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You are not Alone: To Palestinians on July 20, 2014

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Protest in solidarity with Gaza, Chicago, IL July 20, 2014 (Photo: Bob Simpson/ Flickr)

Protest in solidarity with Gaza, Chicago, IL July 20, 2014 (Photo: Bob Simpson/ Flickr)

The following was read at the Chicago Rally for Palestine on July 20, 2014. Police estimates put the crowd at over 10,000 people. 

You are not Alone.

To my friends, colleagues in Palestine and Palestinian-Americans here in Chicago, I join you today as an ally that wants you to know you are not alone.

You are not alone in your grief, as you see photos of dead children, women, men, hidden under collapsed buildings, on stretchers fleeing the bombing, in hospitals wrapped in white plastic with blood flowing.

You are not alone as your heart breaks watching videos of a father pleading with his dead child to wake up, a mother frantically searching for her dead son who was last seen playing soccer on the beach.

You are not alone as you scream at the tv, radio, and mainstream news coverage that privileges Israeli life over Palestinian, that puppets Israeli government press releases, and omits providing any context about the ongoing siege and military occupation of Gaza.

You are not alone as you manically repost on Facebook every picture that shows protest crowds around the world, where thousands hold Palestinian flags and raise their voices to protest the inhumanity.  This somehow restores our faith that our cries for justice are being heard.

You are not alone as you give in and engage ridiculous comments and tweets coming from supporters of Israeli militarism on social media, or break down when the man in the elevator says your Palestinian scarf is offensive, or when someone lectures you about needing a Palestinian Gandhi – as if that somehow is the magic answer to ending the occupation.

You are not alone as you weep, tired of feeling as if the world has forgotten your people.  Your loved ones.  Your families.  Your friends. The ones who send us messages to please make the bombs stop.  End the siege of Gaza.  Stop providing military aid and weapons that keep on killing. And Killing. And Killing. And we weep at our own powerlessness.

You are not alone.  

You have people of conscience – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Secular people – who hear your cries, your outrage, your demands for justice.  We are with you today, tomorrow, and in years to come as we work for human rights, equality, justice, and peace for all peoples in the Middle East. May we prevail, together in a community of love and solidarity.

Rally in solidarity with Gaza, Chicago, IL July 20, 2014 (Photo: Bob Simpson)

Rally in solidarity with Gaza, Chicago, IL July 20, 2014 (Photo: Bob Simpson)

Jennifer Bing

Jennifer Bing is director of the Palestine-Israel program at American Friends Service Committee. She organizes education and advocacy campaigns and has worked in and led delegations to the region.

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21 Responses

  1. Justpassingby on July 22, 2014, 2:29 pm

    well..EU just condemned palestinians and blamed palestinians for the israeli killings.

    • a blah chick on July 22, 2014, 3:12 pm

      So if the Palestinians are killing the Palestinians and the Israelis who are the Israelis killing?

      An observation: Has anyone else noticed the age differences of the demonstrations? The pro massacre ones seem to be older and less attended than the Pro life ones.

    • Blownaway on July 22, 2014, 3:22 pm

      Governments dont matter…its the people in the street that do—EU Congress just bleating sheep

      • Justpassingby on July 22, 2014, 5:09 pm

        blownaway

        Since when did west politicians listened to the folk?

      • Exchequer on July 22, 2014, 8:38 pm

        “Governments don’t matter”…. I wish that were true….

  2. anthonybellchambers on July 22, 2014, 2:31 pm

    In view of the latest international media news of PRIMA FACIE war crimes by Israel in Gaza, the Israeli prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must be indicted and brought before the ICC.

    Schools and hospitals have been destroyed and their students and patients killed. There is also evidence of banned armaments having been used. It is a horrific atrocity carried out for political gain and is now time for the UN and the EU to act decisively to enact an embargo on all bilateral trade with the Netanyahu government.

  3. seafoid on July 22, 2014, 2:39 pm

  4. bopfromthedarkside on July 22, 2014, 3:34 pm

    As an American, I am deeply ashamed that my government has supported this savagery. And to think we bought these beasts nuclear weapons! May God be with you, Palestine and Gaza.

