On Wednesday November 14, Israel launched a brutal eight-day campaign of airstrikes on Gaza. According to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) 1,350 aerial and sea attacks have been launched against Gaza. This criminal and vicious bombardment was responsible for killing over 168 Palestinians and wounding over 1200, many of whom were children. In addition to the loss of innocent Palestinian lives, this assault on Gaza has resulted in the destruction of buildings and infrastructure. According to Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu, it has caused at least $1.2 billion in economic damage. A total of 200 homes were completely destroyed and another 8,000 damaged. The attack also destroyed 42 non-residential buildings, including government buildings, three mosques and a health care center.
This attack is part of an ongoing blockade and siege of the Gaza Strip. This constant hardship has included the 2008-2009 Israeli siege, which saw the indiscriminate massacre of 1400 Palestinians, including at least 300 children. Despite this, the heroic Palestinian people have continued their resistance to the Israeli occupation of their land, and continue today to fight and assert their right to the self-determination of Palestine.
The Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper had some strong words in response to the situation, of course not to condemn the brutal killing of Palestinians but in full support of the Israeli Zionist regime. Harper said on Friday November 16th “We recognize and support Israel’s right to defend itself against such terrorist attacks...”
Meanwhile the Canadian government attempts to justify these war crimes, chants of “Hey Harper you will see, Palestine will be free” and “Stop the siege on Gaza now” were heard in Vancouver, as peace-loving people gathered in front of the Downtown Public Library on Saturday November 17th. This rally and petition drive, organized by Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO), was one of many demonstrations that have erupted in hundreds of cities around the world demanding an end to the Israeli attacks on Gaza.
With banners reflecting these demands, picket signs and informational tables this protest drew the attention of people walking by on a busy Saturday afternoon, many of whom stopped by the tables to get more information and voice their support to the Palestinian people. Representatives from various media were also present at the rally, including Radio India, The Sing Tao Daily, Global News and News 1130.
On Tuesday, November 20th peace loving people in Vancouver and MAWO organisers continued voicing their support for Palestinian resistance against this brutal Zionist attack by getting together at Joe’s cafe in Vancouver for a free public forum titled “Self-Determination for Palestine! Stop Israel’s War on Gaza!”. Participants expressed their unwavering support for the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and discussed the need for an ongoing and consistent solidarity campaign for Palestine and against the Zionist Israeli war on Gaza.
As Israel’s attacks escalated, the resistance and solidarity of people in Vancouver amplified. Calls for Emergency Rallies were put out through Facebook and social media. The first Emergency Rally was on Thursday November 15th, a spirited and enthusiastic crowd took the streets of downtown Vancouver in front of the Art Gallery demanding justice for Palestine and an end to the attacks on Gaza.
On Sunday November 18th, loud voices and chants have risen again in the streets of Downtown Vancouver. People from all religious backgrounds, ethnicities, and walks of life gathered to show their solidarity with Gaza and the Palestinian struggle and demand an immediate stop to Israel’s war on the brave people of Gaza.
Vancouverites joined together again on Wednesday, November 21st in front of the Temple Sholom to oppose the Canadian Government’s support for Israeli war crimes and protest the visit to Vancouver of the Israeli Deputy Ambassador to Canada, Eliaz Luf, and Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration who has been one of the Harper Government’s loudest supporter of Israel.
Eliaz Luf was also invited to speak at Hillel House at the University of British Colombia (UBC) on Thursday November 22nd, where he was again met with protesters and banners condemning Israel attacks on Gaza and demanding freedom for Palestine. Following the protest students and activists joined together for panel and discussion titled “Gaza under attack, end the occupation.” The rally and the forum in UBC was organized by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights UBC (SPHR).
This latest war against Gaza is one of the many massacres that Palestinian people have faced in over 64 years of Zionist Israeli occupation of their land. From before 1948 and continuing today, the heroic Palestinian people have resisted the occupation of their land. Now more than ever, it is critical that we unite together to organise an ongoing and consistent solidarity campaign for Palestine and continue to amplify our voices to demand an end to the Zionist Israeli Siege on Gaza, and call for self-determination for Palestine.
Self-Determination for Palestine!
Stop Israel’s Siege on Gaza!
We Will Win!
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