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Protest demands end to U.S. and Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza

by Tracy Molm |
July 26, 2006
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Protest in Minneapolis against Israel-Lebanon War
Enter the caption for the photograph here. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Protest against Israel-Lebanon War in Minneapolis
Enter caption here.

Minneapolis, MN - 250 people protested here to defend the people of Gaza and Lebanon July 20. The demand was made to stop spending tax dollars to occupy and destroy Palestine and Lebanon.

“Currently Israel is the number one aid recipient, receiving over $13 million per day. That’s more U.S. tax dollars per Israeli citizen than the average U.S. citizen receives for their own tax dollars!” said Sabry Wazwaz, who helped organize the protest.

Israel’s attacks on Gaza in response to the capture of one Israeli soldier constitute collective punishment of the entire population. These attacks have killed over 100 Palestinians, wounded hundreds, left thousands homeless and without water and electricity in an unprecedented humanitarian disaster. Since June 27 Israel has attacked Gaza, starting by destroying power and water supplies and closing the borders to all food, medical and petrol supplies.

Moreover, Israel’s massive assault on Lebanon after the capture of another two Israeli soldiers amounts to collective punishment of the entire Lebanese population. More than 300 people, the vast majority civilians, have been killed; more are wounded every day and close to a million have been made refugees.

“For many in southern Lebanon, this is the second or third time that they have been forced from their homes becoming refugees,” stated local Lebanese activist Kathy Haddad. People are trapped in Lebanon with no means of escape as the Beirut airport was bombed, the sea is barricaded, roads are blocked, and many bridges and roads have been bombed. As in Palestine, civilian infrastructure, electricity and water supplies have been destroyed. People are told to evacuate, but at the same time moving vehicles are shot at. The U.S. government is the main military supplier and funder of Israel and it is the main backer of Israel’s two-front war.

The protest drew support from people driving by and from pedestrians. The crowd chanted, “Free, free Palestine! Free, free Lebanon!” making the connections between Israel’s attacks on Gaza and Lebanon and with the 58 year of occupation of Palestine. The protest was organized by the newly formed Coalition for Palestinian Rights, which includes several Twin Cities groups like Women Against Military Madness, Middle East Peace Now, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Anti-War Committee and others.