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Ceasefire now: the speech and video you need to read and watch

Jersey peace activist Natalie Strecker’s has turned her powerful speech at last weekend’s pro-Gaza rally into an article that exposes many of the horrors of apartheid Israel and its genocide – accompanied by an original animated video by Italian artist Luca Soci. It is important reading and viewing:

Ceasefire now – a speech by Natalie Strecker (reposted with permission)

7th November, Royal Square Jersey

Thank you for coming here today as people of conscience on our island. We are joining our voices with millions around the world for the sake of humanity at this incredibly dark time in our history.

A time when the rule book appears to have been thrown out the window, when a civilian population, over HALF of which is made up of children, is being pulverised! We have all seen the footage, the evidence: hospitals, convoys of ambulances, schools, universities, refugee camps, beach camps, churches, mosques, bakeries, water tanks, carpet bombed, journalists deliberately targeted, fishing boats burned, and the majority of the Western world and its allies have refused to call for a ceasefire, including our local government here in Jersey. Worse than that, the US, who already funds Israel to the sum of $3.8billion a year, has just agreed another $14.3 billion in military aid…let that sink in! They have no money for healthcare, for the homeless, for the poor, but they always have money for the war machine that feeds on the lives of ordinary people, people just like us! Additionally, reports are suggesting not only that, but that the US, the UK, and others are supplying intelligence and other military support to Israel as it commits its war crimes, making our national government actively complicit!

As we continue down this road, we need to fully appreciate that the international community, including our local government, has failed NOT just the Palestinian people, who after already suffering 8 decades of brutality, ethnic cleansing, occupation and apartheid, are now subject to what has been described, by legal expert and former UN official, Craig Mokhiber, as “a text-book case of genocide”.

The international community has failed Israelis, whose society is being torn apart. Israelis who are being arrested, losing their jobs, receiving death threats and being beaten by violent mobs, because of showing empathy and compassion to the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank, where ethnic cleansing has increased, Israelis who understand and have publicly stated the truth, that this did NOT start on the 7th October, contrary to the narrative the media and our ruling classes have been spinning, and let us not forget that we can be sure now that most of their hostages will likely have suffered the same fate as Palestinian civilians in this bombardment.

The International Community has also failed us as a global society, the human family, because whether we like it or not, our lives are inextricably linked for good or bad… the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the destruction of the environment around the globe and the violent weather it brings, which we witnessed just last week in our own island demonstrates the truth of this. We are all connected and what we do to others, we do to ourselves, we all need to wake up to this fact!

We need to understand the long reaching implications this has if we do not turn this around, I have argued many, many times of what will happen if we allow international law to become irrelevant, because it allows the establishment of new norms, it may start there in the Middle East, but let us be under no illusions, it will not end there, and it endangers us all!

So, when our Chief Minister issues a letter stated to be on behalf of us islanders, asking not for a ceasefire, but “humanitarian pauses”, let’s be clear what it is that she is asking for… it is punctuated genocide, and we say NOT IN OUR NAME! Israel as the occupying power cannot argue defence, that is a matter of legal fact under International Law, they can hold individuals to account for crimes and they should, but there can be no moral argument for the attempt to erase or forcibly transfer the indigenous population, crimes we had hoped we had left in the 20th Century!

This is a stain on our collective conscience, and we must do everything within our power to stop it!

I know how helpless and desperate many of you will be feeling, because I feel it! How your soul and body aches, some of you no doubt are holding your precious children closer each night, grateful that it is not your babies being wrapped in blankets or collected in plastic bags. So, let’s work every moment of every day to say that this stops here, that it must stop right now, not a moment later! That we will not allow the world to continue down this path, which none of us will ultimately benefit from, it debases us as a human collective. It is going to mean that we need to be brave, to recognise that some people because they are ignorant, because they are fearful, or because they hold on to ideologies that they think will keep them safe, may make false claims, but we need to stand firm, to be courageous to raise and unite our voices, otherwise how will we ever be able to look at children again knowing the world that we allowed to be created? We owe them so much more than this.

Never underestimate the power we have as individuals, the impact of our accumulative actions can and will bring change! Take a moment right now to look at each other, look around yourselves, look at who is standing with you today this is what hope looks like! We may only be a small gathering, but each one of us is mighty, we are holding the light in our island and by doing so, we join millions of fellow light bearers around the world. and we will keep shining our light until the darkness is overcome.

So, I will finish with the words of the legend that was Nelson Mandela: “it always seems impossible until its done” So friends, my brother and sisters, let us get on with it!

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