    • on July 22, 2014, 7:01 pm

      Actually, Israel’s nuclear weapons program was built from technology and raw material stolen from the Numec Plant in PA in the early to mid 1960s by Zalman Shapira and other like-minded “Americans”. This after JFK had made it a point to let Israel know he expected the Middle East to remain nuke free.

  5. Kay24 on July 22, 2014, 3:44 pm

    CALL IN WEEK FOR GAZA 21 – 25 JULY

    1. Contact President Obama at (202) 456-1111 and the State Department at (202) 647-4000. Demand that they immediately withdraw U.S. military aid from Israel and call on Israel to immediately end its attacks. Tell them to stop supporting Israel’s crimes with our tax dollars.

    2. Call the Egyptian Embassy at (202) 895-5400 and demand they open the Rafah border for injured Palestinians in need of urgent medical care. Alternate number: (
    202) 966-6342.

    3. Call Boeing. Boeing provides Israel with F-15A fighter jets, Apache AH 64 helicopters, tungsten or DIMEbombs to attack Gaza. Boeing’s headquarters are located in Chicago. Contact Boeing at (312) 544-2140 and demand they stop giving Israel weapons to use against civilians in Gaza.

    Go for it anyone who cares.

    • michelle on July 22, 2014, 9:22 pm

      .
      what do ‘our’ armed service people think about all this
      our brave and selfless
      active and vet.
      they have seen and experienced alot
      .
      “They beat up on a weakling, and that’s all they did. The rest is just smokefilled coffee-house crap. They tortured and tormented a weaker kid. They didn’t like him. So, they killed him. ”

      “We joined because we wanted to live our lives by a certain code, and we found it in the Corps. Now you’re asking us to sign a piece of paper that says we have no honor. ”

      “What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong.
      Yeah, we did. We were supposed to fight for the people who couldn’t fight for themselves. ”

      a few good men
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

  6. seafoid on July 22, 2014, 4:07 pm

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/.premium-1.606638#

    “Travelling to beautiful seaside San Diego from Jenin or Jerusalem would ordinarily be a huge treat. But right now, for Mariam, Ayala and other Palestinian and Israeli teenagers participating in the Hands of Peace dialogue program, being far from home is excruciating.
    “It’s been a hard day for me,” 18-year-old Mariam, who is from a religious Muslim family in Jenin, in the West Bank, tells Haaretz in a Skype interview. “Reading posts on Facebook about children and people dying. My mom just called me. The fact that people are dying and no one is doing anything about it …” Her voice trails off and she begins to cry quietly. “

  7. Clif Brown on July 22, 2014, 4:58 pm

    The Chicago turnout, including me, was terrific. The picture you feature was taken in front of the ABC studios of WLS-TV at State and Lake streets. Watching nearby, I didn’t see any reporter/cameraman come out the front door, nor did I see any newsgathering trucks.

    But most interesting – take a look at how this monster demo was written up on the WLS-TV website, pay particular attention to the “Jews in danger” gratuitous inclusion at the end, leaving the implication that those who are pro-Palestinian are, what else? terrorists.

    “CHICAGO (WLS) — Members of the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine staged a rally downtown Sunday afternoon, marching to the Israeli Consulate in the Loop.

    Earlier they staged a “Die-In” outside Tribune Tower to commemorate the Palestinians killed in Gaza.

    Tensions overseas also spilled into the North Side Peterson Park neighborhood, where police were called to the 6300 block of North Monticello Saturday morning after anti-Israel letters were found on six cars.

    An ABC7 Eyewitness News viewer says the letters threatened to bomb Jewish residents in the neighborhood if Israel continued to bomb Gaza.”

    • Exchequer on July 22, 2014, 8:44 pm

      The American Mass Media is always in the business of manufacturing its own ‘truth’. Sometimes by commission, sometimes by omission. What I find personally dismaying is how many of my ‘intelligent’ friends lap it up without question. People who normally consider themselves skeptical and critical.

