I’ve never attended the annual protest at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington DC, and I was ambivalent about attending this year.
AIPAC is the notoriously strong Israeli lobby that successfully (from its perspective) bamboozles our members of Congress into towing Israel’s objectives, even when they arguably may not be in the US interest to do so. I’ve written about AIPAC here, here and here (among other posts).
I hopped on the train in Baltimore and arrived at the Convention Center in Washington, DC a couple of hours after the protest was announced to begin. I decided to go as an observer, wearing my keffiyeh but not carrying a sign.
The protest was noisy (YEAH!) and there appeared to be a number of different groups involved (YEAH!).
I was left with two big impressions: (1) The large number of American Jews standing and yelling outside the convention center must have given the Jews inside a moment of pause. I hope that fact also makes our elected officials stop and think.
(2) The youth are not only the future of this movement to end the occupation, they have stepped up and are now the leaders. It’s time for the old folks to take a back seat.
A woman holding the sign of a martyr killed in Ramallah by Israel last week really moved me. I don’t know if she was a family member or someone raising awareness of the ongoing killing of Palestinians, almost daily. Can my Congresswoman and two Senators not see the horrible nature of this occupation?
The young man was known as Abu Saleh, his nickname. He was the only child in the family.
Imagine you’re a Palestinian. You have every right to resist. In fact, it’s your civil duty. No argument there. The occupied people’s right to resist occupation is secured in natural justice, in the morals of history and in international law. Read opinion here.
I’m thinking of so many people I met in Gaza (9/12 – 5/13) and wondering how they are managing in the aftermath of the horrific massacres and devastation this summer. The LameStream media has left Gaza, and the donors will be circling in Cairo soon but no one from Gaza will be there, and Israel is violating the ceasefire with impunity. Where is the justice?
Palestinians are now facing a winter without shelter, and dirty, unsafe water. Medical supplies are nearly non-existent, and electricity is considered a luxury. A LUXURY!
Unseen, however, is the trauma from Israel’s 51 days of shelling. My heart aches for the fear and numbness many of these children must have felt, and will feel, for the foreseeable future.
Americans can help make a little dent in the healing process by participating in the UNRWA-USA Gaza Solidarity 5K run/walk in San Francisco on October 18 or Los Angeles/Orange County on October 25.
By participating, you will directly support UNRWA’s psycho-social support program to provide these children with critically needed counseling services, offering them a safe space to express their emotions and fears, and the opportunity to work with trained counselors to learn valuable coping skills.
If you can’t join the festivities, you can participate by supporting one of the teams running. Check out this link to choose a team and make your online donation. And here’s the team I’m supporting.
We are running and donating in the name of our beloved cousin Mohammad Abu Khdeir, a 16 yr old boy who was brutally taken from us by Israeli settlers on July 2, 2014 and for all Palestinian children who will never get to grow up, and the ones who were forced to grow up too soon. #FreePalestine #FreeGaza #Justice4Mohammad
PLEASE! Open your pocketbook and support these young people in Gaza.
There are many, many, many others I’m thinking of and praying that they’re OK!