Sunday, January 11, 2009

Against the genocide of Gaza, in Madrid

Madrid 01/11/09
David Seaton's News Links
There was a big demonstration in Madrid today against Israel's massacre of Gaza, with an estimated crowd of 250,000 people.

The demonstration marched behind a banner that read, "Paremos el genocidio palestino", "Let's end the Palestinian genocide".

It was a cold morning bathed in Madrid's amazingly beautiful January light. My wife and I went and I took a couple of pictures. I hope that it did some good. DS


Marcy said...

Bravo. Sometimes all you can do is to bear witness.

Anonymous said...

Cambodia lost some 1.5 million people out of a land of some 4 million. That is a genocide, albeit self-inflicted.

In comparison, Gaza, however tragic, is a skirmish.

The terrified inhabitants of Gaza say that no one cares what happens to them. Inherent in the Gaza conflict is that it gives them a very mild taste of what it must have been like to be a Jew in Europe during WWII. The problem for such a Jew was that the Nazis did indeed care what happened to that Jew -- they were seeking to eradicate him -- not dropping leaflets giving the people a chance to avoid the areas of greatest danger.

To say that Gaza is a genocide is to demean the tragedy of Gaza by introducing an element of falsity. The same for the attempts to claim that Israel is targeting civilians when the truth is that Israel is doing its limited best to keep civilian casualties at a minimum. In thirteen days of war, if Israel were indeed 'targeting' civilians the casualties would indeed be hundreds of thousands.

My people, the Quakers, fled religious persecution across an ocean in sailing ships. I am now asked to view as gravely wronged a group of people who were forced to move a few miles. Those Arabs who did remain in Israel were not gravely persecuted although they have not received their full civil due either.

In viewing both peoples as equal it does need to be recognized that centuries old Jewish communities in Arab countries were also forced to flee and their descendants are as deserving of a right of return. If the right of return of each group were offset against that of the other there would be a right of return for some 200,000 Palestinians.

Further,by allowing immigration of both groups the United States of America and providing aid the United States can be viewed as having provided some amount of reparation for the decision of those Jews who emigrated to Israel to steal land as the lesser of evils to remaining in Europe and trusting that they would not again face the threat of eradication.
The Palestinians are very much against the balancing of suffering until -- as now with the rockets versus the invasion in self defense it tells in their favor. They claim surprise at Israel's attempt destroy Hamas' ability and/or will to rocket but it is simply a political reality -- something like a law of nature like gravity -- that if you shoot rockets at your neighbor's children from whatever source of grievance, if your neighbor is stronger than you he will eventually come after you without any great degree of tenderness.

That said, there is a huge difference between justifiability and wisdom of a course of action.