Saturday, July 22, 2006

July 22 Peace Rallies

Australia witnessed 3 peace rallies; in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, which had the largest attendees with a whopping 15,000. This is from the Sunday Herald;

Addressing the huge gathering, organiser Ibrahim Constantine said peace was the only way forward for the embattled region.
"We are marching today, Christian and Muslims united as one, marching to give peace a chance," Mr Constantine said.
"This is a war that Israel will not win. This is a war that no one will win.
Organisers predicted up to 20,000 people would attend, but police placed official numbers at about 15,000.
At the start of the demonstration, organisers stressed the protest would be a peaceful one and warned demonstrators not to burn flags.
Police praised all involved, saying their cooperation ensured the event was peaceful and without incident.

Sadly, this united peace rally is not to be seen here, this is from the San Jose Mercury News;

Arab American group is organizing a rally today and next Friday in front of the federal building in San Jose to call for a cease-fire in the violence between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militant group. A major Muslim civil rights group also had asked its members to lobby their legislators to condemn Israel, accusing it of ``terrorism.''

In contrast, the Jewish community has called for Israeli solidarity rallies in San Francisco and San Jose on Sunday. Smaller gatherings are scheduled at temples throughout the week.
The recent battles -- with their dramatic escalation, rising death toll and worsening Arab-Israeli tensions -- has elicited fierce loyalties on both sides.
``When there's a crisis going on, the community needs each other,'' said Jyl Jurman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley.

She recently sent an e-mail reminding people that ``As American Jews, it is our role to speak out in support of Israel, and counteract any anti-Israel bias we hear or read about.''

I have been pondering over that the whole day. Why is it, that so many Jews rally behind Israel even in the face of so much evidence of its violence towards Palestinians. Of course, I am talking about the government's policies and actions. Why are so many Jewish people who do not even live in Israel are so cavalier about 'supporting Israel' and totally disregard people's lives on both sides? I feel very conflicted myself as I see ordinary Israelis and Palestinians and Lebanese bearing the brunt of a pro-war propaganda machine here (US) and abroad, obviously feeling that the threat of Hezbullah is the best reason for 'defending themselves'. However, how did Hezbullah come about? Why do terrorist groups arise? Nothing happens in a vacuum and many times over, anywhere terrorism is a response to the inability to particpate in any legitimate (or usually the lack of an existing one) government procedure. I have so many serious (not meaning in an accusatory manner) questions, on both sides really, that I want to ask.. hence my attempt to get the blogger round table started. Which, realistically, as both Israelis and Lebanese and Gaza bloggers are in war right now (yes, it's called a crisis, I am calling it war) so this is not the best time to get people to participate. Once the dust settles, I think it will serve better to engage in discourse. Until then, I will still invite people and hope that in my very limited way, I can forge some sort of understanding or middle ground as to where to go next. I really would like to see that myself..
peace to all of you.. I feel very helpless indeed.


Blogger zazou said...

Very good points. I am very happy to say that at least in San Diego, there are several groups, Jewish and otherwise, who look at the situation and take a stand based on its merits. I am thinking of the Palestinian-Jewish dialog group, the North County Peace and Justice Coalition, the producers behind the amazing independent cable/satellite show, Alternative Focus. So, groups are out there...

1:17 AM  
Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

I found the following on the San Diego IndyMedia site. There's supposed to be a 2pm protest on Sunday at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center at 2pm. Click here for the link to the article and some not-so-nice pictures of what's happening in Lebanon.

1:39 AM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

You shouldn't feel helpless. While it is true that as individuals, none of can really do anything, the point is that by blogging calmly and compassionately you are contributing to, and helping to create, a culture of discourse and dialogue, and *that* is certainly very important in helping resolve the crisis.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Thanks guys for stopping by. Heathlander, thx for the reminder of why I started up this blog, what a perfect line and I am going to have to use that "a culture of discourse".. that is what will differentiate bloggers from so many media outlets. (especially the Fox types with their loud and bombastic talk shows) You've straightened my back a little!
Zazou, that is good to hear. Perhaps a focus on those who are the peace makers ought to be a good start. Thanks for that contribution. It's the weekend, the family is home and I find myself 'sneeking' some time here and there for research but hey, how much can I really do? I'll try to find some more examples because I seem to remember that up in Michigan, this conflict divided an existing dialogue between Arab and Jewish groups..
Robster! Long time no 'see'. I have 'left you alone' thinking you're busy (re)writing.. probably couldn't stay away from the blogs could you? I checked out the link and you know what? I think counter protests might not really be effective. People will automatically dig themselves in and I think the key is to hone in on those who want to dialogue, and not argue for 'being right'. It is one of the most difficult things to let go of. That said, if you can, go and take some pics. Hopefully the counter protest will be peaceful otherwise it'll be more fuel to the fire. Tell 'm, think like Ghandi. WWGD??(what would Ghandi do?)

10:31 AM  
Blogger zazou said...

BTW, for those interested (Robbie?), there's a teach-in Thursday night. I posted details.

And Ingrid, posting details of the rallies is a great help- that way people know there is world-wide movement. It may not save anyone today, but it does have an impact on tomorrow.

12:49 PM  
Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

I don't get off work until 9pm PST. Will that be too late, Zazou?

Ingrid, I rewrote the first three chapters yesterday (again) and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I'm sending it, a synopsis, a brief bio, and an outline to a publisher tomorrow morning.

If all goes well, then they'll do it. If not, I'll likely self-publish it later this year.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Zazou, if I have time I'll try to get more details, if not, people who are already inclined to participate will do so anyway.
Robbie, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

4:32 PM  
Blogger zazou said...

Hi Robbie- not sure but drop by anyway because I imagine the discussion will go on for awhile. Congrats on teh manuscript! What is it about?

6:27 PM  
Blogger zazou said...


here's the info:Teach-In
Solidarity with the Peoples of
Lebanon and Palestine
Thursday, July 27, 2006, 7:00 PM
Four Point Sheraton, 8110 Aero Drive, 92123

The Israeli military has been waging
a devastating terror campaign
against Gaza and Lebanon. It has
killed hundreds of innocent civilians,
destroyed hospitals, airports, ports,
highways, power stations, fuel
depots, gas stations, government
offices, tens of residential
neighborhoods. In addition, Israel
has enforced a total siege around
Gaza and Lebanon, preventing
humanitarian international aid from
reaching the civilian population.

· Doris Bittar: Palestinian and Lebanese Resistance
· Nasser Barghouti and Farid Abdel-Nour: Political Analysis of the
· Marjorie Cohn and Jonathan Graubart: The Role of the US and
International Law
· Nadia Keilani: The Iraq War Factor
· Material Aid Campaign

Thursday, July 27, 2006, 7:00 PM
Four Point Sheraton, 8110 Aero Drive, 92123

(Interstate 805, exit at Balboa Avenue. Turn Right on Kearny Villa Road.
Turn Left onto Aero Drive. At the first signal light, turn left into the hotel.)

Partial List of Sponsoring Organizations: ADC San Diego, San
Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice, International Socialist
Organization, Activist San Diego, National Lawyers Guild San
Diego Chapter, International Action Center

For more information, contact the ADC on

6:30 PM  

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