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SydWalker.Info is a personal website. I live in tropical Australia near Cairns. I oppose war, plutocracy, injustice, sectarian supremacism and apartheid. I support urgent action to achieve genuine sustainability and a fair and prosperous society for all. I rely upon - and support - free speech as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see below).

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Open Appeal to Kevin Rudd about the Gaza Crisis
November 17th, 2008 by Syd Walker


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The Hon Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister of Australia
Parliament House, Canberra 2600

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to you about the situation in Gaza and the urgent need for the world community – including Australia – to require Israel to relieve the immediate humanitarian crisis.

It may be objected that Gazans are, in some way, to blame for their own appalling plight. That is false for several reasons.

First, such a claim betrays utter contempt for democracy. The Hamas leadership in Gaza won government through the ballot box, by a solid majority in elections widely acknowledged as free and fair. It ill-behooves ‘democratic nations’ such as Australia to reject the democratic choice of others..

Second, the root cause of continuing conflict in Palestine (including Gaza) is continuing occupation and control by the Zionist regime. There is a long-established principle that resistance to occupation is legitimate. Australia applauded the French Resistance during Word War Two – who opposed, often with violence, a less brutal and much more short-lived occupation. Why the double standard?

Third, the inequality of power relations between the Israel State and the Palestinian people is extreme. There is no question which people suffer more: the Palestinians. That disparity has been worsening for more than 60 years. Seven decades is an exceedingly long time to wait for justice and basic human rights.

I call on the Australian Government to embark on a full-scale, fundamental and open review of this country’s middle eastern policy.

Current (and longstanding) Australian policy has been to give largely uncritical support an increasingly violent and cruel APARTHEID-style state.

Lest you think I exaggerate by using the ‘A’ word, I will point out that Bishop Desmond Tutu has compared Israel to unfavourably apartheid South Africa, on more than one occasion. Other informed South African commentators has been even more forthright in stating that Israeli sectarianism is WORSE than the former apartheid system in southern Africa.

This Zionist bias in Australian foreign policy is, of course, to the detriment of the rights of Palestinians and others in the region.

This bias in favour of the aggressor (and against the principal victim) has become intolerable.

It is quite out-of-step with Australian public opinion, notwithstanding the endless torrent of pro-Zionist media spin foisted on our populace on a daily basis.

I therefore ask that the Government sponsors a Senate Inquiry to reconsider Australia’s middle eastern policy – with a view to bringing this policy into line with the norms of international law.

In the IMMEDIATE term – I appeal to you to put whatever pressure you can on the Israeli Government to desist from blockading Gaza – and allow humanitarian relief to flow freely and without delay into this beleaguered, unwilling ghetto.

In 2006 the Special UN envoy on human rights commented that “Israel has turned the Gaza Strip into a prison for Palestinians and have thrown away the key”.

Over the last two years, the situation has further deteriorated.

Gazans now face circumstances so dire that words fail to adequately describe their plight. Yet at this very moment, having re-imposed an overall blockade on Gaza, the Israeli government threatens yet more military action, compounding an already horrific humanitarian crisis.

How can our nation – supposedly informed by Christian values – sit back and watch this grotesque injustice proceed without protest?

Please act with great urgency to play your part in relieving the suffering of the people of Gaza (and Palestine as a whole),

Yours sincerely

Syd Walker
Kuranda
Queensland

PS. The last time I wrote to you on foreign policy issues was shortly before the election. It was on the topic of Iran. I regret to say I received a most unsatisfactory reply – leaving me wondering whether the letter had truly been sent up the chain – or if it had simply been intercepted by one of your more biased pro-Zionist staff.

I request official confirmation of this receipt of this letter and look forward to a reply that engages with the concerns I’ve raised.

(1) Actions needed: As time runs out Gazans slowly dying

Extract follows:

  • Around 80% of Gaza populations live under poverty line.
  • 1.100.000 peoples depend on humanitarian aids provided by UNRWA, Arab, Islamic and foreign organizations.
  • Unemployment ratio reached 65%
  • 60% of Gaza’s children suffer from Malnutrition.
  • About 97% of factories and workshops stopped working, specifically 3900 factories. – The industrial zone of Gaza is completely closed.
  • Individual income 650$ per year and 2 $ a day..
  • Freedom of movement from Gaza to the West bank, Jerusalem and outside world is being blocked.
  • Around 260 people died due to blocking them from either travel for treatment or lack of medicines.
  • Nearing to 40% of siege victims are from children
  • About 150 of medicines sorts are not available in Gaza.
  • The only medical factory is halted due to shortage of raw materials.
  • Projects of constructing and developing hospitals, clinics and educational bodies are being suspended!
  • There are still daily power cuts

(2) If Americans Knew

(3) Desmond Tutu Endorses US Campaign Anti-Apartheid Tour (Short Video)

(4) Occupied Territories: “Worse than apartheid”

Extract follows:

“Equally harsh are the remarks of the editor-in-chief of the Sunday Times of South Africa, Mondli Makhanya, 38. “When you observe from afar you know that things are bad, but you do not know how bad. Nothing can prepare you for the evil we have seen here. In a certain sense, it is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of the apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.

