As the number of Palestinian deaths in recent weeks continues to rise, Sherrl Yanowitz reports from last night’s protest at the Palestinian Mission to counter a Zionist mobilisation. A Palestine solidarity demonstration has been called for this Saturday (17 October).
Israeli armed forces have murdered at least 30 Palestinians in the last two weeks. The dead include Nour Rasmi Hassan, who was pregnant, and her three year old child Yahya Hassan who were killed when the Israelis shelled their Gaza home; Marwan Barbakn aged 13 and Khali Othman aged 15 who were shot dead by snipers near the boundary fence east of Khan Younis; and Ahmad Sharaka shot dead as he was chased by Israeli soldiers in al-Bireh.
Every one of the dead have names, families, loved ones. The Israelis seem to be on a ‘terrorist’ killing spree, shooting down unarmed young women at check points and in bus stations, old men trying to quiet down confrontations, even fellow Israelis if they look ‘Palestinian’. More than 2700 people have been injured and at least 650 detained. Virtually all of the ‘detained’ under 20, many are young children.
As well as the current wave of attacks that are occurring within the 1948 boundaries of Israel, not ‘just’ within the occupied territories, settlers have been invading Al Aqsa mosque. Last Friday Palestinian worshippers under 40 were prevented from entering Al Aqsa, the second holiest Islamic shrine. It is not surprising faced with this level of terror by the Israeli state that some Palestinians have taken to fighting back.
The response of the so-called leadership of the Jewish community, the Jewish Board of Deputies has been shameful. They announced a ‘vigil’ outside the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic mission in London on Tuesday. They demanded that the PA condemn Palestinian resistance to the murderous attacks Palestinians are facing from the Israeli state and its supporters.
In response ‘Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods’ , ‘Jews for Justice for Palestinians’ and ‘The Jewish Socialist Group’ called a counter protest at the Palestinian mission. Though the Board of Deputies had called on British Jews to join their celebration of the Zionist murders, very few turned up. By 5pm there were only approximately 19. By 6pm there were less than 60 people on the Zionist protest. In fact, according to a counter demonstrator who infiltrated their ranks, most were Christian Zionists and members of the fascist English Defence League whose enormous union jack banner we could see from the counter demonstration.
In contrast there were many people of Jewish backgrounds on the counter demonstration who, along with Palestinians and supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, numbered at least 250. The police, who claimed to be “protecting us”, had ushered us away from the Palestinian Mission and onto the pavement beneath an underpass. This meant that our loud, confident and angry counter demonstration echoed loudly down the road. The Palestinian ambassador whose Mission was the target of the Zionists made a defiant speech to us all.
Our counter protest was a clear victory for Palestinian solidarity. In decades past the Zionists have been able to mobilise thousands from the Jewish ‘community’. Now the Zionists seem able to only mobilise fascists and small groups of Christian Zionists in their support.
An emergency protest against the brutality of Israeli military occupation has been called for this this Saturday, 17 October, 12-2pm outside the Israeli Embassy in London.