As I wrote in the post just before this, I am aware that some people are organising in Bermuda to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Gaza in the face of Israeli aggression. At the time of posting I hadn’t checked my email, so I didn’t know about the confirmation on times and locations. I do now, and I don’t think they’ll have a problem with me advertising the details here, so here it is:
This Saturday, January 10, 2009, there will be a support rally for the Palestinians in Gaza, on the steps of City Hall in Hamilton from 1p.m.- 3p.m.
Guest speakers have been invited and there will be an open mic for the public to express their thoughts on the crisis in Gaza.
We encourage all those who support this cause to come out and show their support.
This rally is being organized by the Bermuda Palestinian Support Group.
Thank you once again for your support.
I’ll tackle some of these issues in more depth in the follow -up post ‘Eyeless in Gaza – Part Two’ but I thought I should just touch on some of the more obvious ones now.
Demonstrating in solidarity with the people of Gaza and Palestine as a whole is not the same as demonstrating in support of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or anything like that. Politically speaking I have some severe disagreements with the ideology and tactics of these two groups. I am more aligned with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second largest of the groups composing the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Nonetheless, I think that Israel’s actions are both disproportionate in response to the pinpricks of Hamas’ rockets, and effectively an act of state terrorism against the civilian population and infrastructure of Gaza. I am no friend of Hamas, but in the asymmetric warfare of the current conflict, my sympathies lie with the people of Gaza. Solidarity with Palestine is not support for Hamas and its rockets.
The issue is not as clear-cut as a battle between Islamic radicalism steeped in anti-semitism towards Israel. There are indeed some anti-semites who are exploiting this conflict for their own interests, but the vast majority of people reject their arguments and see the issue as primarily one of overwhelming military force against a largely defenceless people with multiple tragic civilian deaths. Secondarily the conflict can be seen as a form of Israeli imperialism (more on this tomorrow, I promise), as well as having direct relations to global geo-politics.
Why demonstrate? – Bermuda is do far removed… This is a common refrain from somein Bermuda, so content in their comfortable lives that they fail to recognise that (a) what happens elsewhere may happen here (in a way) one day; (b) what happens elsewhere has repercussions here; and (c) Bermuda may be indirectly involved in this conflict, certainly the UK and the USA are. Beyond that, I think most people share a sense of human solidarity against injustice, and I cannot think of any other way to describe the tragedy unfolding in Gaza.
As I said, I’ll write more on this tomorrow. Beyond that, I hope that this demonstration has a good turn-out, and that, as small a gesture as it may be coming from Bermuda, it helps in some way to resolving the issues over there.