Albanese keeps backing Israel even as aid workers murdered

After six months of slaughter, Israel’s atrocities in Gaza are becoming more and more obscene. After the calculated killing of aid workers, US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made more critical noises—but they continue to arm and support Israel.

Penny Wong says that the government is “contemplating recognising Palestinian statehood”, but the government won’t call for a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israel from Gaza.

Israel’s aggression is threatening to spread the war further, through bombing in Lebanon and the bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria in a virtually unprecedented attack.

Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital has been completely destroyed with up to 400 people massacred after a two week siege. “Most of the bodies were unrecognisable. Families could only identify them by their clothes,” said Hossam Shabat, a Palestinian journalist who visited the site.

“There wasn’t one full body… Many had their hands and legs tied behind their backs and were flattened by a bulldozer. Many of the bodies were burned and left to be crushed to pieces.”

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers carried out executions and detained hundreds of men for interrogation.

Israel has withdrawn most troops from Gaza but Netanyahu insists that a date has been set for a ground assault on Rafah.

Aid workers

Children are continuing to die of starvation as Israel restricts the amount of aid entering Gaza.

It has banned the largest aid organisation in Gaza, the UNRWA, from entering Gaza’s north, where over 300,000 people are facing famine.

Israel’s targeted killing of seven aid workers, including Australian Zomi Frankcom, from the World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity is just the latest part of its campaign of terror that has seen 200 aid workers killed since October.

Francesca Albanese, the UN Rapporteur for the Occupied Territories, said, “Knowing how Israel operates, my assessment is that Israeli forces intentionally killed WCK workers so that donors would pull out and civilians in Gaza could continue to be starved quietly.”

The killing was not “tragic”, as Anthony Albanese put it. It was deliberate murder. Albanese has appointed a former Australian Defence Force chief, Mark Binskin, as a special adviser to ensure full transparency from Israel’s inquiry into the killings. It’s a joke.

Israel has killed more that 33,000 Gazans in the last six months. We don’t need an inquiry, we need the killing to stop. But Albanese won’t call for that.

Joe Biden’s hypocrisy is also on display. He calls for a temporary ceasefire and more aid for civilians, but is sending another 1800 MK-84 one tonne and 500 MK-82 half-tonne bombs to Israel as well as 25 more F-35 fighter jets to ensure its genocide can continue.

The Albanese government is also complicit, with Australian companies including Quickstep, Ferra and HTC producing parts for the F-35 jets bombing Gaza.

Albanese says he only supports a long-term ceasefire if Hamas gives up its weapons. Like Biden, he has given the green light to Israel’s continuing killing and its campaign to eliminate Hamas.

But opposition to Israel’s genocide is spreading.

There have been renewed protests in Jordan demanding the government break its peace treaty with Israel. Demonstrations have also re-emerged in Morocco and Egypt, despite the repression.

In the UK even senior Tory MPs are demanding an arms embargo on Israel for carrying out war crimes. Democratic members of the US Congress including pro-establishment figures like former Speaker Nancy Pelosi have called for the US to stop sending weapons to Israel.

We need to keep campaigning to spread support for Palestine into workplaces, unions and the broader community—and to build a wider understanding of Albanese’s complicity in Israel’s crimes.

A protest at the Victorian state Labor conference on 18 May will demand that the state Labor government cuts all ties with Israel, including its 2022 Memorandum of Understanding with the Israeli Ministry of Defence and its partnership with the Israeli weapons company, Elbit Systems. A union-backed resolution is also expected to be put to the conference.

In Sydney construction and maritime unions will stop work and march on 1 May—with a Palestinian speaker and a Free Palestine contingent on the day. As many unionists and Palestine supporters as possible should join it—to help build stronger support for Palestine within the union movement.

Campaigning to drop the charges against MUA members and officials and all those arrested at Sydney’s ZIM shipping blockades is another way to draw more unions into explicit action for Palestine.

Protests targeting military links with Israel can help expose Labor’s failure to ban weapons exports or impose the kind of sanctions that could put real pressure on Israel.

To Free Palestine we need to deepen the campaign to break the Albanese government’s support for Israel and its alliance with US imperialism.


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