Bayan pickets Israeli embassy, condemns massacre of pro-Palestine activists

News Release
June 2, 2010

Members of the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan, New Patriotic Alliance) today picketed the Israeli embassy in Makati City, Philippines to protest the killings of pro-Palestine activists who were part of a flotilla headed for Gaza. The Israeli government’s actions against the flotilla has drawn widespread condemnation worldwide.

“We join the whole world in condemning in no uncertain terms the Israeli massacre of civilians who participated in the humanitarian mission to bring aid to Gaza. The Israeli terrorist state has again shown that it does not recognize any law, nor adhere to any international norms when it carried out the brutal attack,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“We demand that the ships and those on board be immediately and unconditionally released and allowed to bring aid to the people of Gaza. The Israeli government must also be made accountable for the carnage that happened last Monday,” he added.

Bayan’s overseas chapters have joined similar protest actions in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong. The group has called on the Philippine government to formally express its protest over the incident.

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“We urge presumptive president elect Benigno Aquino III to shun any meeting with any representative of the Israeli government as a sign of protest over the killings,” Reyes said.

“The US-backed Israeli government has long violated the rights of the Palestianian people, from the inhumane economic blockade and the large-scale destruction it inflicted when it bombed Gaza in 2008. The Israeli government now extends its atrocities to international waters after it blocked and boarded the six aid ships on opened fire on the people on board,” he added.

Various estimates say the number of dead could be from 10 to 19 people. The six ships had civilians on board, including Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 85 according to reports.

“Both the Israeli government and its chief backer, the United States government, are responsible for the continuing occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. The statement of regret over the loss of lives expressed by the US government falls short of the basic position condemning the atrocity. The US government cannot wash its hands off this mess, or sit idly by and express feigned concern,” Reyes said.

“We call on the US government to stop providing economic, political and military aid to the terroristic Israeli government. We call for an end to the occupation of Palestine by Israel and for the lifting of the inhumane blockade,” he added. (

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