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St. Paul protest joins worldwide outcry against Israel's war on Gaza

By Jess Sundin |
November 18, 2012
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Protesting in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Protesting in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Altamish Oshman Photography)
SDS members from the U of MN with Anti-War Committee banner.
16-year old Iraqi-American poet and activist, Zaghloool at Nov. 16 protest
SDS members from the U of MN with Anti-War Committee banner. (Altamish Oshman Photography)
16-year old Iraqi-American poet and activist, Zaghloool at Nov. 16 protest in Saint Paul. (Altamish Oshman Photography)

St. Paul, MN - More than 100 rallied here Nov. 16 to protest Israel’s attack on Gaza, which has been escalating since it began two days earlier. Protesters lined one of the busiest intersections in Saint Paul, at Summit and Snelling Avenues. The carried Palestinian flags and banners and signs in solidarity with Palestine and in opposition to U.S. support for Israel.

Initiated by the Anti-War Committee, the Saint Paul protest joined the international outcry, as hundreds of cities across the globe hold similar actions. During the rally, a report came in of the bombing of Rafah and the Palestinian death toll rising. Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes this week.

Meredith Aby, who traveled to Gaza and the West Bank in 2002, and is one of the international solidarity activists targeted by the FBI for her work, opened the rally saying, “We are joining our voices with the people of the world to denounce the brutal attack on Gaza by Israel. We demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel, because our tax dollars are subsidizing this bloodshed. Our hearts go out to Palestinian families that have lost children in the Israeli military’s indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated places. We are outraged by this cruelty.”

Liza Burr, speaking for the WAMM Middle East Committee, criticized Israel, “Contrary to its PR message, likely believed only in the U.S., Israel is not defending itself against Hamas rockets, which would not be fired without severe provocation - the occupation and siege provide plenty of provocation - since Hamas is well aware that it is no match militarily for Israel. Both in November of 2008 and in November of 2012, the sequence of events indicates that a ceasefire or truce was broken by Israel, not by Hamas.”

Another speaker, Florence Steichen of Middle East Peace Now, emphasized the responsibility of the U.S. for Israel’s actions. “The U.S. funds the occupation and Israel’s military adventures with more than $3 billion per year of taxpayer money. They could not do it without our money and our government’s unconditional diplomatic support of Israel. This diplomatic protection shields Israel from the effects of UN resolutions, and gives Israel a sense of invincibility, invulnerability. They know they can get away with anything, any atrocity without consequences because the United States protects Israel from the international community.”

Tracy Molm, of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, spoke of the efforts of the U.S. government to silence those who oppose U.S. policy in the Middle East. She traveled to Palestine in 2005 and is also being targeted by the FBI and grand jury investigation of anti-war and international solidarity activists. In her remarks, she urged protesters to extend their support for Gaza to the Holy Land Five, unjustly imprisoned for their work to bring medical and other humanitarian aid to Palestine.

The rally included speakers from the Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign and the Coalition for Palestinian Rights. After nearly two hours, the protest closed with a spirited spoken word performance by 16-year old Iraqi-American activist Zaghloool, who wrote a poem for Gaza. All those gathered pledged their continuing support, chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”


philip wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Other viewpoints

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
-Mahatma Gandhi

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matthew 26:52, King James Version)

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
(Proverbs 14:31 ESV)

"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." – Confucius

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always.
-Mahatma Gandhi

CherylA23 wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Israels Right to Exist

The Gaza citizens are suffering because they have chosen terrorists as their leadership. Americans value freedom and democracy but it is understood it is conditional and based upon our treatment of other human beings- if we decided we dont like our neighbor and start sending missles into his backyard well thats why we have jails- we lose our freedoms and right to vote forever.
Also over half of Americans believe Israel has a right to exist and to protect themselves . We know the religion that the Arab nations have chosen to follow does not allow for any other religion to co-exist beside them and that though they are more focused on getting rid of Israel right now according to the Iranian leader America is next in line -they will not stop with America either but would next focus on Buddists and Hindus and anyone that will not convert to Islam-this is their religion-it is imoportant to understand it because it is what drives them.
I propose that the hostile Arab nations that are loaded with oil money to take in the people in Gaza-return them to Arab land, let Israel have all their God given land so the world will know peace and blessing.
Genesis 12: 1-3 God says I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse you..

philip wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Comment to CherylA23


I did not post the quote from Mr. Chomsky, but I feel compelled to offer my opinion.

No, launching missiles into Israeli neighborhoods is not wise. It is a suicidal strategy, which in this case has resulted in over 100 people being killed in retaliation. Though a poor strategy, it does contain a very clear message from the people of Gaza: We are in pain. We are suffering. Our basic human needs are not being met living under these conditions.

Israel's response has also been unwise; the violent military response they have launched can only lead to more resentment, more hatred, more violence, and more lives lost.

Many in the Anti-war movement are calling for cessation of US aid to Israel. I support that goal, but I see it as somewhat unrealistic. Even if the US did stop all aid to Israel, their mistreatment of Palestinians in Gaza would likely continue.

As an alternative, I suggest that the Anti-war movement begin lobbying and petitioning the US Congress for a large-scale humanitarian aid effort to the people of Gaza. We have the wealth and means to accomplish it, with the support of the US military if needed.

Such an aid effort would accomplish several important goals:

1) The people of Gaza would have their basic needs met for food, shelter, and medical care
2) Begin to build good will and trust between the US, and the citizens of Gaza
3) Begin to build good will and trust between the US, and the Arab world, and also people of Islamic faith in general.

CherylA23 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Reply to Noam Chomsky

Do you think it wise of a people to send missles into densely populated cities in Israel when in your words they have no airforce, no navy, no weapons? Im sure the websters dictionary still defines missles and the bombs the sucicide bombers strap onto themselves as weapons and fairly powerful ones at that. It is SELF DEFENSE...

philip wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Hypocrisy of US Government

The recent visit of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to Israel, and her refusal to meet with leaders of Hamas, is evidence of a deeply-rooted hypocrisy of US foreign policy. The citizens of Gaza democratically chose and elected Hamas to be their political leaders and representatives to the world. Yet, the United States refuses to acknowledge them as legitimate. Hamas has been labeled as a "Terrorist Group". This is unacceptable.

For myself, I don't endorse the tactics of the rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israel. It is a suicidal strategy, against a militarily superior force. However, I do understand the desperation which drives these actions. Even Gandhi once said "If all you have is a sword, then use it".

Nor can I endorse Hamas' religious underpinnings. As an atheist, I view all religions as a blight on human rights, human intellect, and human progress.

Nevertheless, Hamas IS the political leadership there. They were democratically elected by majority vote to fulfill this role in their society. They deserve respect and acknowledgment. That our government chooses to label them as "bad", and then basically gives them "the silent treatment" contradicts the principles of freedom and democracy which the United States claims as some of its core values.

Anonymous wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

“Israel uses sophisticated

“Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army, and calls it a war. It is not war, it is murder.” --- Noam Chomsky

philip wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Occupied Land

Seems somewhat ironic that FRSO and AWC support "Palestine", while we live and work on land which was stolen from the Native American People. Seems a little hypocritical if you ask me. We call our prison camps "Indian Reservations", but the hopelessness and poverty are identical to what the citizens of Gaza have to endure. Fortunately, we don't have to launch military operations against our prisoners any more; we've beaten them down sufficiently. How about hosting a protest / march for their "Right Of Return"?

CherylA23 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Israel has a right to defend

Israel has a right to defend themselves... If someone was shooting missles into the city you live in would you just sit there or do something about it?