Hundreds of protesters Demand a Stop to Israeli’s Strike on Gaza
By Molly Seder
WASHINGTON (VR) – Hundreds rallied outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC to demand an end to the ongoing airstrikes on the Gaza Strip that have killed more than 100 Palestinians.
“We simply feel what is happening is horrific, it’s against international law,” says Liana Smith with Jewish Voice for Peace. “The Palestinians are an occupied people.”
Israel says it will muzzle the terrorist group Hamas that’s launching rocket attacks on Israel.
Banging on buckets the activists chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “who is a terrorist? Bibi is a terrorist!”
The protests drew hundreds, many dressed in kafiyas and waving Palestinian flags.
“Netanyahu you can’t hide. We charge with genocide,” others chant. Among them is Patty Johnson, an Episcopalian who says her faith compels her to protest. Asked whether she believes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is guilty of genocide, she replies she “charges the Israeli government with the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Pressed again, Johnson says “I’ve been there. I’ve seen it.”
During the action Alli McCracken, the national director with CodePink, announces a journalist has been arrested for crossing too close to the Israeli embassy. VR cannot confirm the arrest at this time.
Among those gathered are many Palestinian-Americans, including a mother and her three children. She says she often travels to Palestine and worries her children could be detained or somehow caught up in the violence.
Another young Palestinian-American, Alla Ghannam, says her message is simply “Gaza be free.”