On January 11th, 2009, I joined Deena Guzder at the Hong Kong demonstration against Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
Here is a news story from the local Standard.
Below is the speech I gave at the Amnesty International demonstration a week later…
Israel’s own Intelligence and Terrorism Centre has admitted that Hamas itself did not fire any rockets during the ceasefire last year. Since 2005, rockets launched from Gaza have killed 12 Israelis in total. Despite these facts, Israel itself broke the ceasefire and embarked upon a massive, disproportionate attack on the occupied territory killing over 1,200 Palestinians – a third, children and young people.
Israel’s repeated bombing of UN schools, its bombing of a UN refugee camp, its use of white phosphorous and other illegal weapons, the 1-ton bomb dropped on a building to kill one man (wiping out all his family), its preventing the Red Cross from reaching starving children for 4 days are all proof that the Israel’s pledge to avoid civilian casualties is a fiction.
Over the decades, Israel has been the target of at last 66 UN resolutions (a world record), Palestine has been the target of none. Israel has created over 4 million refugees, constructed 254km of apartheid wall and 562 check points. There are currently 121 official Israeli settlements on Palestinian land – one of Israel’s many violations of the Geneva convention. 18,147 Palestinian homes have been destroyed since 1967 whilst the number of Israeli homes destroyed totals zero. Meanwhile, at least 4,897 Palestinians and 1,062 Israelis have been killed since September 29, 2000.
Violence instigated by the Palestinian side must also be condemned – however, this is a grossly unequal war. To quote Tony Benn, there is no moral difference between a suicide bomber and an F-16 bomber – both kill people for political reasons. Governments, NGOs and the UN itself have admitted that there is strong evidence that war crimes have been committed by Israel during the past 3 weeks. We must now continue to campaign for peace, demand a complete pull out from all Palestinian land as defined by the UN, and insist that Israel is held to account in the ICC. Israel can hide behind the holocaust no longer, the international community’s knee-jerk support and sponsorship of their every action must now end.”