Communicating with Israelis may leave one bewildered. Even now when the Israeli Air Force is practicing murder in broad daylight of hundreds of civilians, elderly persons, women and children, the Israeli people manage to convince themselves that they are the real victims in this violent saga.
Every war Israel has waged since 1948 has had the same objective: expulsion of the native people and theft of more land. But why are we in the west silent on this truth?
In Gaza, the enforced starvation and denial of humanitarian aid, the piracy of life-giving resources such as fuel and water, the denial of medicines, the systematic destruction of infrastructure and killing and maiming of the civilian population, 50 per cent of whom are children, fall within the international standard of the Genocide Convention. “Is it an irresponsible overstatement,” asked Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories and international law authority at Princeton University, “to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalised Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not.”
So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night’s work in Gaza by the army that believes in “purity of arms”. But why should we be surprised?
Venezuela has expelled the Israeli ambassador to protest against the country’s assault on Gaza, after the Venezuelan president described it as a “holocaust”.
With these words, Jenn Peto, a courageous, young activist told Israeli consular security that there was no way the eight Jewish women who had ruined his day by staging a protest inside the consulate would walk out voluntarily. The group – women and queer including three Israeli-Canadians and ranging in age from mid-20s to late 50s – had come together in the way of a true movement. Less than two weeks ago, a group of committed peace activists sat around a circle and wondered how best to respond to the assault on Gaza. The idea of a sit-in in the consulate was thrown out and the group immediately recognized the need. Over the next couple of days, word spread to other social justice advocates in the city and a new formation cohered around the action.
Like much of the world, we have spent the last week watching in shock and disgust as Israel continues its assault on the Gaza Strip. With the body count rising and a new tragedy in full bloom, we feel that it is important to speak out as Jewish youth in Canada and to denounce what Israel is doing in our name.
Eight Jewish Canadian women who were arrested while holding a protest inside the Israeli consulate have been released.
According to the news photos, the “strategic” points destroyed by the Israeli government’s air force are houses, shacks, civilian buildings. We haven’t seen a single bunker, nor a barracks, nor a military airport, nor cannons, amongst the rubble. So–and please excuse our ignorance–we think that either the planes’ guns have bad aim, or in Gaza such “strategic” military points don’t exist.
We have never had the honor of visiting Palestine, but we suppose that people, men, women, children, and the elderly–not soldiers–lived in those houses, shacks, and buildings.
My name is Maher Najjar. I am the Deputy Director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU). I make this affidavit in support of a request and/or court petition that the Israeli authorities provide fuel and electricity to vital humanitarian institutions in Gaza.
Toronto: Wednesday January 8, 2009 Time: 10:25 am
A diverse group of Jewish Canadian women are currently occupying the Israeli consulate at 180 Bloor Street West in Toronto. This action is in protest against the on-going Israeli assault on the people of Gaza.
The group is carrying out this occupation in solidarity with the 1.5 million people of Gaza and to ensure that Jewish voices against the massacre in Gaza are being heard. They are demanding that Israel end
its military assault and lift the 18-month siege on the Gaza Strip to allow humanitarian aid into the territory.
Israel has been carrying out a full-scale military assault on the Gaza Strip since December 27, 2008. At least 660 people have been killed and 3000 injured in the air strikes and in the ground invasion that
began on January 3, 2009. Israel has ignored international calls for a ceasefire and is refusing to allow food, adequate medical supplies and other necessities of life into the Gaza Strip.
Protesters are outraged at Israel’s latest assault on the Palestinian people and by the Canadian government’s refusal to condemn these massacres. They are deeply concerned that Canadians are hearing the views of pro-Israel groups who are being represented as the only voice of Jewish Canadians. The protesters have occupied the consulate to send a clear statement that many Jewish-Canadians do not support Israel’s violence and apartheid policies. They are joining with people of conscience all across the world who are demanding an end to Israeli aggression and justice for the Palestinian people.
The group includes: Judy Rebick, professor; Judith Deutsch, psychoanalyst and president of Science for Peace; B.H. Yael, filmmaker; Smadar Carmon, an Canadian Israeli peace activist and others.
Spokespersons for the group:
Judy Rebick: 647-388-1053
Mariam Garfinkle: 416-731-6605