No to Annexation of the West Bank rally in Toronto

Rally in front of Israeli consulate at Yonge and Bloor on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

No Annexation!  (SA speech to June 27 in-person rally in Toronto)

Good afternoon comrades and friends.  My name is Julius Arscott.  I am an Alternate Executive Board member of OPSEU in Toronto and a leader of Socialist Action.  SA is one of the initiators of this protest and the coalition that organized it.  We say “No to the Annexation of the West Bank!”  “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free!”

Israel was founded on a big lie:  that Palestine was a land without people for a people without land.  The Palestinian people are here today to refute that lie.

Socialist Action is part of the world Trotskyist movement.  Our movement opposed the creation of the Zionist state 72 years ago.  The current land grab, building on the Nakba in 1948, the expanded Occupation in 1967, and the recent annexation of the Golan Heights, continues an ugly legacy of racism and ethnic cleansing.

Look at the world today.  It is sharply polarized.  On the one hand there is a global pandemic, economic ruin, environmental catastrophe, and authoritarian rule.  On the other hand, millions are crying out:  Smash Racism! Black and Indigenous Lives Matter! Abolish the Police!  The Justin Trudeau Liberal government promised Netanyahu that Canada on the Security Council would be “as asset for Israel”.  Ottawa’s defeat at the U.N. was a victory for the Palestinian people.

We know that public opinion in Canada backs sanctions against the Zionist state.  Still the authorities try to vilify, even to outlaw BDS.  They seek to ban the Al Quds march and to stop anti-Zionist free speech.  Zionists and their friends in big business are in a panic.  It is a sign of their weakness.

The Palestinian people are in the forefront of resistance to world imperialism.  They did not choose this role.  It was thrust upon them.  They are heroes of the world working class.  Many states are guilty of atrocious crimes.  But Israel is a lynch pin of global imperialist rule.  Richard Nixon, a strident anti-Semite, called Israel “America’s biggest aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.”  Freedom for Palestine means freedom for humanity.  Proudly, we stand with the people of Palestine.  Our task is to mobilize public opinion in mass actions based on clear demands.  For that reason, Socialist Action will not stop demanding:  No to Annexation of the West Bank!  Break the Siege of Gaza!  End the Occupation!  Tear Down the Apartheid wall!  For the right of all refugees to return home.  For a Democratic and Secular Palestine for all its residents:  Muslims, Jews, Christians, and atheists!  From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!