Pressure gets to Albanese as anger at genocide complicity grows

Israel has again sabotaged moves towards a ceasefire, even after US President Joe Biden floated a proposal he claimed Israel’s government had agreed to.

Netanyahu will still not accept any permanent end to the war—insisting that Israel wants Hamas completely destroyed. One of his advisers says the war could last another seven months.

Instead Israel goes on committing outrageous massacres and war crimes. It murdered at least 45 in Rafah in the “tent massacre” when it bombed a designated safe zone, leaving bodies burned beyond recognition.

At least 274 were killed in Nuseirat as it recovered four hostages—with the US admitting it gave Israel active assistance. Witnesses said the refugee camp had been “annihilated”, with bombing continuing after the hostages had left.

Israel is becoming more and more isolated as it shows contempt for Palestinian lives and faces mounting charges of war crimes.

The decision of the International Criminal Court to seek arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant is further evidence of this. It was a major blow to Israel, with both Netanyahu and the US outraged that it was being held to account.

It came just days after Israel ignored an order from the International Court of Justice to end its assault on Rafah, with the court calling the humanitarian situation “disastrous” in a new ruling in the genocide case brought by South Africa.

The Albanese government has shifted its rhetoric again, opposing Israel’s assault on Rafah and backing Joe Biden’s ceasefire plan, saying the human cost of the war is “unacceptable” and “cannot continue”.

But following Israel’s tent massacre in Rafah, Foreign Minister Penny Wong continued to give Israel political cover by echoing its claims that Hamas is using human shields, and implying Hamas was responsible for the death and destruction because it will not simply lay down its weapons and surrender.

The pressure from eight months of protests is getting to the government. Albanese has launched a wild series of attacks on Palestine protests and The Greens. He claimed rallies at Labor MPs’ offices were designed “to intimidate” and “have no place in a democracy”.

This is an attempt to smear the movement and silence dissent to Labor’s support for Israel. Protests outside MPs’ offices have been part of countless union and social movement campaigns.

Albanese also said protests for Palestine were driven by “prejudice” and antisemitism. It was another smear without a scrap of evidence—feeding the lie that opposition to Israel’s massacre of tens of thousands of civilians is antisemitic.


Albanese complained that it was “misinformation” to say the Labor government is complicit in Israel’s genocide. But the facts are there for all to see.

Labor is allowing the export of parts for the F-35 fighter jets Israel is using to bomb Gaza, as well as collaborating with Israeli arms companies such as Elbit, awarded a $917 million contract in February.

It is almost certainly allowing the Pine Gap spy base near Alice Springs to collect intelligence for Israel to use in its war. Australian citizens are serving in the Israeli Defence Forces without any consequences.

It is yet to join the 144 other countries, now including Spain, Norway and Ireland, to recognise a Palestinian state. And it refuses to impose sanctions on Israel, expel its ambassador or put any real pressure on it to end the killing.

The unrelenting atrocities in Gaza are shifting public opinion further and further against Israel. But there is also a genuine torrent of misinformation—as the media smears supporters of Palestine and echoes Israeli military propaganda.

Bosses and university administrations are still getting away with expulsions and sackings against people who speak out against Israel’s slaughter. ANU has expelled two students and initiated disciplinary action against ten others. Two students have been suspended at Sydney Uni and others at Monash and other Melbourne campuses have been threatened.

Our demonstrations should be aimed at drawing in more support.

A national day of protests at the ports on 25 May saw rallies in 12 cities. The MUA backed the protests for Palestine nationally for the first time, alongside endorsements from several CFMEU branches, bringing wider support behind the call for sanctions on Israel and to end all trade.

We also need protests targeting Albanese at Labor conferences and Labor MPs’ offices—but these should aim to win greater support among the unions and rank-and-file Labor members, rather than isolating the movement by treating them as the enemy.

We need to spread support for the movement through deeper organising in workplaces, unions, university campuses, schools and local areas. This means drawing more people into active campaigning for Palestine beyond attending demonstrations.

Months of organising at Sydney Uni led to the NTEU successfully adopting the institutional boycott of Israeli universities. Teachers, public servants and nurses have launched their own campaigns.

We need to build a movement that piles the pressure on Albanese and the Labor government to break all ties with Israel and help end the slaughter.


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