchange for Israeli support of MUD presidential hopeful, Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Though the MUD have been totally unable to improve their standing in polls which predict a sweeping electoral victory for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this October 7, Ledezma’s comments in Israel provide a troubling glimpse at wishful opposition thinking in a post-Chavez period.

“SOLIDARITY” WITH ISRAEL?

Though he was in Jerusalem last week for the 28th International Mayors Conference, opposition lawyer and politician Antonio Ledezma took advantage of his publicly-financed trip to meet privately with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as the country’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Asked about the closed-door meetings, Ledezma said  he had used his time in Israel to spread “the message that the Venezuelan nation has respect for Israel”.

Ledezma told reporters he spoke with Netanyahu and Liberman about “the Venezuelan people’s solidarity with the Jewish community” and, “in addition, our (opposition) disposition to reestablish relations with the State of Israel under a new government presided by Henrique Capriles Radonski”.

“In contrast to the current political policy in Venezuela”, he said, “Capriles will re-establish our historical ties”.

Read the rest here.

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Palestine Solidarity Campaign leader Hugh Lanning exposes Israel’s increasingly racist legislation in today’s Morning Star.

Last Wednesday Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a racist law which has been in operation since 2003. It denies spouses of Israeli citizens any right themselves to citizenship or residency if they happen to be a Palestinian from the West Bank or Gaza Strip, or from purported “enemy states.”

This particular law – originally described as temporary but renewed ever since – is just one of a growing number of racist laws and attacks on human rights passed by Israel’s parliament the Knesset.

Ever since 1948, when over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from their homes during the Nakba, or catastrophe, Palestinians who managed to remain on their lands inside the Green Line have suffered from discrimination.

Palestinian citizens of Israel, who form 20 per cent of its population, have citizenship but not Israeli nationality.

Israel’s 1950 Law of Return welcomes any Jew immigrating to Israel.

But Palestinian refugees have never been allowed to return, in violation of UN Resolution 194, which has repeatedly asserted the refugees’ right to do so.

The attempt to remove Palestinians from their land did not end in 1948.

The most recent land grab, approved last year, was the Prawer Plan, which when implemented will forcibly remove 30,000 Bedouin from their land in the Negev.

Read the rest of the article here.

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