Published May 17, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
A group of nearly 300 individuals marched in downtown Memphis to express their support for the people of Palestine after a string of recent Israeli strikes in Gaza City.
They chanted “Long live Palestine” as they marched. The group continued with “Hey hey, ho ho, the occupation has got to go” and “free, free Palestine” on their trek from Memphis City Hall to the National Civil Rights Museum.
Rallies in support of Palestinians were held across the world this past weekend after the latest round of attacks.
On Sunday, Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City took out three buildings and left at least 42 people dead, according to the Associated Press. This would be the deadliest single attack since the newest fights between Israel and militant Hamas rulers started a week ago.
The death toll is currently close to 200 people, and another 1200 have been wounded.
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Sheikh Anwar Arafat addressed the crowd. Arafat told them that his family in Gaza had been forced to evacuate their homes and that he had received a text from his aunt that he feared may be the last.
“(Palestinians) know that you’re here, and your presence gives them strength,” Arafat said. “You should be proud.”
The chanting continued with “Occupation is a crime from Memphis to Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Raneem Elayan, one of the people in attendance, said that everyone should be concerned about the issue.
“Everybody is tied to it, whether it’s your tax dollars or your religion,” Elayan said. “It’s not fair to look at every issue we have and ignore this one. You can’t selectively choose what violation of human rights you want to speak out about.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would continue, despite efforts to call for a cease-fire. He was joined in a televised address by defense minister and political rival Benny Gantz as a display of unity in the continuation of “full-force” attacks.
Similar rallies took place in major cities across the country and the world, including Atlanta, Boston, Sacramento, and Chicago. Supporters say they are “begging to be heard”. Some blame the American education system for not shedding light on the truth about what is happening with Israel.
Danai Helou, another supporter, hopes the protest will heighten awareness of the acts of brutality being brought against Palestinians by the Israeli government and military.
Helou is the co-founder of Memphis Voices for Palestine, and she wants Americans to push for the government to put a halt to the $3.8 billion in military aid given to Israel each year.
“The Israeli government and military are ethnically cleansing and committing crimes against humanity against the Palestinians,” Helou said. “I hope that people reach out to their congress-people and pressure their congress-people and representatives to without that funding. I hope that people commit to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which is a call to boycott Israeli and Israel supporting companies.”