Over the weekend thousands of protesters took to the streets in Australia, opposing the continued genocide against the Palestinians by the Israeli regime. This is the eighth consecutive week of protesting, and the first since Israel resumed its bombardment of Gaza following the bogus truce.
Rallies were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Newcastle.
The Labor government is backing Israel’s onslaught, despite the mass opposition. In a particularly cynical move, its Foreign Minister Penny Wong took to social media to hail the pause and express hope that it would “continue,” as Israel was already dropping bombs again on Gazan civilians.
We are featuring interviews below gathered at the weekend protests.
At the Melbourne protest, Lynn said he reads the WSWS frequently and expressed appreciation for its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and imperialist war.
“I have read about Zionism,” he said. “I’m Jewish, and my grandfather had his ashes scattered over Israel. My grandfather was born in Lviv, Ukraine so I am hooked into both things—the wars on both fronts that are going on. Zionism is the leading anti-semitic tendency in the world. Israel is based on anti-semitism. I am a cosmopolitan Jew—the founding fathers of Zionism call people like me barbarians, and I am glad to be barbarian.”
Lynn added, “There is no point in asking Albanese to stop what he is doing. It is like asking a crocodile to become a vegetarian. Albanese is worse than zero. I didn’t think much of him when he first started, and he is just a war monger like the rest of them. I’m 71 and I have grandchildren that are hostages to the future. We have maniacs that are leading us into World War Three. Apart from the fight for socialism we are in very bad trouble.”
Aishah, who with her family has regularly attended rallies since the beginning of the Israeli onslaught, stated, “I only want to say the following—we come to the rally to raise our voices, raise our flags, and raise our hands in prayer. To support those in Palestine suffering under this genocide.”
In Brisbane, Seba, a real estate industry worker originally from Gaza, explained, “I am here to be a voice for those who have been silenced. To be a voice for those who need our help. They need us to stand here for humanity and human rights. To be a voice for the families and the innocent children who have been murdered by Israel. To be a voice for the ceasefire, a voice for the peace.”
Asked why the genocide and ethnic cleansing was being allowed to take place, Seba said, “It’s a continuation of the 75 years of oppression that the people of Palestine have suffered. It’s a continuation of Israel attempting to steal more land from the Palestinian people, and what they call mowing the lawn, which means cutting down the numbers of the Palestinians, so they can continue stealing the land.
“Today they use the excuse that they are fighting Hamas. If you look into history and look back, there’s always another excuse. Every time they create an excuse, it’s for the same purpose—stealing the land and killing more Palestinian people, to reduce the numbers.”
Condemning the role of the Albanese Labor government, Seba commented, “I think it’s corruption. I think they are scared maybe, because they have their own political interests. They have their own financial interests.
“They are not representing the people of Australia. We here in Australia are a multi-cultural society. We value equality. We do not stand behind an apartheid nation. For Albanese to stand behind apartheid, to stand behind genocide, is a disgrace.”