  8. jdc2408 on July 22, 2014, 5:28 pm

    This is just disgusting, I truly feel sick the more truth I read that my government is the enabler of these crimes. WHY WONT THE REST OF THE WORLD HELP. It was very telling seeing John Kerry make those comments that weren’t intended to be aired about “pin point” strikes. He knows damn well that the only thing the Israelis are pin pointing are the most innocent people in the most populated areas. And to listen to Ron Dermer’s garbage propaganda today was too much. Thanks for telling people to leave there Ron, where exactly do you suggest they go, I bet you’d give orders to shoot any Arab that swims past the buoys. US influence would mean nothing if the rest of the world would take a stand. People in this country need to wake up and stop being the sheep they are.

    • Kay24 on July 22, 2014, 10:37 pm

      Yes, our leaders, including the Congress knows this is a massacre, and that disproportionately, the Palestinians are being slaughtered, at the pretext of looking for Hamas weapons, yet, they have once again given it unwavering support, and are also ready to send the war criminals, MORE aid, so that they are able to kill more Palestinians. It is utterly disgusting. They do this in our name.
      People are not asleep in the US, the are simply brainwashed into thinking that
      the nation fully armed and financed by us, with one of the 10th most powerful military in the world, and who is the 6th biggest arms manufacturer, are the victims of unarmed occupied people. The death toll show 80 percent of those killed are civilians (with a high number of children), so really, there is no doubt we are deliberately taking the side of a brutal war criminal. Israel is one of the most disliked nations of the world, and it keeps showing the world why it deserves to be disliked.

  9. crypticvalentin on July 22, 2014, 10:56 pm

    End The Siege!

  10. traintosiberia on July 23, 2014, 4:18 am

    “. “The MP tweeted: ‘the big question is – if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? – probably yes'”
    Lib Dem MP David Ward is facing disciplinary action for tweeting . He is being condemned both by left and by right. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/22/david-ward-gaza-rocket-tweet

    In 2012, the Lib Dem peer Lady Tonge resigned the whip after refusing to apologise for an outspoken attack against Israel.

    Interesting , the whole Westminister gang could utter in one voice that Israel has a right to defend every time they fly a bomber to the hospital or a school without being thrown out or ridiculed but one could not remind them that Palestinian has exactly the same right .
    The Gestapo gang is out and alive in Europe as much as in Australia,US,and Canada.

  11. michelle on July 23, 2014, 5:18 am

    .
    this is what i’m seeing
    i pray i’m mistaken
    .
    if Israel has it’s way
    after their complete Gaza takeover
    where/who will they target next
    .
    that they are after Gaza is self evident
    they aren’t looking for weapons they are
    clearing the land of buildings and people
    ask yourself why they don’t allow materials to rebuild
    or anything positive for the Palestine peoples future
    their actions aren’t so much conflicts as they are takeovers
    their short term goal is one Israeli Jewish state
    their long term goal may just well be the entire world
    sounds far fetched right
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  12. LanceThruster on July 23, 2014, 7:34 pm

    Hello MW community,

    I have a friend on Facebook who lives in the UK. He (or she as I cannot always tell with names I am unfamiliar with – I promise I will ask at some point) has asked for my help writing a letter to both the local politicians who support Israeli actions against the people of Gaza and local merchants who carry goods from illegal settlements. They have seen my comments on FB and have thanked me for my support of Palestinians and the victims in Gaza. It is clear that English is their second language and thought my help would make for a more compelling letter.

    Could anybody direct me to a template or a petition or a generic appeal that might fight the bill in each of these instances? When someone looks to you as supposedly knowledgeable on an issue, it still starts with knowing where to look for information and assistance. People with compassion and integrity are the same types that helped me in my understanding of the issue and the importance of speaking out.

    I will be sure to invite them to the MW community for guidance and support. I am touched how moved people are at feeling they are not alone in this quest. As those who have read my profile here, years ago I was one who would dismiss condemnations of Israel’s actions as the sour grapes of violent ‘militants.’

    Thank you in advance.

    LT

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