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The Nakba, Canada and why we support Palestinians: an Interview with Hammam Farah

Gustavo Monteiro

May 19, 2018

On Saturday, May 12 hundreds gathered in Toronto for a rally for Gaza and to commemorate 70 years since the Nakba and to say no to Israeli occupation, apartheid and massacres.

The rally started across the street from the Israeli Consulate and marched to the US Consulate. A group called the Association of Progressive Palestinian Canadians (APPC) organized this event which was endorsed by several progressive organizations and indigenous peoples.

Palestinians continue to suffer through apartheid and daily violence while the US blocks the UN Security Council calling for investigation into Gaza violence. The American government not satisfied by only backing up Netanyahu’s regime, decided to move and inaugurate a new embassy in Jerusalem while IDF snipers are killing demonstrators and injuring thousands of people.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland commented on the recent events in Palestine saying “All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure civilians are protected” which is a very similar statement to what Trump said after Charlottesville car attack led by a white supremacist that injured several people and killed Heather Heyer. spoke with Hammam Farah, a member of APPC, to talk about the work of this new organization, the importance of the event and solidarity with people facing the violent regime of Israel in Palestine.

What’s the APPC and its mission?

HF: APPC is still on its launching phase, we’re still trying to work out the logistics on how we’re going to be launching and how we’re going to be organizing, but essentially what this group is going to be about is in the name, progressive values. We feel that one of the biggest issues in being able to organize for Palestine and Palestinian rights in the city is there’s a gap between the Palestinian community and the Palestinian solidarity movement so we’d like to bridge that gap, that’s the role of APPC.

Considering what’s going on in Gaza right now, is completely atrocious that we see the Israeli military deploying hundreds of snipers on the Gaza boundary fence to shoot at unarmed demonstrators that are just trying to exercise their internationally recognized right to return home.

What’s the message from the Canadian Government which claims to be a Human Rights defender?

HF: We’ve seen nothing from Trudeau about what’s happening right now in Gaza. The main demand of this rally is for Canada to impose an arms embargo on Israel. I think this where we’re at, this is what Canadian society has reached where we can now demand an arms embargo and I think a lot of Canadians would support that demand, but we need to do the education that is required, we need to continue to reach out to people, reach more people so they can come out and support us, we need to reach to other oppressed communities.

Israel is violating human rights, it’s in violation of international law, shooting at unarmed demonstrators.

In the end of the day, this is a human rights issue. It’s not a religious issue. It’s an issue of freedom, justice and equality of people fighting for freedom from oppression, from injustice, from ethnic cleansing, from apartheid, from the military occupation that is illegal under international law and for the recognized right of return.”

Arm yourself with the arguments about why it is right to oppose Israel
. Check out this link to understand the history of the state of Israel and why we should support Palestinian resistance.



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