Rallying for Gaza


Hi Fighter,

My apologies for the long break between communications but I’ve spent most of the last week sick in bed!

As ever, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends – running fitness camps and addressing rallies in addition to the usual routine. Even so, I think it was the emotional strain of watching our world spiralling out of control that took the greatest toll on me.

People everywhere say to me “Dave, I’ve never seen things this bad!” Of course, in terms of the raw numbers of people being killed and made homeless (in Gaza, Iraq, Syria, the Sudan, Ukraine, etc.) things have been this bad before, and they could get a lot worse yet. Even so, what is unique, I think, is the brazen attitude of so many of the world’s leaders. Of course we don’t expect Al Baghdadi to conduct a PR campaign on behalf of his ‘Islamic State’ but we might have expected Mr Obama to have feigned greater reluctance before re-invading Iraq!

It is Netanyahu though that rankles me the most. Does he really expect anybody to believe the paper-thin rhetoric he uses to justify the murder of so many children in Gaza! It seems an exercise in pure cynicism!

Perhaps I credit the Western public with too much intelligence? Certainly there is no shortage of people offline as well as on, parroting the basic Zionist mantra: that Israel has a right to defend itself.

Of course Israel does have a right to defend itself (as do the Palestinians) but this entirely misses the point or, rather, it deliberately obscures the point, as it depicts Israel as innocently minding its own business when Hamas rockets suddenly start falling from the sky! In other words, it fails to mention THE PALESTINIAN OCCUPATION as the ongoing context in which all Israeli/Palestinian violence takes place!

The Occupation of Gaza might be compared to an ongoing GANG RAPE.

Israel has been violating Gaza on a daily basis since the siege began in June 2007. It controls all her borders by land, air and sea. It limits every item of food that is allowed into the Gaza compound and deliberately counts food calories to ensure that the residents remain “on a diet” (as Dov Weissglass so cynically put it). And from here Israel engages in its regular ‘targeted killings’ of Gazan political leaders. This is the status quo when rockets are NOT being fired.

In other words, these so-called times of ‘peace’ are when the rape appears to be consensual. Gaza is being violated but the Gazans are not hitting back. When they do hit back the bombing begins, as the rapists have to ‘defend themselves’.

I think the whole goal of the Israeli propaganda machine is to make the Palestinian Occupation disappear from view, for once we grasp the full horror of the Occupation we can no longer take seriously questions like “what would you do if your neighbour fired 5000 rockets at you?” Likewise all noble protestations about being “the most moral army in the world” seem radically irrelevant once we realise that this is the same army that maintains the Occupation!

The Occupation is the crime that generates all other crimes in Israel/Palestine. While the Occupation exists there can be no real peace, and neither does it make any sense to pursue a ‘ceasefire’ while the Occupation continues, as all a ceasefire promises is a return to the status quo!

This is all very depressing, I know, but the flip-side is quite encouraging. Just as there can be no peace while the Occupation continues, that path to peace is abundantly clear, as it has always been abundantly clear: just END THE OCCUPATION!

Ending the Occupation is the very thing Israel is most reluctant to do, of course. Even so, as Israel increasingly isolates herself from the rest of the world and as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign continues to gather momentum, she may not be able to maintain the captivity of the Palestinian people for much longer!

Rally Time

I’ve preached no shortage of sermons lately but I thought in order to be consistent today I’d share with you instead the speech I gave recently at the Sydney Town Hall in support of the people of Gaza.

That will do for me today, but before I let you go please allow me to thank my friends from the “Australian College of Educators” (ACE) who presented me with a wonderful award last Friday night – the “2014 Community Service and Social Justice Award”.

Receiving the ACE Community Service and Social Justice Award 2014

Receiving the ACE Community Service and Social Justice Award 2014

A big thank you to John Cook and Tim Bellamy and their fellow educators who made this possible.

OK. I’m going to get some rest. I’ll be in contact again soon.

Until then I remain …

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
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www.israelandpalestine.org
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About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four