Stop Israel’s Ongoing War Crimes Against the People of Gaza
On August 5, World Can’t Wait put out a call to Stop Israel’s War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity on the People of Gaza.
The mission was to bring the reality of what Operation “Protective Edge” did to the people of Gaza, and why this rose to the level of “war crimes;” to expose the role of the United States in fully backing Israel politically and militarily; and to challenge all watching to bring forth resistance to stop these crimes that is much more broad, diverse, and determined.
Speakers from the U.S. and around the world made great efforts to contribute, and powerfully amplify the call.
Recorded at Cooper Union in NYC.
Listen to selected speakers:
Alan Goodman writes for revcom.us, and Revolution — the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party — from a perspective of doing everything possible to end oppression everywhere, urgently. His writing exposes Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. It takes on and refutes defenses for Israel’s crimes and sharply challenges people in this country in particular to wake up, and to stand with the Palestinian people’s struggle. In 2009, Alan Goodman was part of the Gaza Freedom March which attempted to physically break the blockade of Gaza and was violently prevented from doing so by Egyptian authorities under the direction of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Fida Qishta and Anees Mansour
Fida Qishta is a Palestinian camerawoman/editor and filmmaker, born in Rafah City in the south of Gaza. Since 2006 she has worked as a journalist, producing news stories and documentaries in the Gaza. In her film “Where Should The Birds Fly,” Fida documented the horrific Israeli invasion and bombardment of Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. She and her crew of young videographers kept their cameras rolling for months, recording the struggle of the people of Gaza to retrieve some sense of normalcy from the absolute abnormality of life in the world’s largest prison camp, sealed off on all sides by Israeli and Egyptian walls, barbed wire and military. “Where Should The Birds Fly” is her first feature documentary film. Speaking with her was Anees Mansour, a journalist visiting from Gaza, in the U.S. on a fellowship with the Rachel Corrie Foundation.
Hala Alyan is a Palestinian-American poet and clinical psychologist who has lived in various parts of the Middle East and United States. Her first full-length collection of poetry, “Atrium,” was published by Three Rooms Press and recently won the Arab-American Book Award. She performed her poem “Gaza.”
Jonathan Kuttab is a human rights attorney practicing in Jerusalem and the United States. He described the international legal agreements which Israel has violated, making the case for charges of war crimes against the people of Gaza. He describes the international legal agreements that Israel has violated, making the case for charges of war crimes against the people of Gaza. He outlined a few of the very clear and specific laws that apply to war, such as the prohibition of targeting civilian infrastructure, that Israel is blatantly violating with the outspoken support of the US. Kuttab called on us to fight to ensure that Israel does not enjoy immunity or impunity for its actions, in the courts of law or the court of public opinion.
Josh Ruebner is the author of Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Verso Books, 2013) and Policy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 400 organizations working to end U.S. support for Israel’s illegal 47-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, and to change U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians to support human rights, international law, and equality. He sharply described the United States’ political, economic and military support for Israel.
Ilan Pappe is an Israeli historian and activist. He is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. He has been called Israel’s most courageous, principled, and incisive historian. His book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine is essential and definitive reading for anyone who wants to understand the roots and essence of the nature and role of Israel.
Students for Justice in Palestine
Monica Murillo is a member of Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College. She compared the U.S. treatment of desperate immigrants at the U.S. border with Israel’s imprisonment of people in Gaza.
Susie Abdelghafar is the president of Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She described the struggle on campus over taking a stand for Palestine.
Refaat Alareer is the editor of Gaza Writes Back, a collection of short stories written in English by young writers from Gaza, published by Just World Books in 2013. He received his M.A. in comparative literature from University College, London, and is currently completing a PhD in English literature at Universiti Putra Malaysia. He has taught at the Islamic University of Gaza since 2007. Refaat sent this audio message, made especially for this event, from Malaysia.
Jen Marlowe is an author, documentary filmmaker and human rights activist. Her book, The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker won the Middle East Monitor’s Palestine Book Award in 2012. Her award-winning films include “One Family in Gaza,” an excerpt of which was played during the event. Her most recent book is I Am Troy Davis and she is currently finishing a film about Bahrain. She spoke about how she traveled to Gaza after Israel’s assault that killed over 1,390 Palestinians and stayed with a family in Gaza whose son had been executed, She said she made the documentary “One Family in Gaza” because she felt a moral obligation to share their story of suffering & their humanity to the whole world.
Hannah Mermelstein is a member of Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, and a founder of Librarians and Archivists with Palestine. She is a school librarian in Brooklyn, NY, and has led more than 30 delegations to Palestine. Along with protesting in the streets to denounce the ongoing Israeli crimes against Gaza so the people there know they are not alone, she discussed the need for a sustained grassroots movement, such as the boycott, divest, and sanctions movement that brings together the Palestinian community that Israel has tried so hard to tear apart.
Laila El-Haddad is a journalist living in the U.S. She testified at a Congressional briefing in August 2014 on the loss of nine members of her family in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. In 2006, El-Haddad left Gaza to be with her husband, US-trained physician Yassine Daoud, also a Palestinian but one without the (Israeli-administered) right to reside in or even enter Gaza. With Daoud in the US, Laila’s beloved parents stayed behind. In the book Gaza Mom she recounts the angst of a person stranded outside her homeland when it was came under intense Israeli assault at the turn of 2008-2009, though she was also able to publish and amplify the experiences of her parents as they cowered in central Gaza City under Israel’s harsh, 22-day bombardment.