I would encourage everyone to watch Eva Bartlett’s excellent presentation on Gaza, and then commit themselves to solidarity with the Palestinian people in their nonviolent struggle for an end to Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestine.
–Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate
I’m grateful to the vast support and great reception I received in Ireland; of course the audiences’ interest was in knowing about and standing in solidarity with Palestine. One note is that while the non-violent resistance efforts widespread throughout Palestine–even before Israel’s creation on historic Palestine and ethnic cleansing of at least 750,000 Palestinians–are formidable and commendable and deserve our solidarity, all resistance to occupation is legitimate and should not be made to be seen as otherwise. In an ideal world we all love one another and work together for peace and justice. In this real world, the Zionist agenda does not include peace, and exists via a massive position of power imbalance, wherein Israel has state of the art technology and military might, political support around the world (including even when they are bombing Gaza with chemical weapons and point-blanking shooting civilians, including children), locks 1.7 million Palestinians into a very small space of land and then denies them every means of existence (down to calculating how many calories they need to not quite starve, then allowing in even less food aid into Gaza), and constantly expands its illegal colonies. Resistance is legitimate, Palestinians want our solidarity, not food aid, not handouts, not pity. Let’s live up to our obligations. Thanks to Ireland for being so very receptive and active on Palestine solidarity–Eva
On Thursday Eva Bartlett as part of her tour of Ireland speaking on Gaza spoke to the Transition Students on Kinsale Community School. The talk was so well-received that there was a long standing ovation by students and staff alike. The meeting was arranged by Padraig Fitzgerald and Lisa Lee-Fitzgerald of the Kinsale Peace Project and warmly welcomed by all of the teaching staff. Afterward we spoke together with many of the students who were very moved at the footage and incredulous that this can continue and at the media blackout on coverage of such injustice. Later that day one of the students, Lala Albert, emailed me with these words:
“Thank you so much for everything. You’ve opened my eyes to the real world and I’m not living in a fairy tale any more, thank you.”
Lala, also called Laura, expressed strong interest in humanitarian work in her future. She has connected to many of the Facebook pages that I manage for Gaza and in the area of human right. She is a very bright and positive person with a strongly developed sense of justice. This is what the world needs. This is what will support change. This is the purpose of facilitating talks such as these during this week. From one seed a full orchard can grow. The people of Gaza and the West Bank have their own voice but they need people outside of the enclosed walls at the moment to scream their volices out louder and demand an end to this human shame and they also need greater connections to their international brothers and sisters.
This is why it is so important to keep the energy and momentum that has been created in this talking tour going. With all of the facilitators linking together and young people like Lala coming together insha’Allah this will happen.
Eva Bartlett speaking in the Palestine Aid Offices in Belfast tonight as part of her world wide tour raising awareness about the continued plight of the indigenous population in Palestine. Among the 41 people present included members of the Belfast and District Trade Council. Representatives of Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance, a Nobel peace prize Laureat, Palestinian Political Supporters, and humanItarian activists. We all demand peace with Justice for Palestine.
-Fra Hughes [see Palestine Aid page]
I attended your presentation in Café Rialta in Belfast last night and I just wanted to drop you a mail and thank you. It was a moving, informative and mobilising talk that kept me awake for most of the night. I do some activism for Palestine but not nearly enough – you’ve given me the boost to up my game.
Hello Eva, really enjoyed your talk tonight in Belfast. Fantastic account, and it has inspired me to up my Palestinian solidarity campaign. Here’s a video of Belfast RNU activists carrying out a direct action on Israeli goods. http://youtu.be/uaXCx8l_bp4
On the final day of Eva Bartlett‘s speaking tour of Ireland on Gaza we met along with Martin Quigley, chairperson of the I.P.S.C., with Emer Costello, MEP. We discussed the importance of the issue of Gaza and the West Bank remaining as priority on the agenda of Irish and European politics. This was agreed by all and there will be further communication translating into tighter links and action forged immediately.Issues discussed were the escalating, man-made, humanitarian crisis in the domain of water, fuel, power, trade, employment, setttlements and economic sanctions. As today was the final day of the tour I would like to formally thank Eva for visiting Ireland on her way to Syria via the UK where she will also talk. All talks generated much discussion and I am sure that everyone went away with new thoughts, new information, new ideas, and new feelings. Many already know of the situation in Gaza…in the West Bank…nonetheless in coming together in settings of young and older with the sole purpose of being part of essential change all of us learn something new. It is essential that we harness this momentum.As stated by Noor Harazeen in her introductory film from Gaza, and as agreed with by Eva, Gaza needs external media to ensure that the voice…the truth…gets heard from Gaza and that together this is how change will occur and this illegal occupation, this atrocious and shameful suffering ends. Remember, in Gaza the water will be undrinkable in 2016. This is less than two years away. With such sanctions and paralysis on trade and employment how will the people be able to afford the imported bottled water? Are we content to sit by and watch our friends, our fellow humans, die though a man-made, illegal occupation and fracturing of international laws with no sanctions? I am not. I have pledged that I am not going to sit idly by. I could not live with that on my conscience and I do not think that many of the people in Ireland could live with that…so…we must work to prevent that….to do what it is that we can and pull together to prevent this. This is not about us…this is about the people of Gaza who are as deserving of their dignity and freedom and of peace as we are. So thank you Eva for highlighting the situation. It is up to us all now to take action in whatever way we can. Goodnight to all of my friends in Gaza. Salam Gaza.