By Anam A.
Hundreds rallied outside Buffalo City Hall last Friday, July 18th to protest the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, and members of various faiths, young and old, gathered in Niagara Square after a long march to call for a ceasefire and an end to the hostilities.
People were not shy about showing their support: chants decrying the deplorable conditions inflicted upon the Gazans rang through the air as people demanded for Israel to “Free, Free Palestine!”
When asked about what motivated her to organize the demonstration, the organizer who is a student at University at Buffalo, said “I couldn’t watch videos of children needlessly getting killed any more . I could no longer stay silent about it. The media is completely one-sided…I wanted to give all those who were killed a voice.”
Mohamed Khalil, a Palestinian-American resident of Buffalo, agreed with her. “Our blood doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “The media doesn’t report half of it, not even a quarter of it, not even 5%. Meanwhile, [IDF] kills 18 family members to kill one man.”
Though both sides have suffered equally lamentable losses, the continuously mounting death toll is undeniably lopsided: more than 600 Gazan civilians have been killed, and many more have been injured and rendered homeless. Alternatively, 29 Israeli soldiers and 2 Israeli civilians have been killed.
Rabbi Dovid Feldman, a member of “Jews United Against Zionism” called the deaths “a war crime.” He added that one of the greatest discrepancies in the media coverage of the conflict was the idea that “all Jews support Israel’s aggression.” He maintains that “Judaism is a peaceful religion, and Israel’s actions go against that… [Israel] needs to give up…apologize and make reparations so we can all live in peace.”
Protesters agreed that the main outcome of the demonstration was to show the world the importance of ending Israeli occupation.
“Palestinians need their freedom just like everyone else,” said Mohamed Khalil. “If we can’t get our land back, at least give us our freedom.”
You can watch our video coverage of the event below.
To view photos from the protest CLICK HERE.