(this blog is in English)
Last Sunday (May 16th) I organized for the 4th and last time an event in Groningen to ask attention for the ongoing violation of human rights of Palestinians by the Israeli government and army. First one was in the Viola Squat, second on the Stadsbalkon (both 2018), third one on de Grote Markt (2020) and the last one also on the Grote Markt. This time around 500 people showed up, which is considerably more than previous editions.
There were speeches by Max Pogrzeba (Internationale Socialisten), Ayham Najem, Loulia Kanaan, Mo Qasem, Victoria Madalena Otter, Alexandra G. (Women’s March Groningen), Anita Thieme, Kawther Albaz (Nederlands Palestina Komitee), Lenneke Max, Mads Wittermans (TheatreDayProductions – Gaza) and 14 – Johan Feitsma (stichting Groningen Jabalya). And there was music played by Karam Shebat (El Karamba).
A buzzy program, but there was a small group of people who mainly wanted to do their own chanting and filming themselves doing so. Very dominant in their atmosphere. When I tried to open the demo the chanting started, and I had trouble to silence them, so the event could actually start. But every now and again it started all over. Besides being loud they brought flags that made no sense to me. When an Israeli flag with blood on it was spotted within that group, a line was being crossed and I told them to take it away immediately.
It seemed to me that the group had some kind of agenda other than just showing support for Palestinians and showing respect to all the people doing their powerful speeches.
From the beginning it took away my energy. Organizing such a demo is energy and time-consuming and because of personal reasons I already was on edge a lot. In the end I broke down emotionally and gladly there were friends to calm me down.
However, the majority of the crowd were there for all the right reasons: it’s time to end the apartheid regime. Time to stop the blockade of the Gaza strip, which is the largest prison in the world with around 2 million people in it, who have almost no drinking water, almost no electricity and cannot go anywhere. Time to stop the occupation of land and houses. To start treating Palestinians as human beings. To respect their human rights. To give back stolen land.
The bombing by Hamas is not what started the recent violence. If you state so you are victim blaming. It’s the result of years and years of apartheid, violence and occupations. The planned stealing of Sheikh Jarrah was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Israel created Hamas themselves. If you look at the numbers of casualties on both sides, there are hardly any on Israeli side. Many and many more on the Palestinian side, including lots of children. Israel has a massive army. Hamas has bombs that can cause some damage but it’s nothing compared to the Israeli army. It’s David and Goliath.
One cannot look at these events without looking at the second world war. Jewish people are traumatized by the absloute horrors they had to endure by the Nazi regime in Germany and all its allies outside of Germany. You could state that the Israeli’s have major P.T.S.D. Because they were so severely victimized they act as if they still are victims in every situation, when in fact the Israeli people now choose governments that acts towards Palestinians as the aggressor. From victim to aggressor. The world needs to say stop. No more of this.
here are some video and photos of the event
oog tv over de demo