Protest against the January 2009 attack on Gaza


Well, the Israeli attack on Gaza began a few hours after our march concluded, so this was a last oppotunity to express our disapproval before the ground invasion began.

rally begins
Opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute are so entrenched that any single outbreak of violence is automatically evaluated through a pre-existing lens, shaped by one's typically immovable beliefs about which side bears most of the blame for the conflict generally or "who started it."  Still, any minimally decent human being -- even those who view the world through the most blindingly pro-Israeli lens possible, the ones who justify anything and everything Israel does, and who discuss these events with a bottomless emphasis on the primitive (though dangerous) rockets lobbed by Hamas into Southern Israel but without even mentioning the ongoing four-decades brutal occupation or the recent, grotesquely inhumane blockade of Gaza -- would find the slaughter of scores of innocent Palestinians to be a horrible and deeply lamentable event.


Democratic voters overwhelmingly oppose the Israeli offensive -- by a 24-point margin (31-55%).  By stark constrast, Republicans, as one would expect (in light of their history of supporting virtually any proposed attack on Arabs and Muslims), overwhelmingly support the Israeli bombing campaign (62-27%).


And a very welcome comment I found extemely hopeful [emphases added]

Donna Edwards, the newly elected, netroots-supported Democratic Congresswoman from Maryland, who removed the standard establishment Democratic incumbent Al Wynn from office this year, has the following to say about Israel/Gaza:

I am deeply disturbed by this week's escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip, as I have been by the ongoing rocket fire into southern Israel. To support Israel and to ease the humanitarian crisis facing the people of Gaza, the United States must work actively for an immediate ceasefire that ends the violence, stops the rockets, and removes the blockade of Gaza.

That's much further than most national Democrats have been willing to go.  And it illustrates that primary challenges can -- slowly but meaningfully -- change the face of the Democratic Party.


Counterinsurgency, now popular again among in the Pentagon, is another way of saying the suppression of national liberation struggles. Terror and intimidation are as essential to it as is winning hearts and minds.
...there have been large demonstrations in Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq. The people of the Arab world will not forget. The Palestinians will not forget. "All that you have done to our people is registered in our notebooks," as the poet Mahmoud Darwish said.


[The Israelis] will want to completely dismantle all vestiges of Hamas power and, presumably, restore Fatah to power in the Strip. I can't imagine how this can be accomplished, although it might result, eventually, in an end to split government among the Palestinians. But 'eventually' can be a very long time and 'might' is a very loaded word.
Since I cannot envision a likely scenario in which this invasion will ultimately save more lives than it costs (on either side, or in total), I have no choice but to condemn it as a morally unacceptable decision.

marching together

Marching in solidarity. The group sponsoring this rally/march is the International Action Center. The new Philadelphia anti-war organization, Philly Against War, contributed some members to the march. The NW Greens were quite concerned about their Green Party 2008 Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, having her boat rammed while trying to land in Gaza.


Oh, and if you're wondering how the guy who's still the President is viewed by former friends and allies, Iyad Allawi, who "was hand-picked by Bush to head the interim Iraqi government in the summer of 2004," says:

“Yes, Bush’s policies failed utterly,” said Allawi, describing the U.S. administration that once backed him. “Utter failure. Failure of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, including fighting terrorism and economic policy. His insistence on names like ‘democracy’ and ‘open elections’, without giving attention to political stability, was a big mistake. It cast shadows on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Egypt, and I believe this will be remembered in history as President Bush’s policy,” he said.

 at Fox News

The march ended at Fox News, probably because that station is so closely aligned with the current administration.

and called it a day

And then called it a day. Wish I could say that we made a difference, even though it's well worth doing in any event.