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Local Arab-Americans and supporters demonstrate against Israeli violence

June 8, 2010

A group of nearly 50 people gathered in front of the Gerald Ford Federal Building in Grand Rapids Monday to rally awareness of US complicity in Israel’s continuing human rights abuses against the people of Gaza, as shown by last week’s slaughter of innocent volunteers attempting to deliver humanitarian aid there via a flotilla of small ships.

Christian and Muslim, American-born and immigrant, the people rallying held signs that said, “Israel is Using Your Tax Money to Kill the Innocent” and “Help Free Gaza! The Largest Open Air Prison on Earth.”

Indeed, residents of Gaza are imprisoned in their own land, much as German Jews were in the Nazi proscribed ghettoes. However, the prison analogy falls short as the people of Gaza are denied food, shelter and medical care. There is no Auschwitz in Gaza. Instead, Israeli military forces are inflicting a slow death on the people of Gaza by blockading food, building supplies and medical supplies while bulldozing homes and food crops.

The Arab-American Association of West Michigan issued this statement about the recent Israeli assault on the flotilla.

“The Israeli assault violates International Law and is morally reprehensible, especially since those on board the flotilla were non-violent activists on a humanitarian mission. This humanitarian mission was of vital importance because the people living in Gaza have been suffering from lack of food and medical supplies due to the Israeli blockade of Gaza since 2007 and the 2008/2009 Israeli military assault on Gaza.

The Arab-American Association of West Michigan and dozens of local supporters call for a full investigation into these crimes, an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and the suspension of all US aid to Israel until these crimes are fully investigated.”

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