Monday, December 29, 2008

San Franciscans protest Israeli attack on Gaza

The San Francisco Bay Area has a substantial number of people who have cut through the conventional propaganda and respond to the Israeli assault on imprisoned Gazans as the atrocity it is.

Quite a few of us, several hundred at one point, turned out for a protest on Market Street this evening.

It's hard to believe that doing this does any good ...

but not doing it might well be worse.

We practice the theater of mourning.

Women in Black come equipped with the same, sane, sensible demands that have always pertained.

As the bombs fall, there's no way to get Gaza off our minds.


Tina said...

thank you.

the first picture reminded me of the words of robbie osman during his show on kpfa this past sunday.

Darlene said...

War in any form is uncivilized and brutal. The innocent are the ones who always suffer. There is blame on both sides in this terrible carnage and both must be held accountable.

Anne Vis said...

Great!!! Keep 'em coming! I'll be in a demonstration in The Hague tomorrow ...
Send you cybersupport from Amsterdam!

namastenancy said...

Yes, like Darlene said - BOTH sides must be held accountable. If Israel is expected to make "peace", then the Arabs must elect a responsible leadership that promotes that peace and stops with the rockets, the suicide bombers and the endless hate propaganda.

janinsanfran said...

Nancy -- I know that what you've written is commonly believed in the US -- but it seems to me based on false premises.

The Palestinians just aren't free actors like the Israelis. They are an occupied people, caged, besieged -- essentially driven crazy by repeated, unending mistreatment. Israel has locked down Gaza for months, capriciously allowing and denying essential supplies: electricity, food, medicine.

Cornered dogs bite. If they are confronted by armored and heavily armed force, they also simply get killed or beaten into submission until the the possessor of the overwhelming force turns his back and gets nipped again.

Any recipe for peace requires Israeli restraint -- something people in the US can promote by ceasing to prop up Israel's economy with billions in aid.

namastenancy said...

You seem to have fallen into the trap that far too many Western observers have succumbed to, of viewing Palestine’s “ordinary people” as somehow entirely divorced from, and blameless with respect to, their leaders. But the fact of the matter is, leaders don’t prosper without the support of their citizenry. Billions of dollars of international aid have been poured into the Palestinian cause; most of it has been siphoned off by corrupt leadership or used to buy weapons - not build the infrastructure which would have made Gaza more economically viable. Furthermore, there's a good reason why Egypt also blockades Gaza - they don't want that terrorism or political instability imported into their country as well.

Palestinian society has made a series of disastrous choices, beginning with the refusal to accept the 1948 partition and proceeding to the present through various extremist movements, corrupt leaders, intifadas and the like. Ordinary Palestinians have consistently supported these choices, and have clearly shown that they are willing to suffer and even die in support of an ideal they believe in. How come, then, we don’t hear a bit of protest *against* extremists and in favor of the mythical moderates that you and many other pundits have invoked?

Would you excuse the actions of a violent Israeli settler, because they were “pushed” into it by Hamas? If not, then why are you trying to blame Israel for Palestinian extremism?

There is a glaring double standard in the continued refusal of Westerners to hold Palestinians to standards remotely similar to what they routinely demand of Israel and other “Western” nations. I can’t help the feeling that it stems from continued Western paternalism (as - forgive me - equating the Palestinians with dogs), as if Palestinians aren’t really viewed as adults and thus can’t be held responsible for their actions. After all, the current crisis stems from Hamas breaking yet another truce.

But the fact is, a two-state solution, with a lasting peace in Palestine, cannot come about until ordinary Palestinians want it to happen. By not truly holding Palestinians responsible for their choices, you aren’t doing either Palestine or Israel any favors.

BTW - don't assume that I don't or can't read newspapers from other counties or have no experience outside the US. In my younger days, I worked with the International Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and The City of Hope. My father's family is/was from Lebanon and I saw at first hand what happened when the former Lebanese government was unable to deal with increasing Islamic fundamentalism. My family -Marionites - had to flee the Ba'aalBeck region and Deir El Hairf where they had lived for centuries as the area was and is still controlled by a Syria hostile to any democratic rule.

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