Monday, July 24, 2006

Saturday Protest Pictures

The Saturday protest started on time, weaving it's way past ROM and the Israeli consulate and stopping at the US consulate. What was surprising was that given how angry some of the protestors were (they after all had family members still being bombed and killed) the protest managed to pass off quite peacefully. The Druze, Christians and Muslims (Sunni and Shite) of the Lebanese community were there, protesting, as were some Christian and Jewish (!) marchers. In the Middle East these groups would be fighting each other. Here in Canada they march together peacefully, get angry at the government and then go for work. That's the beauty of 'freedom of speech'.

There was a strong NDP presence at the rally (and these are communities that traditionally vote Liberal). After Warren Kinsella managed to obtain from some of the Liberal candidates statements unilaterally supporting Israel (kudos to Martha Hall Findlay for not falling into the trap) many people were angry at Joe Volpe. I remember Volpe coming to our mosque and issuing blunt statements that he was 'with us'. That kind of ethnical politics can backfire spectacularly, as he no doubt will find out. I don't have a problem with candidates such as Bob Rae supporting Israel. He has been very clear on this issue and we can disagree on some things, but what really irks me is when politicians try to play both sides and be hypocritical.


Sign saying 'bombing Canadians is NOT a measured response'.


What surprised me was the presence of a large number of Jewish protestors.


The NDP had a strong presence at the rally, here represented by MP Peggy Nash.


More Jewish protestors.


What's a Bantustan? But the map was interesting.


A Jewish rabbi and a Shite Imam speak. The placard to the left had an interesting drawing of a 'BBC' missile.


The vibrant (and angry) Lebanese community of Toronto were loudly present.


Some of the pictures were heart wrenching, especially those of babies bombed that the media won't carry.

(Photos courtesy: L.C.)

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10 comments:

s.b. said...

A 'Bantustan' is a region for blacks to live in aparteid South Africa. It is not equivalent to the occupied territories at all, but is very very very similar historically and politically to native 'Reserves' in Canada. The colonial history of South Africa and Canada is historically linked both becoming sovereign nations under the commonwealth in 1867. Canadian domestic policy towards natives and South African policy toward blacks was an exact mirror of each other until the I believe 1968 or 69 when South Africa developed the policy of seperation or "apartied" in Africans. This required blacks to remain in the bantustans and obtian 'passes' to work elsewhere, while all people of colour except Japanese, who were determined to be white, were required to carry identification cards. Inter-racial marriage was banned and blacks were disenfranchised. South Africa became more of a Fascistic Nazi-like regime with regards to blacks while Canada slowly but surely moved to give Natives more developmental economic and land rights, language rights, free access to higher education, financial damages etc. Much too slowly, but moving in the opposite direction as S.A.

Anyways, Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West bank is completely different. Requiring people who are not citzens of your country to have id to enter and have work permits is standard for any country. It's not aparteid.

mezba said...

Shoshana,

Thanks for the information.

EX-NDIP said...

Trust the NDP and the anti-everything wackos, who have their own distorted view of reality!!! Lebanon has contributed to its own problems, and its too bad you people can't apply the same standards to say Syria, Iran or Saudi Arabia as you do to Canada.

The very idea that Lebanon is an innocent bystander in the war against Israel won't wash. Lebanon is host to the terrorist aggressor which has sworn to eliminate Israel and its Jews from the face of the earth. This is the explicit creed of both Hezbollah and its sponsor Iran. And not just in their charter or in statements made months or years ago. Iran's little dictator reiterated the threat even yesterday in the midst of Islam's aggressive war against the Jews: "Israel has pushed the button of its own destruction. The Zionists made their worst decision and triggered their extinction by attacking Lebanon." (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=108152) Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government, occupying two cabinet positions and seats in its parliament. The Lebanese government agreed to enforce UN Resolution 1559 which calls on it to disarm all militias on its territory, namely Hezbollah. If the Lebanese Government had performed this obligation, there would be no war, and there would be no Lebanese civilian casualties.

Instead the Lebanese government allowed Hezbollah to build its headquarters and underground bunkers in the populated neighborhoods of Beirut. It allowed Hezbollah to import 13,000 missiles to be fired into Israel's cities and towns. The 75,000-man Lebanese army has not sealed off the Syrian border and, according to reports, has allowed Syria to re-supply Hezbollah in the midst of its aggression. The Lebanese government has allowed Hezbollah to build underground fortresses on its southern border in position to attack. It has allowed Hezbollah to launch rockets into the towns of northern Israel to terrorize and kill innocent civilians.

Manitoba Liberal said...

The NDP can have the anti-semetic wackaloons holding signs asking Canada to reject the state of "Isreal". The Liberal Party has always stood for a Jewish state and has since 1948.

Kyle Carruthers said...

I think its kind of sad that you would put a picture of a Israeli flag with a line across it with the caption "Judaism rejects... the state of Israel". If you dont even recognize Israel's right to exist you have no credibility.

mezba said...

Ex-NDP: You know my views regarding the current conflict, no use reiterating here that I think bombinb civilians and infrastructure and killing babies is not a 'measured response'.

Man. Lib: I am not rejecting the state of Israel. I am rejecting the indiscriminate bombing of civilians now - in this current conflict. That's two different things.

Kyle: The Judaism rejects Zionism was not a sign put forward by me but by some Jewish protestors. I thought the caption made it very clear. I am not promoting or discarding any signs, just reporting. Again, most of the protestors are marching against the killing going on in Lebanon that our PM calls a 'measured response' - not against the state of Israel's right to exist. Two very different issues.

Kyle Carruthers said...

Mez,

No offence, but the message on that board was pretty clear, and by putting it up on your blog you delegitimize the protest (not to mention yourself).

I think that before you can criticize Israel for being "indiscriminate" in its operations you need to simulataneously critcize Hamas and Hezbollah (which I have not seen you do). If Israel is "indiscriminate" in its actions, then those two groups show a wanton disregard for innocent civilians. Where is your criticism of them? Oh thats right! Just like the blindly pro-Israel wingnuts you focus on the crimes of your opponents and ignore those of your own. You do realize that your position is no better than Harper's right? Until you inject balance into your opinions you have no credibility.

My personal position is that Israel must be like a surgeon. I fully support its battle against Hamas and Hezbollah, but certainly wish it would be more careful about how it goes about it. It has every right to defend its civilian population against the barbarians that are Hamas and Hezbollah. That being said one Israeli life is of equal value to the life of someone from Palestine or Lebanon.

But lets not forget who provoked this latest outbreak of violence.

mezba said...

Hi Kyle,

I thank you for the respectful tone of your comments.

I don't think I need to publish any reports or comments about atrocities by anti-Israel forces, there are thousands of blogs publishing those and if anyone needs to they can read those and form their opinions. I have not seen too many blogs or mainstream media discussing the point of view from the civilian perspective, which is why I do so.

Moreover, I chose not to get involved in the conflict. However, Harper has chosen to get Canada involved in this, much to my charign, which is why most of my protests has been against Canada's blind support for one side. If it were upto me, we would go back to sitting on the fence. There's too much history of bloodshed here to just castigate one side.

And for the record, I do not have much knowledge of Judaism to know whether it would support Zionism or not. I just find it interesting that some Jews would hold that view.

mezba said...

And Kyle,

I have not shied away from criticizing religious extremists, whatever their badge, as can be seen here, here and here.

Kyle Carruthers said...

My views on the Israel-Palestine dispute generally: http://northernliberal.blogspot.com/2006/07/opinions-are-like-holes-everyones-got.html