NYC to Gaza Funeral Action Photos

07/29/2014 Palestina1288_edited

Photos by Liza Béar

NEW YORK, July 18, 2014--in the glaring midday sun, to the beat of a single drum, a somber funeral procession of New Yorkers carrying effigies led a march along 42nd Street from Bryant Square to the Israeli Consulate at 800 Second Avenue to mourn the 246 Gaza inhabitants, 56 of them children,killed since July 8 as a result of Israel's latest military offensive, characterized by the international community as a "disproportionate" response to Hamas rocket attacks. In a rare moment of truth, State Dept Secretary John Kerry ironically described the Israeli bombardment as "one hell of a pinpoint operation."

Elected by the Palestinians, Hamas is a militant resistance political party seeking to end the siege of the Gaza Strip since 2005 by a Zionist-ruled Israel. A recent attempt by Hamas to form a unity government with the Palestinian Authority was blocked by Israel, who put pressure on the US government to not recognize the union.,

The funeral procession was organized by the New York City Direct Action Front for Palestine Solidarity (DAFP) a coalition of Palestinians, Palestinian-Americans, Jews, organizers from Occupy Wall Street , and accompanied by New Yorkers of various political and religious/humanist persuasions holding flags, banners and signs.

At 3:58pm on Friday, the IDF launched a ground offensive ( the third since 2008) to support their naval and air attacks, which tragically have spared neither young children playing soccer on the beach nor a hospital which had to be evacuated prior to being reduced to rubble. In a rare unguarded moment of truth, State Dept Secretary described the Israeli air attacks as "one hell of a pinpoint operation".

The avowed tactical aim of the IDF offensive is to render inoperative the tunnels from which Hamas launches its rockets, while remaining oblivious to the loss of Palestinian life, limb, homes and institutions. Since the State of Israel's long term objective is to take over the whole of Palestine, the short term tactic might be to degrade infrastructure and services and make life so miserable for the Palestinians that they will either die or leave.

Today's NYC protesters, though confined to a long narrow strip like a miniature replica of Gaza fenced with interlocking NYPD barricades across the street from the Consulate, refused to let their chants be drowned out by the heavy truck traffic rumbling down the avenue, which brought to mind the much more insidious and threatening rumbling of Israeli armored tanks that Palestinians must contend with daily.

As well as Palestinians, other Arab-Americans and their supporters, significant among the protesters were contingents from the Hassid community who oppose Zionism and the state of "Israel", which they do not recognize, the Jewish Voice for Peace and Afdalah NY, which is organizing its own National Day to BoyCott Israel on Thursday July 24th at 4:30pm, location to be announced. --Liza Béar

Update July 22-
As of Tuesday morning, more than 600 Palestinians have been killed -- including at least 60 on Sunday alone --and more than 100,000 Gaza residents have been displaced since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8. Twenty-nine Israeli Defense Forces troops have been killed in the latest ground offensive into Gaza, now in its fourth day.

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