[Marxism] Thousands protest Israeli attacks on Lebanon, Palestine
cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Mon Jul 24 12:12:02 MDT 2006
Thousands protest Israeli attacks on Lebanon, Palestine
Wyoman Mitchell 23.JUL.06
By Diane Bukowski
The Michigan Citizen
DETROIT - As Israeli ground forces invaded Lebanon and the Gaza strip, up to
10,000 Arab-Americans marched through Dearborn, center of the largest Arab
community in the western hemisphere, on July 18, to protest the previous
days' bombings of Lebanon and Palestine.
Many carried signs with photos of mutilated and scarred Lebanese children,
asking the question "Are these terrorists?" They chanted "Hezbollah" and
"Stop the Killings, Stop the War." At least 230 Lebanese, most of them
civilians, and 25 Israelis have died so far.
"One person's terrorist is another one's freedom fighter," said Melanie
Czekaj. "Hezbollah is our freedom fighter." She waited in vain for the march
to arrive at Dearborn's city hall, but Dearborn police had blocked the march
route and diverted it to Hemlock Park.
"They do this all the time," she said. "They isolate us in our neighborhood
and don't want our voices to be heard where there are more Americans."
She said family members who live in the south of Lebanon have told her that
Israeli forces are using chemical warfare against the population there.
Although these claims have not been substantiated, international human
rights groups suspect that the Israeli army has used chemical weapons
recently in the Gaza Strip.
Many marchers blasted U.S. President George Bush, saying Israel could not
carry out its attacks without U.S. support and calling on Bush to support a
"It wouldn't cost Bush anything to do a cease-fire, to spare human life,
whether it's Muslim, Christian or Jew," said Nadia, who didn't give a
surname. "Israel has a green light from him. At least feel sorry for the
children. We want nothing but our land and peace."
"America is supplying the weapons to kill our people," said teen-ager Hassan
His young friend Mohammad Bittar, added, "Lebanon and Palestine are supposed
to be free countries. That should be made clear to the members of the G-8."
One marcher carried a sign declaring, "Bush, Stop this Sh-t," a reference to
Bush's sidebar conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the
recent G-8 summit in Russia. Not knowing a microphone was still on, he told
Blair that Syria should get Hezbollah to "stop this sh-t."
Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee, said, "Words cannot describe the pain, grief and anger we are
trying to express today. The Israeli invasion is aimed at the destruction of
the infrastructure of Lebanon. It's a new genocide. They claim self-defense,
but that does not condone the killing of innocent children and collective
punishment. The victims of the Holocaust are committing a new holocaust."
Many marchers said their support of Hezbollah is based on its role in ending
the Israeli occupation of Lebanon six years ago. Hezbollah helped rebuild
the country's infrastructure and has continued to provide services to the
Lebanese people as the country's government revives.
Several of the marchers said that Hezbollah's kidnapping of two Israeli
soldiers, which Israel used as an excuse to launch the war, was an effort to
obtain the freedom of some of the 9,000 Arab prisoners held in Israeli
jails. Many feel that the prisoners are being tortured.
Israeli government officials have threatened to attack Syria and Iran as
well, claiming they support Hezbollah and Hamas, the party recently elected
to power in Palestine. Bush has issued his own threats against Syria and
Iran as well.
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