Having been brought up as a Christian focus has been on the land of its origin. This led to the belief that those who lived and rules the lands were steeped in religion, which meant having the highest moral thinking and actions gained through years of deep experience. Of course very many people of all faiths given birth in that region are horrified at what they see acted out daily. At the same time they see the Israeli government backed to the hilt by powerful western nations.
Gaza has been under siege and we have continued to be horrified to see basic human needs denied by a powerful bully. “They are firing rockets at our people” they cry. Yet, as an article in the Observer (28/12/2008) shows, the situation was largely of Israel’s making. Hamas was encouraged by Israel to undermine Yasser Arafat. Western nations bawl and shout “democracy” and to their horror find Hamas elected to power in Palestine. But they are “terrorists” is the cry. The response to Gaza has been the Israeli version of “Shock and Awe”. It was planned some months ago at the same time as peace discussions were supposedly taking place.
Peace will never some from one side dominating the other, and as soon as this is recognised internationally the better. Yet President-elect Obama’s priorities only specify a cessationof hostility in Iraq, otherwise there is only a blanket “foreign policy”.
Does Israel imagine that this will be a solution. Do they think their people are safe behind monstrous concrete barricades built on stolen land? In reality they are stoking the fire of hostility and hatred. A member of the Israeli government has already threatened that a “holocaust” will be inflicted on the Palestinian people. This was their choice of language. Hitherto its has always been insisted that there is only one Holocaust in history.
WMPSC NEWSLETTER 28 DECEMBER 2008 follows:
WMPSC NEWSLETTER 28 DECEMBER 2008
VIGIL RE GAZA MONDAY 29 DEC 1700 OUTSIDE ZAVVI – WATERSTONES, HIGH
STREET, BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE (near the bull in the Bull Ring Centre)
Dear All, you are urged to attend this vigil on Monday to call for an
end to Israel’s attacks on Gaza and to show support to the
Palestinians. The vigil is called by the Midlands Palestine Community
Association (see press release below)and West Midlands PSC.
You will all have been shocked by the attacks which, even by the
standards of Israel’s oppression of Gaza and the West Bank, are
horrific. The indiscriminate slaughter, with the promise of more to
follow, have caused even the passive leaders of many European
countries to condemn Israel for this action. Unfortunately this is as
far as they go – the EU and the US speak out only when Israel’s
actions as occupier causes widespread outrage among ordinary
citizens, to which politicians feel obliged to respond. Otherwise
Israel is allowed a free hand to continue ignoring the long list of
UN resolutions in support of Palestine’s rights under international
law. This makes it vital that we ensure a sustained protest against
not only this action but the occupation itself.
Points which have been made by many in the wake of these attacks
i) the attacks have more to do with the Israeli election campaign
than with security
ii) Israel is committing atrocities which it knows will be tolerated
by the Bush government before Obama takes over
iii) if any other country used jet fighters to strafe what is the
most crowded refugee camp in the world there would be calls for UN/EU
troops to be sent in.
Many of you will have noticed that when Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence
minister, was shown on Sunday night’s TV news bulletins stating that
an Israeli invasion of Gaza was imminent, there, standing smiling and
supportively by his side was our Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.
This makes it all the more essential that we in this country show our
support for Gaza and condemnation of Israel’s action and our
Government’s support for them.
So please turn out on Monday.
28 Dec 08
This is The text of a press release issued by the Midlands
Palestinian Community Association:
” Palestinians in the UK are shocked and horrified at the unfolding
events in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces have launched tens of
missiles on Gaza resulting in the death of over 140 people and
hundreds of injuries. This follows a prolonged and immoral siege on
Gaza which has lasted for months and which has denied Palestinians
food, clean water, electricity and medical supplies. We are
concerned for the safety and wellbeing of relatives and friends who
are again suffering under the collective punishment being meted out
by Israel, a state that continues to operate above the Law and in
defiance of accepted human rights conventions. The Midlands
Palestinian Community Association (MPCA) condemns Israel’s actions
and calls on the British Government to do the same and to call for an
immediate end to the military operation in Gaza and for the
unconditional lifting of the siege.
” Kamel Hawwash, Chair of the MPCA said: “Israel’s cruelty against
the helpless Palestinian people knows no bounds. It continues to
kill, maim and destroy at will while the world watches in silence.
Its action seems to have been deliberately timed to coincide with the
end of the school day in Gaza to cause as much terror, death and
destruction as possible”.
“Kamel continued “Israel still does not get it. It cannot break the
will of the Palestinian people through death and destruction. It
must recognise the legitimate rights of the Palestinians and
negotiate a programme of withdrawal from the occupied territories
including East Jerusalem and the dismantlement of the illegal
settlements. Israel’s crimes will only serve to strengthen the
resolve of Palestinians to remain in their land and to resist the
Israeli occupation until it has ended and a free independent
Palestine has been born”.