Israeli, Palestinian Community Come Together to Protest Israeli Action in Gaza
Around 150 Demonstrators Rally in Front of Israeli Consulate
Thin, sincere, and remarkably unfazed by the hundreds of people before her, 10-year-old Adan Alhjooj was one of a plethora of speakers, Jewish and Palestinian alike, who denounced Israeli actions in Gaza outside the Israeli consulate in Westmount July 25.
The protest was organized by a collective called Tadamon. The name means “solidarity” in Arabic, and according to their website the group “works in solidarity with struggles for self-determination, equality and justice in the ‘Middle East.’”
The steps leading to the Israeli consulate were flooded with protesters. A series of speakers addressed the crowd by megaphone, punctuated by emphatic chanting.Later in the protest, two representatives of Demilitarize McGill spoke to the crowd by megaphone of Canada’s role in the conflict.
“Although the conflict is taking place at a considerable distance from Montreal, concrete evidence of the military-industrial complex, which makes such acts possible, exists right here in this city,” said Cadence O’Neal.
“Canada is complicit in Israeli apartheid, and its elite research universities are no exception,” she told the crowd. “Here in Montreal, McGill University collaborates with the army and weapons manufacturers to develop some of the technologies essential to Israel’s murderous insurgence in Gaza.”
About a dozen protesters held up an enormous flag covered with signatures. One such protester, who identified himself as Taha, said, “You can tell the story of Palestine from here; there are names of villages of where [people are] from, where their grandparents and their great-grandparents lived in Palestine for hundreds of years.”
One speaker explained to the crowd that pictures of the flag would be sent to a Palestinian TV station after the protest, and encouraged those attending to write statements on it.
Many protesters sported small white squares, signifying support for a cease-fire.
“My team and I are distributing the white squares; it’s a message of peace, above all for the cease fire, because what’s happening right now is genocide,” Alicia Bruno explained to The Link.
“I am just so devastated by what is happening in Gaza, and the killing of Palestinians,” said Abby Lippman, research associate at Concordia’s Simone de Beauvoir institute and board member of The Centre for Gender Advocacy.
“I’m just so angry that Israel is committing these crimes, and I’m angry that people are saying that the Jews want this to happen. So I’m here as a secular jew, to show my protest,” she explained.
The Concordia Student Union recently voted to hold a position “against the disproportionate use of force, the use of chemical weapons, the illegal settlements in Palestine and the blockade on Gaza all caused by the state of Israel.”