Israel has unleashed a new murderous offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza strip.

But in the same week Kevin Rudd plans to honour Israel with a special reception in Canberra.

The rampage came as Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai warned of “a holocaust” on Gaza. This was not a one-off rhetorical slip. Other high-ranking Israeli ministers have made similar statements-Interior minister Meir Sheetrit commented earlier in the month “what I think the [Israeli army] should do [is] decide on a neighbourhood in Gaza and level it”.

The intent of Israel’s policy is genocidal-the targeting of the entire civilian population of Gaza.

The attacks have so far left 120 Palestinians dead, mostly civilians.

Israel’s blockade denies the entrance of basic goods into Gaza. This means water supplies cannot be treated and hospitals are enduring power cuts for 12-hours a day due to shortages of oil to power generators. The siege, which began after the election of the Hamas government in June 2007, was briefly broken in January when the border crossing with Egypt was breached.

But far from condemning Israel’s actions, Kevin Rudd supports a special parliamentary motion celebrating Israel’s independence day, on the 60 year anniversary of its foundation through the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

A celebration in parliament house’s Mural Hall hosted by the Israeli embassy and the Zionist Federation of Australia will follow.

Israel, the US’s most dependable ally in the region, receives more US military aid than any other country-currently $3 billion a year.

Thus Australia backs the US’s efforts to dominate the Middle East.

Rudd says he supports United Nations initiatives, but Australia did not support the censures of Israel presented by the UN Human Rights Council this year.

Instead he is continuing John Howard’s disgraceful stance as leading one of the few governments prepared to support Israel’s systematic war crimes and violations of international law.

By James Supple

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