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BAYAN-USA condemns Israeli massacre

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Contact: Rhonda Ramiro
Secretary General, BAYAN-USA

BAYAN-USA Vehemently Condemns Massacre by Israeli Armed Forces of Volunteers Delivering Humanitarian Aid for Gaza
Filipino Alliance Joins Protest Actions Nationwide in Solidarity with Palestine

The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN-USA, an alliance of 14 Filipino organizations in the US, vehemently condemns the barbaric killings of at least 19 humanitarian aid workers aboard the Freedom Flotilla which sought to bring much needed humanitarian aid to Gaza. The six ships had more than 700 civilians from more than 40 nations on board, including Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators, American citizens and diplomats including former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck.

BAYAN-USA joined emergency rallies in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City in response to Israel’s brutal assault on civilians. “We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims aboard the Flotilla who were murdered by the US-backed Israeli military,” stated Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson of BAYAN USA. “The attack on these volunteers further exposes Zionist-Israel’s complete disregard for the human rights of the people of Gaza and the people that stand in solidarity with Palestine,” elaborated Ellorin.

The Israeli government extended its violent aggression to international waters after it blocked and boarded the six aid ships and opened fire on the passengers. There is absolutely no justification for using force on any civilian conducting humanitarian relief missions.

“Let us also not forget that those aboard the flotilla were intent on delivering urgent humanitarian aid to thousands of devastated Palestinian families in Gaza,” Ellorin continued. “Reminding us that those who will ultimately suffer from the Israeli government’s unconscionable actions are those being starved by the Israeli government’s blockade– the suffering people of Israeli-occupied Gaza.”

The establishment of Israel and its systemic massacre and forced displacement of the Palestinian people is one of the greatest offensives of the US government in the Middle East that duly serves the interests of US imperialism to control the region economically and politically. Since the mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 and Palestine’s subsequent occupation by Israeli settlers, the US-backed Israeli government has violated the rights of the Palestinian people in their ancestral land. In recent years, the Zionist-Israeli state’s crimes against humanity include the inhumane economic blockade on Gaza and the unjustified 2008 bombings and massacre of more than 1000 Palestinians in Gaza, which have gone unpunished.

“The weak response of ‘regret’ from the White House further exposes the political and economic agenda of the US to allow the Zionist-Israeli state to get away with murder, even in international waters,” said Ellorin. “President Obama has a responsibility to serve the interests of the American people and ensure the safety of the American volunteers on the boats, including the American flagged-ship, the last ship of the Flotilla that is still en route to Gaza.”

Israel has been the largest recipient of direct economic and military aid from the US government since World War II. The hard-earned tax dollars of the people of the US are fueling these continuing attacks of the US surrogate government of Israel against the Palestinian people. At the same time, the global economic crisis is hitting the people of the US hard with massive job lay-offs, foreclosures, evictions, and budget cuts to health care and education.

BAYAN-USA calls on President Barack Obama and the US government to stop providing economic, political and military aid to the Israeli government. BAYAN-USA calls for an end to the occupation of Palestine by Israel and demands an immediate end to the inhumane blockade on Gaza.


Photos courtesy of BAYAN-USA, Kuusela Hilo, Mike Luat, and Christina Tam at protests in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.