“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

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Saturday 1358  –  26.07.14

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

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Please don’t just flick past and think this is just another post about Palestine.. It is but it is so very important to read about what is happening, as the worlds governments seem to be standing by apparently disinterested. Please read right to the end. Thank you.

I’d like you to think about something for me, especially if you have children, elderly parents, someone disabled in your family, a husband, wife or other loved one. Yes in other words all of you.

I want you to imagine that you’ve had leaflets dropped in the area where you live telling you that you need to get out of your house because the area in which you live is going to be bombed.

Now your phone is ringing and you’re being told you have 15 mins to get out of the house. What do you think ? This is my house, all my things, my life savings have gone into this house.

Then I want you to imagine that there is an explosion on your roof, enough to shake the house violently and do some damage or maybe even kill anyone at the top of the house. ( the Israelis call it a “tap on the roof”)

Next feel the fear of knowing that explosion on your roof is a warning that your house is going to be bombed and you need to get out fast. What would you bring with you? Food, clothes, medicine, money, the dog?  Would you have time? Would you run?  How can you when you have an elderly grandmother with you ? Where would you go when you don’t know which other houses are going to be bombed? 

Would you go to the beach? Would you be safe there?

Would you go to a UN run school? Would you be safe there?

Please don’t stop reading now but instead watch this video here. 

Imagine this was your house…..

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All gone…

Forever.  

Along with any dreams and hopes you might have had for the future.

I hope you managed to get your family out in time.

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These are some of the names and ages of the children killed in the last 2 weeks. They didn’t get out in time

Names and ages of some of the children killed in Gaza in the last 2 weeks

Names and ages of some of the children killed in Gaza in the last 2 weeks

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On this Saturday  I attended a 1 hr vigil for the people who have been killed in the Gaza strip, Palestine, in the last 2 weeks .The vigil, organised by the Cambridge Palestine Forum was held in the centre of Cambridge whilst in London upwards of 45,000 people marched calling for an end to the terrible bloodshed, to the blockade of Gaza by Israel and for a boycott of Israel.  

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Reading the names of the dead

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On 22.07.14 a vote was held in the United Nations on a resolution ensuring respect for international law in Palestine  – 

on the 23rd July  –

The Human Rights Council concludes Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Establishes Independent, International Commission of Inquiry for the Occupied Palestinian Territory

“The Human Rights Council today established an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and concluded its Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

In the resolution, adopted by a vote of 29 States in favour, 1 against and 17 abstentions, the Council condemned in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014 that may amount to international crimes, directly resulting in the killing of more than 650 Palestinians, most of them civilians and more than 170 of whom were children, the injury of more than 4,000 people and the wanton destruction of homes, vital infrastructure and public properties.

In the resolution, the Council decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, and to report to the Council at its twenty-eighth session.

Please look carefully at the result of the vote below. The United States of America voted AGAINST the resolution and Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Ireland , Italy and the UK abstained. In other words they were silent and proved again that when the USA says jump they say how high !  I am ashamed of my government here in the Uk. They did not vote in my name !

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

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Please read this and consider signing https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?slideshow

Or you might like to write to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ,Phillip Hammond directly and tell him what you think. You can do that here https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/israel-gaza

So what can you do about it apart from signing petitions. You might like to consider boycotting companies that have strong links with Israel. 

More information: –

here http://www.boycottisraelnetwork.net/ .

and here http://www.boycottisrael.org.uk/

Finally I would ask you to watch this video here by Jon Snow. One of the few journalists around these days who is really doing his job.

Please don’t turn away. These children need us.

you don't need to be a muslim to stand up for Gaza

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I have written about the cost of war and associated issues before –

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/save-lives-talk-peace/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-human-cost-of-war/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/naming-the-dead/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/is-this-what-we-want-for-our-sons-and-daughters/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/white-feather-caught-in-thorns/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/guns-what-are-they-good-for/

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As ever I welcome your thoughts.

Saturday girl signing off til whenever.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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Save Lives – Talk Peace.

Saturday 1404  – 31.08.2013.

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

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Ok last week I wrote my 100th post and speculated that it might be my last. You can read that one here

Well here I am again .. seems I can’t help myself and the reason this week was because I was at a pro-peace, anti-war march and rally in London today.  That is pro-peace in Syria and anti any kind of military intervention in that country. I thought it important to share it with you.

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It was organised jointly by the Stop the War Coalition and CND . (See links for these organisations at the bottom of the page)  I didn’t attend the march because I don’t care about the people of Syria, on the contrary it’s because I care and stand with the mothers of that country that I do not believe more bombs are the answer. 

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Why not what some democrats in Syria itself are calling for?  namely a UN arms embargo, no-fly zone and safe havens for civilians. 

There was an interesting mix of people at the rally who seemed to have many reasons for being there.

I met a lovely couple Alison and Stuart who are Quakers with a strong commitment to peace through non-violent dialogue.. That’s Ali with me below. I devised a cunning way of fixing my Hands off Syria placard between my back and backpack so I was hands-free to use my camera. Good for the posture too!

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I met a policeman who was very enthusiastic about the stance we were taking. I’m not showing his face but this is him below..feeling hot and bothered in that uniform in the midday sun.

the policeman.

Many of you will know that just 2 days before this protest march the British parliament voted not to take part in any military action in Syria which was a great relief but the protest  march continued because what really happened in parliament was that effectively the Tories and Labour voted against each others proposals, both of which would have meant military intervention with just a different time scale, so it didn’t feel so much like a victory to me personally.  However having said that it was evident from what some of those who voted against military action ( and a big thank you to them) said afterwards , that they HAD been swayed by the overwhelming public mood against it and that is both good for democracy and shows that demonstrations, lobbying MP’s etc does work. .   

The voice of peace needs to keep being heard because as Jeremy Corbyn MP and Chair of Stop the War recently said “There still exists the danger of renewed conflict as the interests of the military, arms dealers, and others remains ever-present and very powerful”

This man’s placard said what I feel :-

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After the march there was a rally held in Trafalgar square and by far the loudest cheers were for the veteran campaigners Tariq Ali and the former labour MP Tony Benn. Inspirational as ever.

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I believe it is so important to stand up for non- violent resolution to the world’s problems. Human life is precious and none of us have the right to decide whose life is worth more than another. 

The hypocrisy of the American government who were guilty of killing at least a million people and causing birth defects in hundreds of thousands of children because of their use of incendiary napalm and Agent Orange, a super-strength chemical herbicide, in Vietnam, frankly beggars belief. I don’t think with their history they can take the moral high ground.  

The knee-jerk reaction that the only way to stop conflict is to bomb your way out of it, has been proved not to work and needs to stop.

I leave you with a few other photos from the day.

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Apologies if this last one offends anyone 😉

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A big thank you to The Stop the War Coalition and CND for organising such an effect protest march and rally.

http://www.stopwar.org.uk/

http://www.cnduk.org/

I have written about the cost of war and associated issues before –

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-human-cost-of-war/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/naming-the-dead/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/is-this-what-we-want-for-our-sons-and-daughters/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/white-feather-caught-in-thorns/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/guns-what-are-they-good-for/

Saturday girl signing off til whenever.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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