Vancouver protesters condemn Israeli attack on Gaza aid flotilla

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      A little rain and short notice didn’t keep protesters from voicing their anger over the attack by the Israeli military on aid-carrying boats off the coat of the Gaza Strip on Monday (May 31).

      The flotilla included Victoria resident Kevin Neish, a 53-year-old retiree who planned to work as a human shield.

      A crowd of about 100 people—including members of the Palestinian and Jewish communities—gathered at 300 West Georgia Street, chanting slogans such as “End the siege on Gaza now, free, free Palestine”.

      Canada Palestine Support Network founder Mordecai Briemberg told the Georgia Straight at the protest that he was “disgusted with Israel”.

      In a speech to the crowd, he reminded protesters that there are still two more ships making their way to the Gaza strip in an attempt to provide humanitarian aid to the 1.5 million Palestinians under siege in Gaza.

      Emotions ran high and people were volatile at the protest, which saw members of the Jewish community get into a war of words with pro-Palestinian supporters, despite fighting for the same cause.

      Rabbi David Mivasair of the Ahavat Olam synagogue told the Straight that he was shocked by the violence used by the Israeli army on the activists, and hoped that more members of the Jewish community would show their support by standing with the protesters.

      “To open fire and kill people is so completely out of proportion,” he said. “This is a further turning point in the decline of Israel’s relationship with the world.”

      While trying to explain his synagogue’s support for Palestinians, Mivasair was faced with an outraged man carrying a Palestinian flag who began to rebuke Mivasair without hearing what the rabbi had to say.

      “There is a lot of suffering and people are very emotional and reactive right now,” Mivasair said understandingly.

      The protest stopped traffic as it headed up Georgia Street and continued to Howe Street.

      Those who didn't make it to the protest today can attend one planned for Tuesday (June 1) at 6 p.m. outside the Vancouver Public Library's central branch.


      Pro-Palestine protesters march up Georgia Street on Monday May 31


      Mordecai Briemberg speaks during the protest.

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      19 Comments

      Mark Mohamed

      Jun 1, 2010 at 9:41am

      Interesting that we don't see any marches or protests when there is a similar attack by any government that is not Israel. Seems to be that they're just a bit too focused on one country.

      abraham

      Jun 1, 2010 at 4:11pm

      Israel is the cancer of humanity they are doing what ever they like to do regardless laws or even mercy , no body punish them which is un fair i cant under stand this double standards go to hill Zionists

      michael love

      Jun 1, 2010 at 8:07pm

      yeah, there was "100 people".. then there was 250 (i heard the police saying that number to themselves @ 6:30pm). then there was 375. then there was 500 to 700 people marching in the street! thanks for covering this. i hope the factual number of protesters makes your next report.

      @ micheal love

      Jun 1, 2010 at 11:08pm

      This article is referring to yesterday's (Monday 31) smaller crowd. I believe you're referring to today's (June 1st) larger demonstration.

      ** ¡Viva Palestina!**

      Lawrence Boxall

      Jun 2, 2010 at 2:03am

      Atta boy Mark! Change the subject and we don't need to address the actual criminal behaviour of the Israeli authorities. Instead we can get bogged down in red herrings calculated to allow Israel to get away with criminal behaviour. The truth of the matter is that my government is aiding and abetting this behaviour and so I protest it. When the Israeli government claims to be acting on my behalf as a Jew, then I protest . . . just as I did when the USA and my country attacked Haiti and . . . Afghanistan, when the USA attacked Iraq . . . in fact, what on earth are you talking about.

      14 8Rating: +6

      Leela

      Jun 2, 2010 at 9:16am

      Mark, that is what you have hte chance to participate in... critisizing... very "supportive".. and disappointing

      Alex Lexuvich

      Jun 2, 2010 at 10:34am

      Why nobody reports that Israeli soldiers first boarded the ship to check if it delivered weapons to Gaza UNARMED and that the ship was sailing in Israeli territory?

      Why nobody reports that the un-armed soliders were attacked by knifes and metals rods as soon as they boarded the ship, and 2 soldiers were critically wounded, and only AFTER that they came back with the weapons.

      Now, what will happen if you cross a boarder in ANY country, and assault a security officer with a knife when they came to check your suitcases?

      19 9Rating: +10

      Cornelius

      Jun 2, 2010 at 1:10pm

      One has to ask how intentional this attack by Israel was? Besides, since when does Israel do anything without planning how to deal with the consequences, let alone why they would appear to be caught offguard.

      The Israeli's are master strategists both in foreign relations and militarily. Benjamin Netanyahu, after his rebuff in Washington by Obama, may not have wanted to meet again with Obama just yet or at all. So an international incident that 'forced' the Israeli Prime Minister back to his country may have been the plan all along?

      JamesT

      Jun 2, 2010 at 3:22pm

      Alex, this is from the same reason that nobody reports that Israeli Southern towns are being routinely bombarded by thousands of artillery rockets shot from Gaza, and the same reason that nobody reports that recently Israel has intercepted a ship loaded with Iranian weapons on the way to Gaza to supply Hamas...I guess it's just not as newsworthy.

      Yan

      Jun 2, 2010 at 8:36pm

      Idiots. Just plain ignorant idiots.