Photos: BAYAN-Canada in Toronto Denounces Israel’s Bombing of Gaza

BAYAN-Canada in Toronto
Denounces Israel’s Bombing of Gaza

Toronto, Canada

Janaury 3, 2009

More than 380 people were indiscriminately killed by cowardly air strikes and artillery fire unleashed by Israel on the Palestinian people in Gaza. Many of the victims are children, women and elderly. The targets have included hospitals, mosques, the Islamic university and other social institutions of the Palestinian people. People in Toronto respond to the international condemnation of this act by the state of Israel to the Palestinian people.

BAYAN-Canada in Toronto
Denounces Israel’s Bombing of Gaza

BAYAN-Toronto, the Toronto section of BAYAN-Philippines, the legal alliance of progressive Filipino organizations, condemns the state of Israel for its bombing and shelling of the Palestinian people in Gaza. As of this writing, 380 people have been killed, including many women and children, over 1000 injured and numerous properties destroyed. This outrage was preceded by many months of siege by Israel to deprive the Palestinian people of necessities like food and medicines in order to try to overthrow the legitimately elected government of Palestine. Its background has been almost 60 years of outrage by Israel against the Palestinian people: ethnic cleansing through wholesale terrorism, illegitimate seizure of Palestinian farms, homes and other properties, daily humiliations, state sponsored torture, collective punishment, racism and systemic discrimination against Arabs and other people of colour, and the turning of what little is left of the Palestinian homeland into a giant prison camp divided into apartheid style reserves or bantustans.

This horror has only been possible because the state of Israel has received yearly, without fail, billions of dollars of economic and military aid from the United States, and unfailing political support from the same and its co-imperialist allies. To its great shame, Canada has not been lacking in its support of Israel’s horrors against the Palestinian people. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has put the blame for the Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people on the victims themselves. Shame!

Let us be crystal clear on the character of Israel. Israel is a settler colonial state imposed by European Zionists against the native people of Palestine through deprivation of Palestinian freedom, rights, property, peace, justice, institutions, safely and lives. Israel is a racist state that treats its Arab minority as second class and even mistreats coloured Jews. Israel is a theocracy that discriminates against people on the basis of religion. Israel is a fascist state that engages in systemic torture and collective punishment. This is a society that regularly contemplates in its mass media the utter liquidation of the Palestinian nation as a nation and its effacement from its homeland.

Those who call, therefore, for Israel’s right to self-defence are defending ethnic cleansing, state sponsored terrorism, collective punishment, state use of torture, harassment and humiliation, bulldozing of homes and people, the shooting of women and children, the destruction of infrastructure and all institutions required by the Palestinian people to exist. Shame on Cannon! Shame on Harper and the Conservatives! Shame on the Canadian government! Shame on the Canadian state!

We, Filipinos, are in profound solidarity with the Palestinian people. Though Palestine and the Philippines are on opposite sides of Asia, we have many things in common. Like the Palestinian people, millions of Filipinos are regularly deprived of decent wages, basic rights, and a humane livelihood: collective punishment, torture, imprisonment, exile from our homes, destruction of our economy, destruction of our culture, ethnic cleansing, etc. Some more in Palestine, others more in the Philippines! Though different in specifics, we are both oppressed nations under the boot of US imperialism, and its allies like Canadian imperialism. Whereas the US acts through a proxy settler state against the Palestinian people, its acts through a neocolonial state against the Filipino people. That is all. Now, our Filipino migrant workers in the West Bank too experience daily the racism of their Israeli bosses and other Israelis, on the one hand, and the friendship of Palestinians among whom Filipino migrant workers live, on the other hand.


3 January 2009

(Photo Courtesy: Al Calara and Jonathan Canchela)

Arkibong Bayan

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