I was always critical of people not participating in rallies on important issues. I even fought several times with friends as they refused to attend rallies “supporting” refugees’ rights, Palestinians’ rights … But last Saturday I was convinced that they have good point of view.
I traveled from Sydney to Canberra to protest against the Israeli barbaric invasion of Gaza. We traveled to Canberra, even though we did not know many details of the rally. We did not know who was the organizer, who were the speakers and the route of the rally. The most important issue for us was to send a message of unequivocal condemnation of Israel’s barbaric action and express our opposition to Australian official silence in condemning these actions.
Outside the lodge where our prime minister, Kevin Rudd, is living, we knew the hidden agenda of the organizers.
Suddenly a lady emerged from nowhere and gave all of us a good lecture. The lecture was not about the history of Israeli occupation of Palestine nor was about the history of Israeli barbaric actions. The lady who wore a t-shirt with “Vote 1 The Greens” gave us a good lecture about the climate change and environmental sustainability. She then went into lengths with what are the Greens 4 principles and why we should vote for the Greens in the next election.
Then she told us, with no explanation that she was crying the whole night before, when she saw the victims on the TV. She spoke with highly ambiguous language. She did not specify if she was crying for the loss of the lives of Israeli soldiers killed by Palestinian resistance. I should be fair here. I heard her counting the numbers of people who lost their lives, on both sides. She was equalizing between the victim and the oppressor. She was putting on the same hand the loss of lives among the occupiers and the ones under occupation. I did not hear her condemning unequivocally the barbaric actions.
Sorry for this mistake. I heard her totally and utterly condemning the government. But she condemned Australian government, and not the Israeli.
With her late appearance only at the time of her speech, her T-shirt designed for election and her score-pointing speech, the goal of this farce was very clear. It was indeed an election auction: votes for each dead.
Shamelessly she was happy. Shamelessly the organizers were happy. Shamelessly some of the Greens supporters in the crowd were happy. Shamelessly we were there listening to this contempt of the 400 martyrs - heroes killed in Gaza.
I would not feel so bad if the Greens was the “revolutionary” party that stood up for Palestinians in the past.
However when I went back little bit into my memory I recalled that the Greens:
1- Refused to send any solidarity delegation to Palestine.
2- Strongly supported the listing of ALL resistance groups (except Fateh) as terrorist organizations (November 2003).
3- Presented to Australian politics the largest proportion of Zionist politicians.
4- Was deadly silent about the latest barbaric actions from 27 December 08 – 5 January 09. And when they put out a media release it was total disgust and shame, where they were equalizing between the victims and the oppressors.
I was astonished by the courage of both the organizers and the Greens politician in their contempt of the feeling of the crowd. Many among the crowd were from Gaza and have relatives there.
How dare they do this?
On another occasion, I learnt that Labor MP attended a rally and spoke about the issue. Unfortunately he said nothing about needing to convince his leader to abandon his pro-Israeli stance.
I understood now why the majority of community members refuse to be stupid and naïve and participate in rallies which are in contempt of human lives lost in conflicts. I understood why community members would laugh at us saying: enough is enough.
After last Saturday I said to all around me: enough is enough. Enough trading lives of innocent people for cheap electoral gains. The last time the auction was a heavy price for us. The blood of innocent Palestinians and Iraqis put another Greens Zionist to NSW parliament. We lost on both sides: in Palestine and Iraq and also in NSW.
I told everyone this time: not anymore.
Shame on me if I will silently participate in these auctions of blood for votes.
And there are many ways to express our feelings about the barbaric actions and how to help the victims of them.