“The apartheid regime viewed the blacks as inferior; I do not think the Israelis see the Palestinians as human beings at all. How can a human brain engineer this total separation, the separate roads, the checkpoints? What we went through was terrible, terrible, terrible – and yet there is no comparison. Here it is more terrible. We also knew that it would end one day; here there is no end in sight. The end of the tunnel is blacker than black.

“Under apartheid, whites and blacks met in certain places. The Israelis and the Palestinians do not meet any longer at all. The separation is total. It seems to me that the Israelis would like the Palestinians to disappear. There was never anything like that in our case.”

(5) UN envoy: Israel turned Gaza into prison


No Responses  
  • leyal aksu writes:
    January 1st, 20095:02 amat

    Great letter. Good on you. Very well written. We are witnessing the most unjust war of the century and people are still comparing Hamas’ home made rockets to the most sophisticated technology Israel has ‘purchased’ using American taxpayer dollars from the US! And of course 8 israeli lives are worth more than 380 palestinian ones put together. When will the world wake up to this inhumanism? I think this could also be used as a petition to get as many people as possible to sign. This might be more effective than us writing individually. Can you let me know how I can help?

      

  • leyal aksu writes:
    January 1st, 20095:02 amat

    Great letter. Good on you. Very well written. We are witnessing the most unjust war of the century and people are still comparing Hamas’ home made rockets to the most sophisticated technology Israel has ‘purchased’ using American taxpayer dollars from the US! And of course 8 israeli lives are worth more than 380 palestinian ones put together. When will the world wake up to this inhumanism? I think this could also be used as a petition to get as many people as possible to sign. This might be more effective than us writing individually. Can you let me know how I can help?

      

  • mark writes:
    November 28th, 200810:23 amat

    I have just one piece of advice for MHoward775:

    Get help.

      

  • mark writes:
    November 28th, 200810:23 amat

    I have just one piece of advice for MHoward775:

    Get help.

      

  • MHoward775 writes:
    November 19th, 20084:43 pmat

    Gee ,Syd I don’t really beleive in “International Law”, yet couldn’t firing “Homemade” rockets , be considered an act of war?
    I can’t help but notice, i’ts really a matter of blind luck, that the Palestinians don’t kill many Isralies, and when they do they have this charming little parade when they actually do kill off some Jews.

      

  • MHoward775 writes:
    November 19th, 20084:43 pmat

    Gee ,Syd I don’t really beleive in “International Law”, yet couldn’t firing “Homemade” rockets , be considered an act of war?
    I can’t help but notice, i’ts really a matter of blind luck, that the Palestinians don’t kill many Isralies, and when they do they have this charming little parade when they actually do kill off some Jews.

      

  • Syd Walker writes:
    November 18th, 20087:53 pmat

    Another comment on the rockets…

    This superb post – Olmert The Liar – clarifies exactly who is repsonsible for the end of the latest cease fire.

    Here’s the nub of the matter – a clear rebuttal of recent comments by Interim Israeli Prime Minister Olmert that Hamas had “shattered” the Gaza truce:

    The truce was broken by Israel twelve days ago. As the Guardian reported on November 5:

    A four-month ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was in jeopardy today after Israeli troops killed six Hamas gunmen in a raid into the territory.

    Hamas responded by firing a wave of rockets into southern Israel, although no one was injured.

    Since then Palestinian rockets have lightly injured two Israelis, the Israeli military has killed 17 people in Gaza and blocked any transfer of oil and food into the strip. The sole power-plant in Gaza can not operate and people go hungry.

    Olmert is again lying to justify the slow suffocating of the people in the big concentration camp that Gaza has become.

      

  • Syd Walker writes:
    November 18th, 20087:53 pmat

    Another comment on the rockets…

    This superb post – Olmert The Liar – clarifies exactly who is repsonsible for the end of the latest cease fire.

    Here’s the nub of the matter – a clear rebuttal of recent comments by Interim Israeli Prime Minister Olmert that Hamas had “shattered” the Gaza truce:

    The truce was broken by Israel twelve days ago. As the Guardian reported on November 5:

    A four-month ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was in jeopardy today after Israeli troops killed six Hamas gunmen in a raid into the territory.

    Hamas responded by firing a wave of rockets into southern Israel, although no one was injured.

    Since then Palestinian rockets have lightly injured two Israelis, the Israeli military has killed 17 people in Gaza and blocked any transfer of oil and food into the strip. The sole power-plant in Gaza can not operate and people go hungry.

    Olmert is again lying to justify the slow suffocating of the people in the big concentration camp that Gaza has become.

      

  • Syd Walker writes:
    November 18th, 20083:25 pmat

    Response to MHoward77

    MHoward775
    :

    You know Syd, it seems odd that you didn’t mention the myrid rockets that are fired into Israel, by the Gazans. Why didn’t you mention it?

    I didn’t mention the ‘myrid rockets’ for several reasons.

    First and foremost, I’ve never heard of them. What is a ‘myrid’ rocket?

