Condemnation of Israel goes global
Within days of the start of Israel’s latest aerial offensive on the imprisoned people of the Gaza Strip, solidarity protests with the Palestinian people were held in over 300 cities worldwide. Demonstrations have continued since the Nov. 21 cease-fire agreement.
From New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, protests in the U.S. were marked by demands to end U.S. funding for Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Three demonstrations in San Diego, Calif., — two at the Federal Building and another outside a Zionist event — called for justice for Palestine and the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland. Detroit-area demonstrators fighting massive foreclosure evictions denounced the billions of U.S. tax dollars sent to Israel, money that is funding the destruction of homes in Gaza. Activists from the Occupy Wall Street movement took part in demonstrations in over 50 U.S. cities, including several in the South. Jewish activists participated in many protests with signs saying “Not in my name.”
In Athens, the anniversary of the deadly suppression of a 1973 student uprising turned into a massive anti-Israel demonstration, with 120,000 people marching on the Israeli Consulate. In many European cities rocked by earlier anti-austerity protests, tens of thousands filled the streets in solidarity with Palestine.
The corporate media’s one-sided pro-Israel coverage was the target of protests in Scotland, where pro-Palestinian demonstrators also occupied the roof of the Scottish Parliament. Demonstrators also rallied outside CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Ga.
‘Todos somos palestina’
Pro-Gaza sentiment was strong throughout Latin America with protests outside Israeli and U.S. embassies. A common banner was “Todos somos palestina” — We are all Palestinians. Venezuela and Bolivia severed diplomatic ties with Israel as an act of solidarity with Gaza.
Demonstrators gathered in Seoul, south Korea, and Okinawa — where struggles against U.S. militarism have raged for half a century. Many protests took place in Southeast Asia. Bangkok youth held a “Stop the Killing” flash mob. Malaysian youth wore T-shirts with the slogan “Save Gaza.” Indonesian Muslim students demonstrated outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. Large protests for Gaza took place in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Mass demonstrations also took place throughout India. In Kolkata, protesters organized by the International Anti-Imperialist Coordinating Committee and the All Indian Anti-imperialist Forum burned effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his principal backer, President Barack Obama.
In many countries, sporting events were used to express solidarity with Gaza. Soccer fans in Turkey, Bosnia and Chechnya unfurled banners in solidarity with Palestine. German-Turkish soccer players decorated uniforms with pro-Palestine slogans.
Throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa, pro-Palestine solidarity rallies filled squares where anti-austerity demonstrations had marked the Arab Spring in 2011. Demonstrations took place in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Algeria sent a caravan of pharmaceutical aid to Gaza.
Protesters also gathered in many West Bank cities in occupied Palestine, including Jaffa, Haifa, Bethlehem and Ramallah. In Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated with Hamas flags and chants against Operation Cloud Pillar and in support of rockets reaching Tel Aviv. Jewish anti-war activists in Tel Aviv protested at the home of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak with signs reading “Siege = Terror.” n