At 4.30pm today, around 25 people gathered at the bottom of Sunbridge Road to take part in a vigil to prepare for the 2nd anniversary of the vicious bombing and invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces in 2008.
Two years have passed and yet still the International Community stands idly by and allows Israel to blockade this tiny strip of land, a very real prison for the 1.5million Palestinians living in the region. lets hear that again - 1.5 million people imprisoned for nearly 4 years now. How is this possible? How can the world allow this to happen?
During the brief war, 1,400 people died and entire neighbourhoods were flattened. Illegal weapons were clearly used in civilian areas, and Israeli leaders now have to be careful where they travel for fear of prosecution for war crimes. Yet those responsible have never been held to account. Worse still, the killing of 9 innocent people on the Mavi Marmara and the turning back of blockade busting ships has never been successfully challenged by the UN, the EU and the USA.
Until we can persuade the Governments of this world to hold Israel to account for the crimes it has committed, there is nothing else we can do but to support the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign. this is a non-violent campaign that needs to be built up over the coming year. At this Christmas time, be careful where your dates and vegetables come from: buy nothing from Israel until there is justice and peace for all the peoples of the region.
In this holy season, we remember the oppression Jesus' family suffered during his birth at the hands of the Romans and their client rulers. It is vital also that we never turn our faces from the oppression suffered by the people of Palestine today.