Aug 9, 2014
In a protest in London that reached thousands and thousands of people, some believe to be 150,000, supporters came from all races and religions in protest against the Gaza siege. A young Jewish boy, Barnaby Raine spoke at the peaceful protest. Here are his beautiful words:
"I am proud to stand here today as a Jewish boy from North London and side with the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, the lesson of the Holocaust is not that we should close our eyes to other people's suffering in the name of self protection. The lesson of the Holocaust is not that some lives are worth more than others or only that some deaths are worth grieving. The lesson of the Holocaust is that crimes are perpetrated when people forget that we are all human beings. So, I'm not here today in spite of Jewish history, I'm here today because of Jewish history. I'm here today because my great grandparents knew what it meant to be excluded and to be the victims of racism. They knew what it meant to be booted out of their homes and turned into refugees so I can never turn a blind eye to dispossession and discrimination, to occupation and marginalization wherever it takes place and whoever its victims are and whoever its perpetrators are. But it's not just as a Jewish person I'm here. I'm here as a human being. We stand today outside the BBC. The BBC talks about a 'conflict in Gaza'. A Conflict! That is grotesque. It's not a conflict when the world's forth largest military power blockades, besieges and imprisons a stateless people, who have no army of their own. Is that a conflict? When Israel bombs families in their homes and sick patients in their hospital beds, is that a conflict? When people flee for their lives to United Nations shelters and then Israel attacks the United Nations shelters, is that a conflict? No, no, no BBC, this is not a 'conflict'! This is a massacre! I am 19 years old. What future awaits the 19 year olds of Gaza? Their diets are stunted because the Israeli siege blocks access to food. There are hardly any jobs because Israel has cut Gaza out from the rest of the world, and just a few days ago, Israel bombed a university. Inaction in the face of this scale of injustice is criminal. So we're going to send a message to our own government today, to stop arming Israel, and while we're at it, let's send a message to all governments of the world. If you call yourself an international community, give that word a meaning, let's put sanctions to Israel until this barbarism ends. I just want to leave you with one important one point. In the early twentieth century people all over the world declared I too, am a Jew. When apartheid besieged the earth, people declared, I too am a Black South African. Well today, people from all backgrounds, from all walks of life, from all over the world come together and say in our thousands and in our millions: 'We are all Palestinians!"
Barnaby Raine, Jewish bloc speaking for Palestine