    Assuming that you refer to the home-made missiles directed from Gaza at southern Israel, I didn’t mention them because:

    1/ Resistance to military occupation is legal under international law
    2/ The mortality rate resulting from these retaliatory rockets is tiny. On a month by month basis, Israel slaughters Palestinians. Any retaliatory action is answered with much greater violence by the heavily-armed Israeli military. See the website ‘If Americans Knew’ for more on the disparity in suffering. Now Israel has started slaughtering Gazans directly once again – in addition to wrecking their economy and quality of life.
    3/ To keep the letter reasonably brief, I focused on a few key points. I didn’t try to write a book.

    I’m confident my omission will be amply compensated by the western media’s obsession with these toy rockets, fired in desperate acts of resistance against an utterly brutal, technologically-sophisticated military machine.

    But that’s to be expected. After all, judging by the Australian mass media’s ‘news values’, annoyance caused to a single Israeli is a serious crime, well worth reporting halfway around the world. By contrast, the slow torture of the entire Palestinian people is neither newsworthy nor reprehensible.

    Take the case of the unfortunate Mr Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Gazan resistance fighters a couple of years back. Whether dead or alive, he is the ONLY Israeli currently in Palestinian captivity. Many Australians know his name. We’re all very sorry for him. We are a compassionate people, after all.

    But how many Palestinians languish in Israeli jails? Ask the average Aussie and you get a blank look. We don’t have a clue! How about the names of some? Again, mostly blank faces. Yet the 10,000+ Palestinian prisoners include elected Members of Parliament.

    Australia played a proud role in helping bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. It’s time we recover our moral compass and apply the same principles to the conflict in Palestine.

      

  • Syd Walker writes:
    November 18th, 20083:25 pmat

    Response to MHoward77

    MHoward775
    :

    You know Syd, it seems odd that you didn’t mention the myrid rockets that are fired into Israel, by the Gazans. Why didn’t you mention it?

    I didn’t mention the ‘myrid rockets’ for several reasons.

    First and foremost, I’ve never heard of them. What is a ‘myrid’ rocket?

    Assuming that you refer to the home-made missiles directed from Gaza at southern Israel, I didn’t mention them because:

    1/ Resistance to military occupation is legal under international law
    2/ The mortality rate resulting from these retaliatory rockets is tiny. On a month by month basis, Israel slaughters Palestinians. Any retaliatory action is answered with much greater violence by the heavily-armed Israeli military. See the website ‘If Americans Knew’ for more on the disparity in suffering. Now Israel has started slaughtering Gazans directly once again – in addition to wrecking their economy and quality of life.
    3/ To keep the letter reasonably brief, I focused on a few key points. I didn’t try to write a book.

    I’m confident my omission will be amply compensated by the western media’s obsession with these toy rockets, fired in desperate acts of resistance against an utterly brutal, technologically-sophisticated military machine.

    But that’s to be expected. After all, judging by the Australian mass media’s ‘news values’, annoyance caused to a single Israeli is a serious crime, well worth reporting halfway around the world. By contrast, the slow torture of the entire Palestinian people is neither newsworthy nor reprehensible.

    Take the case of the unfortunate Mr Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Gazan resistance fighters a couple of years back. Whether dead or alive, he is the ONLY Israeli currently in Palestinian captivity. Many Australians know his name. We’re all very sorry for him. We are a compassionate people, after all.

    But how many Palestinians languish in Israeli jails? Ask the average Aussie and you get a blank look. We don’t have a clue! How about the names of some? Again, mostly blank faces. Yet the 10,000+ Palestinian prisoners include elected Members of Parliament.

    Australia played a proud role in helping bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. It’s time we recover our moral compass and apply the same principles to the conflict in Palestine.

      

  • MHoward775 writes:
    November 18th, 20082:32 pmat

    You know Syd, it seems odd that you didn’t mention the myrid rockets that are fired into Israel, by the Gazans. Why didn’t you mention it?

      

  • MHoward775 writes:
    November 18th, 20082:32 pmat

    You know Syd, it seems odd that you didn’t mention the myrid rockets that are fired into Israel, by the Gazans. Why didn’t you mention it?

      

  • Damian Lataan writes:
    November 17th, 20082:56 pmat

    An excellent letter Syd. I hope others will make the effort to write also to either Rudd or their Federal MP or, better still, both.

    I fear, however, that the Israeli agenda with regard to the Gaza is far more sinister than it actually appears. I believe that the Israelis may well be using their confrontation with the Gazans as a springboard for a far greater confrontation that will ultimately end with an attack on Iran with the Israelis hoping that the US will be there to bail them out when the Iranians strike back.

      

  • Damian Lataan writes:
    November 17th, 20082:56 pmat

    An excellent letter Syd. I hope others will make the effort to write also to either Rudd or their Federal MP or, better still, both.

    I fear, however, that the Israeli agenda with regard to the Gaza is far more sinister than it actually appears. I believe that the Israelis may well be using their confrontation with the Gazans as a springboard for a far greater confrontation that will ultimately end with an attack on Iran with the Israelis hoping that the US will be there to bail them out when the Iranians strike back.

      


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