Mexican Jews march for Middle East peace

From Xinhua, Aug. 22:

Mexico’s Jews march for Middle East peace

More than 1,500 people, mostly Jews, staged a peaceful protest on Monday, calling for peace in the Middle East and an end to the armed conflict between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrilla.

The demonstrators, most of whom were young people, chanted for peace in front of the Israeli embassy in Mexico City, and protested against the month-long conflict, which started on July 12, and has left more than 1,300 Lebanese and over 150 Israelis dead.

Officers from the Public Security Department of Mexico City sealed off the Sierra Madre Street in the northeast of the city, where the embassy is located.

A delegation of the demonstrators was received by the Israeli diplomatic mission, which delivered a letter calling for a swift solution to the conflict.

Israeli authorities on Sunday, said that they would begin covert operations targeting the armed wing of Hezbollah, in apparent defiance of a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire.

See also:

NYC: Jews stage Penn Station “Die-in”

Indigenous Middle Eastern Jews condemn Israeli aggression

Jews in Britain protest Israel’s Gaza aggression

Colombia: police attack march for Lebanon

See our last posts on Israel/Palestine, Lebanon and Mexico.

  1. Jews, Israel and The Palestinian People
    I thought most Jewish people, especially Ashkenazi Jews, the
    most privileged group in Israel, hated Palestinians, Arabs,
    and didn’t care what horrors have been inflicted on the Palestinians
    for decades by the Jewish nation, Israel.

    I was frankly, very surprised, to learn that Jews care
    and care deeply, what happens to non-Jews, Palestinians,
    Arab people in particularly, really I was shocked!

    The Jews I have spoken to refer to the Palestinians, Muslims,
    Israeli Arabs, as ragheads, muzzies, and feel that Israel isn’t
    cruel, harsh enough towards them.

    They eagerly point to the terrible harm caused by Palestinian
    Suicide Bombers, but when I or one of my co-workers try to bring
    up the terrible conditions that the Palestinian people live
    under, they never want to hear it.

    So we talk among ourselves, and demonstrate to each other
    and everyone we know, the videos, pictures, such as the following,
    for example.

    The Promised Land

    I did not know that there were Jewish people that
    felt very strongly that the horrors being carried out
    by the Israeli government against innocent people should be

    Because the Jewish people that I know, at work, just in
    my neighborhood, have very strong feelings about defending
    Israel and Israel’s right to exist, regardless of whether or
    not Palestinian people are shunted into refugee camps,
    cut off from medical supplies, electricity, food, decent
    schools, have their homes demolished, because someone in their
    family is suspected of who knows what.
    They don’t care.
    So I was crying when I saw the Jews demonstrating on video,
    in NY and around the country.
    It was very emotional for me.

    1. Try these links
      Kibush: Occupation Magazine
      Alternative Information Center
      Breaking the Silence: Israeli veterans speak
      Jews Against the Occupation
      Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions

      And check out:

      Sergio Yahni
      19 March 2002

      To: Minister of Defence Ben Eliezer
      Ministry of Defence

      An officer for whom you are responsible has sentenced me today to 28 days in military prison for my refusal to serve in reserve duty. I did not refuse only to serve in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as I have for the past 15 years, I refused to serve in the Israeli army in any capacity.

      Since 29th September 2000, the Israeli army has waged a ‘dirty war’ against the Palestinian Authority. This dirty war includes extra-judicial killings, the murder of women and children, the destruction of the economic and social infrastructure of the Palestinian population, the burning of agricultural fields and the uprooting of trees. You have sowed fear and despair but failed to achieve your ultimate objective; the Palestinian people did not give up their dream of sovereignty and independence. Neither did you provide security for your own people despite all the destructive violence of the army over which you have responsibility.

      In light of your great failure, we are now witness to an intellectual debate amongst Israelis of the worst kind: a discussion about the possible deportation and the mass killing of Palestinians.

      The failed attempt of leaders of the Labour Party to impose a settlement on the Palestinian people has dragged us into a ‘dirty war’ for which Palestinians and Israelis are paying with their lives. The racist violence of the Israeli security establishment, who do not see people but only ‘terrorists,’ has deepened the vicious cycle of violence for both Palestinians and Israelis.

      Israelis are also the victims of this war. They are the victims of the irresponsible and failed aggression of the army over which you are responsible. Even when you waged the most deadly attacks on the Palestinian people, you did not fulfil your duty: giving security to the citizens of Israel. Tanks in Ramallah cannot stop your most monstrous creation: the desperation which explodes in coffee shops. You, and the military officers under your command, have created human beings whose humanity disappears out of desperation and humiliation. You have created this despair and you cannot stop it.

      It is clear to me that you have risked all of our lives only in order to continue building illegal and immoral settlements, for Gush Etsion, Efrat and Kedumim: for the cancer which eats away at the Israeli social body. For the past 35 years, the settlements have turned the Israeli society into a danger zone. The Israeli state has sowed despair and death both for the Palestinians and Israelis.

      Therefore I will not serve in your army. Your army that calls itself the ‘Israeli Defence Force’, is nothing more than the armed wing of the settlement movement. This army does not exist to bring security to the citizens of Israel, it exists to guarantee the continuation of the theft of Palestinian land. As a Jew, I am repelled by the crimes this militia commits against the Palestinian people.

      It is both my Jewish and human duty to resolutely refuse to take any part in this army. As the son of a people victim to pogroms and destruction, I cannot be a part of your insane policies. As a human being, it is my duty to refuse to participate in any institution which commits crimes against humanity.

      Sergio Yahni