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20 Aug 2014
Palestine in the World's Heart
This is the editorial from the latest issue of 'Lucha Indigena', a Peruvian based newspaper, published by my good friend Hugo Blanco.....solidarity with Gaza is strong in Latin America.
The Lucha Indigena 'Indigenous Struggle' website can be found here
IN THE WORLD'S HEART
the ongoing nature of the murderous assault, the casualty figures cited here --
deaths, the wounded, physical destruction and people rendered homeless -- lag
far behind the daily mounting reality.
As the furious attack on Gaza began,
pain and anger spread through the hearts of those people throughout the world
who keep a sense of human solidarity against the neoliberal system's culture of
selfishness.The latest news can only
add to our distress.Already more than
1100 have died, and the wounded amount to more than 6500.According to the United Nations (UN), more
than 80% of the victims are civilians.The Israeli armed forces are dropping leaflets, asking "tens of
thousands of residents" to leave their homes.
Gaza's sole electrical plant has had
to suspend operation, while the systems for delivering water and collecting
waste are not functioning.Throughout
all this, there are enthusiastic marches in Israel with chants of "No more
children in Gaza, so no school tomorrow, yeah, yeah, yeah!", "Gaza is
a graveyard" and "Death to the Arabs."
Nonetheless, as pain and anger have
risen, people of good will are moving into action.Let us begin with Israel, where the
"refuseniks" are Israeli conscientious objectors who refuse to serve
in the army.Some of them make a point
of saying that they will not serve in the occupied territories of
Palestine.The movement originated in
1979 when Gadi Algazi refused during his military service to serve in the
occupied territories.In Gaza, Israel
has killed UN staffers, as well as foreign doctors and other medical personnel.
Let us also consider Latin
America.In Lima there was a
demonstration on 25 July outside Israel's embassy, demanding that Peru withdraw
its own embassy from that country.There
was also a demonstration in Cusco.In
the face of these events, on 29 July the government of Peru called its
ambassador home for consultations.
Ecuador had taken that same action on
In Argentina, a demonstration in front
of the Israeli embassy on 25 July demanded a break in diplomatic relations.
On 1 July, 5000 Chileans marched to
the Israeli embassy in Santiago, where they stuck photos of murdered children
on the walls before marching to the embassy of the USA, a key enabler of the
genocidal attack.The previous day in
Temuco there was a demonstrations by the Mapuche people in solidarity with
Gaza.The Bachelet government has
suspended talks on a free-trade agreement with Israel, while the Foreign
Ministry has announced plans to aid victims in Gaza.
Uruguay has also condemned the attack.
In Brazil the government called its
ambassador to Israel home and voted for sending a commission of the UN Human
Rights Council to investigate war crimes.
Bolivia has asked the High Commission
for Human Rights to open a case of "war crimes against humanity"
before the International Court of Justice.The president of Bolivia has characterized Israel as a "terrorist
state".Israeli citizens will
henceforth require a visa to enter the country, in contrast to the previous
Venezuela had already broken relations
with Israel in 2, due to a previous attack on Gaza.In Caracas on 14 July there was a protest
demonstration with parliamentarians in attendance.The government denounced the hypocrisy of
those who blame both sides for the genocide.
In Mexico there were demonstrations in
the capital and the native zone of Chiapas.
Cuba, which has not had diplomatic
relations with Israel for many years, also condemned the massacre.
There were also protests in Nicaragua
and El Salvador.
The best news is that the
international Freedom Flotilla Coalition -- with participation by citizens of
Britain, France, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the USA, Canada
and Australia -- is planning a new flotilla to break the blockade of Gaza in
the near future, with participants from around the world.It has announced the intention of returning
from Gaza with Palestinian exports, a continuation of the Gaza's Arc project.
The main vessel in the 2010 Freedom
Flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, took the brunt of the armed Israeli assault, with
nine Turkish citizens and one American murdered.The Mavi Marmara will soon be ready to join
the flotilla with hundreds of peace activists from around the world on board.