CADFA press release 16th May 2021
Today, 16th May, we will take our placards (pictured, being made a couple of days ago, and being used yesterday) to Kentish Town to continue to raise awareness among local people of the situation in Palestine. We know from our work over the past seventeen and a half years how many already care very much and how that number is growing. Huge numbers of people are disgusted by the large-scale killing of civilians going on nightly now in Gaza.
Our placards call for an end to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and an end to the apartheid situation that they are living in. ‘Palestinian lives matter’ is not only a comment on the Gaza bombing, where huge numbers of people are dying, being maimed and rendered homeless – but a reference to Black Lives Matter. The Israeli-Palestinian a story (regardless of the origins of the occupier) is of colonial take-over of someone else’s country which was done through cultivating extreme racism and can only be solved through genuine equality and human rights for all.
The current crisis in Israel/ Palestine has been building up for some weeks. Obvious flashpoints were the escalation of settlers’ moves to take away Palestinians’ homes in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, the violent arrests and injuring of hundreds in Jerusalem by the army and an abhorent attack by the Israeli army inside the holiest mosque in Palestine on people as they were praying in Ramadan.
More deeply, the context is that Israel has been pushing to take over more and more of even the small amount of the country that Palestinians were left with when Israel took 78% of historic Palestine in 1948 and the violation of the human rights of the Palestinians. The different treatment of Israeli settlers living on stolen Palestinian land and the Palestinians is so systematic and the racism is so strong that many – most recently Human Rights Watch in an authoritative report published last month – have described the situation as apartheid, which is of course a ‘crime against humanity.”
What the outrages in Jerusalem last month began to do was join together the Palestinians still living as second-class citizens in Israel, those living under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza and even those pushed out and never allowed back in 1948 and living in Lebanon, Jordan and across the world, calling for the human rights that they should have under international law.
What a propaganda gift it must have been for Israel when Hamas started to shoot home-made rockets from Gaza that can’t stand a chance against the high technology of a rich arms-manufacturing nation. Now Israel can pretend that its terrible attacks on Gaza, bringing down tower blocks and killing whole families, is part of a balanced and equal war – the massively-armed bully is playing the victim.
If you believe in human rights, the rule of law and democracy, it is impossible to visit Palestine and see what is happening (as many of our members have done with CADFA) or to meet and listen to Palestinians’ experience without being deeply shocked and asking how it is possible to bring about serious change there in a peaceful way.
We call on our government and the world to hold Israel to the same standard as other nations. We invite people in Camden and beyond to join CADFA in our in our many activities which focus on bringing people together to promote human rights.