Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gaza Protest

Today we went to a protest of Israel's invasion of Gaza. Several thousand protesters gathered in front of the Victoria State Library to listen to speeches and hand out leaflets for other protests. Then the crowd marched several blocks to the Egyptian consulate for more speeches, and finished up at the Parliament building for a few more speeches.

The tenor of the speeches was that Israel was an imperialist oppressor. The secular speeches were strongly anti-Israel, and the master of ceremonies went so far as to denounce the two-state solution and praise Palestinian resistance. The liberal church people were the ones who called for peace and restraint on both sides. And the only person who denounced the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel as well as Israel's attacks on Gaza was the Mufti of Australia and New Zealand. He was ill, so his speech was read by another. The line criticizing Israel's attacks brought cheers. The line condemning Hamas' attacks was met with silence.

The United States came in for a bit of bashing, but it was secondary. There were many signs that went beyond the radicalism of the speakers, including quite a few that equated Zionism and Nazism.

I will post pictures later.

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