Monday 17 May 2021

End the Illegal Occupation of Palestine

Thousands marched last Saturday on Nakba Day which commemorates the forced exclusion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their country. The protests took place all over world, and the largest demonstration in the UK was in London where 100,00 joined the march. In our small town we stood by the Town Hall as part of our once-a-month vigil for the Palestinians. 

The events that have unfolded in Palestine in the last week have made the protests even more potent. Israeli forces have attacked crowds of peaceful worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque; Palestinian families in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah face being forced out of their homes, amid increased aggression from the Israeli far-right; over 180 people have been killed in air strikes on Gaza during the festival of Eid.

Fighter jets, rockets, cops and lynch mobs have swallowed the skies and streets these past few days.  Across Israel, throngs of armed groups, many of them Jewish thugs accompanied by police, are roaming towns and neighrourhoods, invading homes and shops, and seeking bloodshed in what many are rightly describing as pogroms. The fact that Palestinians have taken to the streets in such union is a defiant reminder that, despite the immesurable toll on its victims, Israel's colonial policy has not succeeded.

Indeed, along with the seismic wars of 1948 and 1967, Zionism's success as a settler-colonial project derives in great part from its creeping approach to dispossession. It steals territory piece by piece, evicts families home by home, and silences opposition from person to person. 'Quiet' is key to undermining collective resistance, while giving critics the illusion they have time to turn the tide.

Israel could halt the bloodshed now, by stopping the evictions, ending the siege of Gaza and ending the occupation of Palestine. 

We were very pleased that our MP joined our protest.

As events in Jerusaem showed this month, the more brazenly Israel pursues its policies, the more intensely resistance will rise. The people of Palestine need our support more than ever.

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