As Israel relentlessly bombed Gaza, the Syracuse chapter of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) organized an emergency protest on July 9 in front of the downtown Federal Building. The protest demanded an end to Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people, an end to U.S. aid to Israel, freedom for Palestinian political prisoners, and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
As of the morning of July 8, the death count from Israeli bombs had reached 40. The list of the 40 victims was provided by the health ministry in Gaza with the names of each victim, the youngest being 18-month-old Mohammed Malakieyeh, who was killed with his 27-year-old mother. The 40 Palestinian deaths far outnumber the three Israeli settler youth found dead that Netanyahu used to justify the collective punishment of Hamas supporters in Gaza. The Netanyahu regime has used the killing of the youth settlers, an act which Hamas denies doing, as a justification of racist incitement against Palestinian people and the further colonization of Palestinian lands.
Lana Hijazi, a long-time Palestinian activist from Gaza who attended the demonstration told Liberation News, “The most important thing we can do [in the U.S.] is to show our support to the Palestinian people through demonstrations like these and by educating people about the subject,” to counter the mainstream media that is controlled by imperialist interests. ANSWER organizer Derek Ford assured, “If the bombs keep falling on Gaza from Israel, we will be back with another protest.”