Sunday, November 19, 2017

Demonstrations take place around the world in solidarity with Gaza


By Lil Jackson - July 15, 2014
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

 Hundreds of people marched through the centre of Melbourne, Australia in protest against Israel's offensive in Gaza | CC Corey Oakley

 

 

Thousands of people from London to Sydney have demonstrated in solidarity with the people of Gaza and in opposition to Israel’s offensive on the Strip. 


At least 192 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of Israel’s 'Operation Protective Edge’ and the UN has said that at least 80 percent of the casualties have been civilians.


The high rate of civilian casualties in Gaza has caused outrage, concern and condemnation from the people around the world.


“We are raising our fists, hands and banners and are speaking against this injustice. The truth is none of this is able to shield the Palestinian people against bombardment …There is no peace because there is no justice” said prominent pro-Palestinian supporter and British MP George Galloway at a demonstration in Bradford, UK on Sunday.

Israeli citizens have also taken issue with this military operation in Gaza. Jews Against Genocide (JAG) held a memorial at Jerusalem’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, on Saturday. The purpose of the service was to remember the Palestinian children killed by Israel during its current attack on Gaza. 


JAG, an international Jewish collective, stated the purpose of the demonstration was to “to show Israel, and the world, the absurd reality of using the memory of one genocide to justify another…We invite compassionate people from across the globe to join the outcry by staging similar protests in front of Israeli embassies and consulates around the world on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th July, 2014.” 


“We will stay with them in solidarity”


Solidarity with Palestine is also coming from within the borders of Gaza. A group of international volunteers from the USA, Spain, Sweden, Venezuela, France, Britain, Australia and New Zealand are staying in Gaza City’s El Wafa Hospital, in a demonstration of solidarity. The hospital is the only rehabilitation center in the besieged Gaza Strip. 


Fred Ekblad of the International Solidarity Movement, said of the action “The civilian population of Gaza is being bombed. We will stay with them in solidarity until the international community and our governments take action to stop Israel’s crimes against humanity”.


“This time the media is not playing on the Israeli side”


Social media platforms have played a powerful role in galvanizing action around the globe. The ability to share photos, organize demonstrations and encourage others to join the campaign has resulted in a significant number of people standing in solidarity with Gaza.


“Social media is doing something huge and it is huge what is going on around the world,” said Muhammad Abu Toameh, a solidarity activist from Baqa Al-Gharbieh and Tel Aviv. Abu Toameh sees the power of social media as two-fold: it amplifies pressure put on Israel to stop its current assault on Gaza and it is an alternative platform for disseminating news that Abu Toameh feels Israeli media tries to hide.


Unlike in 2008 and 2012 when similar assaults on Gaza took place and “nobody saw the potential of social media,” news websites and social media platforms are being updated in real time.


Instead of the “struggle to know what is actually happening in Gaza” many are able to see the atrocities. 


“This time the media is not playing on the Israeli side,” said Abu Toameh.


A conflict that might have seemed far away is now unavoidably present. With more protests organized in the coming days, it remains to be seen if mounting pressure from the international community can lead to a ceasefire.






 



 

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