Sunday, 23 February 2014

Curiosity

Diana and I wandered out for the evening to central Wellington, the place where the action is, the bars, the theaters, the people. And last evening, the protests. We watched from the other side of the road for a bit then curiosity got this cat and I dragged poor Diana, protesting, over for a look.

It was the Israeli flags that did it and the signs that said something about Israel being the only democracy in the Arab world. Over their assertions were cries that I better understood. Cries to boycott the Israeli dance troupe that was performing in the theatre. Cries of support for the Palestinian cause. Cries of protest against the abuses of the Zionist state. These were strong and informed voices. And I joined them for a while.

Lots of passers by did. As well as showing their support in many ways. I talked to some of those protesting and it seems I have found an organisation I'm going to subscribe to The New Zealand Palestinian Human Rights Campaign.  I read through their website this morning and there's a lot more to read. Interesting facts, information and news. Book lists for me to explore. And dedicated people who are not going to be silenced. Who are really passionate about supporting our fellow human beings to regain the rights that have been forcibly taken from them. Apartheid in action, with support from some strong western powers.

I did get a little angry at two of the protesters on the other side. Having been there, having seen the wall and the way Palestinians are treated, I felt like I could challenge them with at least some knowledge of the place. I suspect they were surprised at that. They were fixed in their views, defending their rights to be free to assert their opinions. That did make me smile sadly, demanding rights that have been taken from others by the regimen they were seeking to defend.

I did wonder that if the New Zealand government decided to institute two years of compulsory military service for all our young people; where they got to go and sack a community of people who owned the land and drive them off it, with the rights to terrorise and arrest children, would they would be the first to protest. That is the reality for the young of Israel, and there are many who protest about this too, and the reality for the people they have a government mandate to subjugate.

That's my Sunday morning rant, there will be more to follow about the weekend's adventures as well as the photos I took of the most amazing bird life out wandering in Zealandia. I have much to do today, including gift shopping for my favourite 3 soon to be 4 year old. I'm heading down for a visit in a couple of weeks, I can't wait to play pirates again. 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good comments regarding the Israelis & Palestinians. I'm glad I went & saw the situation for myself. Loved the West Bank & got my best haircut
ever in Ramallah!!!

Jule's Short Story said...

Thank you for your comment.

Yes, actually going there and seeing for oneself is really important. I've had lots of conversations with Palestinians, displaced from their place and not allowed to return. Listening to personal stories certainly puts a human face on this tragedy.

Must remember to get a hair cut next time I'm there :)

Jules

Di said...

Loved it. It wasn't a rant, it was reasoned and intelligent. So proud of you. xx

Jule's Short Story said...

Thanks Di. I was so taken aback by the people on the other side of the protest and I suspect they may have been confusing anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Quite different, certainly not what the protest was about, and one of the mechanisms that shame people into silence. Must post here that quote from the holocaust survivor I shared on Facebook.
Hope you enjoyed the web site, I was thinking of you as I posted. xx