Activism

Over 30,000 people tuned into a virtual rally calling for an end to the Gaza blockade

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On March 30, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), MPower Change, and other Palestinian solidarity groups held a virtual rally to call for an end to the blockade on Gaza. Over 500 people attended the online event, and over 30,000 have viewed it over Facebook. Speakers included Linda Sarsour (MPower Change), Dr. Mona Qasim El-Farr (Middle East Children’s Alliance), and Salem Barameh (Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy)

Zoom Rally to #SpreadSolidarity with incredible speakers from around the world call for an end to the Gaza Blockade this Palestine Land Day.

Posted by Jewish Voice for Peace on Monday, March 30, 2020

In addition to the rally, JVP also released a petition that has already been signed by over 15,000 people. It calls on Israel to lift its embargo on Gaza in response to the COVID-19 crisis. “This crisis has been building since Israel’s life-threatening blockade began 13 years ago, and the U.S. is complicit,” it reads.

In conjunction with the rally, a number of Twitter users are using the platform to call on Congress to take action. Using the hashtag #SpreadSolidarity, individuals are tweeting at their elected officials over the blockade.

 

Gaza has only confirmed ten cases of the virus so far, but the situation could quickly devolve into a disaster as a result of the blockade. “The Palestinians of Gaza have no room to practice the social distancing recommended by public health experts, and their health care system, which for decades has been starved of resources, will be unable to cope,” wrote Neve Gordon in The Nation recently, It is also very unlikely that other countries will reach out to help, given their own virus crisis and the unfolding global economic meltdown.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=nhmD0To_siw&feature=emb_logo Video: “Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the coronavirus” The legal status of “Israel’s” now 15 year blockade of the Gaza Strip: The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective… Read more »

Ironically, maybe Israel’s imposed isolation of the people of Gaza from the rest of the world will work in Gaza’s favor for once. That’s not to say that there isn’t a crisis brewing nor that Israel doesn’t have a moral and humanitarian responsibility to provide what these people need to survive this pandemic with the least loss of life. But, by putting these people in the equivalent of solitary confinement, maybe the spread of the… Read more »