Some still remember Gaza

Alaa Murad, Monday 27 Dec 2010

Numerous organizations and activists commemorate the passage of two years since Operation Cast Lead in Gaza

Mtero ad campaign

On 27 December 2008, Israel launched a brutal attack on the Gaza Strip, code-named Operation Cast Lead, killing around 1400 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians and about 300 were children.

The US-based Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SMAC) addresses a rather specific angle to the war on Gaza, namely US support for Israel.

SMAC’s mission goes beyond sending a message, and attempts “to equip individuals to take direct action against the unacceptable use of [US] taxpayer dollars.”

The group that generally opposes racism calls for equal rights for Palestinians and argue that US citizens must ensure that the money they pay is not directed to “sustain immoral, illegal, internationally-condemned actions.”

In addition to joining a walking vigil organized by the Palestinian Solidarity Committee in downtown Seattle, the group, inspired by similar media campaigns in the US, had planned to launch a Metro bus advertisement campaign.

Their ads were going to say "Israeli war crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work" and were going to run for 4 weeks. Officials say that the King County Metro Transit authority will not permit the ads proposed. The campaign was unsurprisingly accused of being anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish.

But the group responded in a statement released to the press saying that the campaign is meant to expose the continual US support for Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinians.

Volunteer Edward Mast states: “There has been such one-sided support for Israel in this country for so long that any criticism of Israel seems shocking to some. For those who want to defend Israel right or wrong, anything that suggests Israel’s responsibility for the ongoing crisis will seem unreasonable.”

"It’s no more anti-Jewish than criticizing South Africa for its apartheid regime would have been anti-White. The State of Israel is not the same as the Jewish people, and Israel should be subject to criticism like any other state,” noted writer and activist Peter Lippman.

Long standing calls for the boycott of, and divestment from, corporations that support the Israeli occupation are thankfully enduring; but people come together on this day (or any day in the 3-week period from 27 December – 18 January) in solidarity with the people of Palestine to remember Gaza’s tragedy.

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has organized a peaceful vigil on 27 December outside the Israeli embassy in London to mark the second anniversary of the war on Gaza with a message: “End the siege on Gaza! Free Palestine!”

The PSC and other organizations in Western countries with like convictions also call for the end of the Israeli apartheid through not only an economic, but also a cultural and academic boycott and the right for return of some 5 million refugees living outside Palestine according to the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine based in Australia.

Numerous organizations, activists and ordinary citizens are marking the 2nd anniversary of Operation Cast Lead using more customary methods and flooding the internet with a rather simple message, one that has for centuries accompanied all man-made tragedies: “We will not forget.”



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