Activists Protest Nazi Attack on Palestinians


Nadya Tannous speaks at San Francisco rally. [Staff Photo Phil Pasquini]

Waging Peace

In San Francisco, some 200 human rights defenders protested March 31 against the Israeli military’s killing of 17 Palestinians, most between the ages of 17 and 35, in Gaza the previous day. More than 1,400 Palestinians were injured in the attack. Some 773 were shot with live ammunition; others with deadly rubber-coated steel bullets.
An estimated 30,000 Gazans participated in the March 30 rally commemorating “Land Day,” when on that day in 1976 Israeli soldiers killed six Palestinians protesting the Israeli takeover of their land. This year’s rally also marked the beginning of a six-week remembrance of the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe), when Israel officially became a state and expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.
Sporting Palestinian keffiyehs, waving Palestinian flags and carrying signs reading “Let Gaza Live” and “Support the Palestinian Right of Return,” the protesters denounced the killings and Israel’s more than decade-old blockade of the beleaguered 140-square-mile enclave, and demanded that Palestinians be given the right to return to their homes within Israel.
“We’re standing by Palestinians who are demanding their right to return to their land,” Nadya Tannous, education and advocacy coordinator with Interfaith Peace-Builders, told the crowd. “We know that returning home is not a crime.”
Charging that the U.S. government is “equally as guilty for the massacre which took place in Gaza yesterday as is the Israeli armed forces,” Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition’s West Coast coordinator Richard Becker noted: “Without the emboldening projections coming from Washington to the Israeli leaders, I don’t think they would feel they could do everything they are doing right now.” Becker also pointed out that prior to the Gaza march’s start, Jason Greenblatt—former New York real estate lawyer for Donald Trump, now chief negotiator for the United States in the Middle East—issued a statement calling the march “a hostile attack on Israel.” To the Israelis, as well as the Palestinians, Becker said, that translates as a message from Washington that Israel “can do whatever you want; we stand behind you.”
Linda Ereikat of the General Union of Palestinian Students at San Francisco State University condemned Israel as a settler colonialist power which has committed “settler colonial genocide” for 70 years. “We’re here today to protest genocide and to tell the world that Palestinians are human beings,” she said. “We’re here because time and time again Gaza is forgotten.”
The rally was organized by the ANSWER Coalition, the Arab Resource and  Organizing Center (AROC) and the Palestine Action Network.
—Elaine Pasquini

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In San Francisco, Palestinian supporters denounce Israel’s killing of Gaza protesters. [Staff Photos Phil Pasquini]

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In San Francisco, Palestinian supporters denounce Israel’s killing of Gaza protesters. [Staff Photos Phil Pasquini]


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