The depth of Israel’s isolation is such that it is fast becoming a pariah state writes Jennie Walsh

As Israel becomes increasingly isolated and both the Tories and Labour are divided on arms sales, it’s vital that we keep up the pressure from the streets for an immediate ceasefire and for the UK to stop selling weapons to the Israeli State.

This Saturday is a national day of action. There will be marches, rallies and demonstrations in regions up and down the country. In London we will be marching to Parliament Square from Russell Square to demand Britain stops arming Israel, while there will be events in many other towns and cities.

Last week, a YouGov poll found that the majority of voters back a ban on arms sales to Israel.

The poll came after fresh horrors in a genocide being witnessed in real time. These included the killing of World Central Kitchen aid workers, all but one of them foreign nationals from countries allied to Israel, the Al-Shifa hospital being destroyed, along with lethal assaults on its patients and staff, and the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

We’ve witnessed the appalling destruction of Khan Younis as residents return to try to salvage what they can from the mounds of debris where their homes once stood, with horrific scenes of countless decomposed bodies being dug out of the rubble.

There are open splits among Israel’s backers, as Netanyahu’s claim that a date has been set for a ground invasion in Rafah looks set to ensure the ceasefire talks in Cairo fail. The depth of Israel’s isolation is such that it is fast becoming a pariah state, with even its closest allies being forced to at least threaten sanctions, as Israeli warplanes continue to bomb Gazan neighbourhoods, in full and open defiance of the ICJ ruling.

France’s foreign minister has said the international community should consider sanctions, stating “there must be levers of influence and multiple levers”, while Turkey has restricted the export of 54 of its products to Israel.

There has been talk here that foreign secretary David Cameron and the Foreign Office want an arms embargo, with a number of other cabinet ministers saying the trade should stop. Though yesterday he said there would be no suspension of arms exports and that the government’s position on export licences was “unchanged”.

The government’s continued refusal to publish legal advice on whether the offensive in Gaza has broken international humanitarian rules is increasing the pressure.

Meanwhile, Germany stands accused by Nicaragua at the ICJ of facilitating genocide by continuing its arms sales.

None of these seemingly watershed developments, six months into a war that has killed at least 33,000 Palestinians and hundreds of aid workers and journalists, have happened in a vacuum.

The incredible global movement against the genocide in Gaza is having an enormous impact. Millions protesting on the streets week after week around the world, demonstrating outside arms factories and lobbying our political representatives is undoubtedly beginning to pay off.

They’ve labelled us extremist, they’ve claimed our protests for peace are hate marches, they’ve even tried to ban us. But these are the desperate actions of a state under huge pressure and we will not let up now.

The regional actions this weekend will build for the next national march for Palestine on Saturday 27 April, when hundreds of thousands will be on the streets of London for the 12th time since 7 October, demanding an immediate ceasefire, for the government to stop arming Israel and for a free Palestine.

Support for the Israeli state has never been more precarious. There can be no let-up in our drive for peace. We must keep on pushing and making our voices heard, as much as the Establishment wants to silence them.

Jennie Walsh is the Press Officer for the Stop the War Coalition. You can follow Stop the War on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter/X.

Source: Labour Outlook

10 Apr 2024 by Jennie Walsh

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