“You don’t have to be of a certain faith or ethnic group to support the Palestinians, you just have to be human”

22 Nov

In light of the recent humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip, Eclipse News is devoting a whole week to covering Palestinian topics. Most of Canada’s mainstream media are complicit in Israeli war crimes and have utterly failed in their responsibility to report on the truth.

The following article is the first in this week’s special Palestine coverage.

By Evan Zenobia

OTTAWA – Grief hung in the air outside the University of Ottawa’s Morisset Library on Wednesday, as over one hundred activists gathered for a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of the latest Gaza crisis.

With a huge Palestinian flag draped over concrete steps illuminated by candles, speakers solemnly devoted the event to the memories and the families of all those who have been killed—both Palestinian and Israeli—in the recent escalation of violence. Speakers made sure, however, to draw attention to the enormous imbalance between the numbers of casualties in each group: of the over 150 people who have been killed thus far, only five have been Israeli.

The humanitarian dimension of the crisis gripped the crowd, and some were moved to tears as they heard the names of relatives and friends in the list of victims.

“You don’t have to be of a certain faith or ethnic group to support the Palestinians,” said the representative from the Muslim Student Association, “you just have to be human.”

And indeed, the general mood among the vigil’s participants did not seem to be driven by religious or ethnic zeal, but by general humanitarian compassion.

“Once it’s over, give it 20 years, it will be remembered as a humanitarian tragedy,” said a political science student.

Still, there was no absence of hostility towards Israel’s military manoeuvres, which were roundly condemned as excessively violent and as war crimes. Speakers pointed to the Palestinian children killed in Israeli strikes as well as they miserable conditions of poverty and desperation endured by Gazans.

Not everyone there felt the blame should fall entirely on Israel, however. An Israel-sympathizer who observed the tail-end of the event told Eclipse News that “it’s great that this event is commemorating both sides,” but that he was concerned that too much blame was laid at Israel defeat.

“Hamas has taken no interest in governing Gaza,” he said, and argued that Israel has a right to defend itself from the Qassam rockets launched from the Gaza Strip.

The representative from the MSA, however, expresses a different view. “The people of Gaza want peace, but they want peace with justice,” she said. Certainly, the vigil did not celebrate or seek to justify violence on any side.

As the vigil came to a close, activists arranged the candles to spell out “free Gaza.” But with Israel’s tide blockade around the enclave and unconditional support from the Canadian government to Israel, liberty is likely still distant for the people of Gaza.

For balanced coverage of the Palestinian conflict, vigil participants recommend journalist Harry Fear, or to follow Palestinians through social media.

Don’t trust Sun Media.

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One Response to ““You don’t have to be of a certain faith or ethnic group to support the Palestinians, you just have to be human””

  1. Nadine Lumley November 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    The reason the right-wing government in Israel gets away with murder is because everyone is so scared of being called an anti-semite. I’m not anti-semite; I’m anti-murder.

    Support for Israel (aka right-wing corporate-owned government hiding behind the Zionist movement) equals support for war crimes against Palestine.

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