After Hamas broke out of Gaza to stage a major attack on Israel, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has hypocritically denounced it as terrorism for killing civilians.
Yet UN figures show that since 2008 Israel has killed 6407 Palestinian civilians compared to 308 Israeli civilians killed—but there was never any condemnation of that.
Instead the Australian government has lined up with the US and other Western leaders wholeheartedly behind Israel, with Albanese declaring, “We will stand with Israel. We always will.”
As it responds with saturation bombing of Gaza, killing whole families, he says that Israel is only defending itself. Albanese’s motion in parliament this week on the crisis refused to condemn Israel’s bombing.
Labor’s response has exposed how hollow its previous moves towards recognising a Palestinian state or the agreement at its National Conference to describe the West Bank and Gaza as “Occupied Palestinian Territories” were. It is now sounding exactly the same as the Liberals.
Israel is the US’s key imperialist watch dog in the Middle East.
Australian governments have always strongly backed Israel, as part of their broader support for US imperialist dominance worldwide.
Albanese is also ramping up Australian militarism, spending $368 billion on nuclear submarines aimed at confronting China alongside the US.
He has approved the biggest expansion of US bases in Australia since the Second World War and is building up missile manufacturing and the domestic war industry.
Thousands are taking to the streets in an inspiring display of solidarity with Palestine and the right to resist Israel’s occupation.
But in Sydney Albanese and NSW Labor Premier Chris Minns have launched a disgraceful attack on the right to protest—seizing on chants by a tiny unwelcome group at one Palestine rally to smear the protest movement as a whole as antisemitic, despite the efforts of organisers to stop them.
We need to keep protesting to demand that Albanese end his support for Israel and call for an end to its war on Gaza.
This also means challenging Australia’s broader support for imperialism that lies behind it, as well as demanding an end to AUKUS, the US alliance and Australia’s role as a key partner for US imperialism.