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Cartooning in Conflict
Chicago Nov. 4-6


Reactions to Israeli attack on flotilla


Today I listened with horror to Northern Ireland politicians, lining up to take sides in the aftermath of the horrific death and violence which took place on the flotilla of ships bringing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Unionist politicians supporting the actions of the Israeli army and pointing the finger of blame at Hammas, citing the continuing hail of bombings into Israel and Republican politicians lambasting the Israeli army for perpetrating this murderous assault on people supporting the Palestinians forced to live in unacceptable conditions with restricted movement, check points, shortages of basic foods and medicines and devoid of opportunities for work and education.

I learned from my friends in the Parent's Circles Families Forum, an organisation of Palestinian and Israeli people, all of whom have lost loved ones to this most destructive conflict, that to take sides like this does absolutely nothing in helping to bring this conflict to an end, rather it fuels the fire of despair and bolsters the hate mongers.

All of this madness is wrong. All of the families who live every day with the consequences of this war, day in, day out - the fear, the pain, the helplessness, the injustice, the hunger, the thirst, the hopelessness - know only too well what suffering is.

I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt sympathy to all of the families caught up in this recent disaster, the peace loving volunteers, the crew, the young soldiers sent in by armchair generals.

They today are left to pick up the pieces of their lives, to ask all the why? questions, to bury their children, dads, brothers.

As far as I am concerned, it is time for the whole world to wise up! Everyone knows that a two state solution, a viable and free Palestine and a viable free Israel is the only way forward. How many peace processes are required for the blatantly obvious to sink in. Neither the Palestinian people nor the Israeli people are going to disappear in a puff of smoke and the basic human dignity of both peoples needs to be respected in the creation of their own homelands, at peace with one another and at peace with the world.

We in Northern Ireland are coming to terms with one another, slowly. We have come a long way since the devastating bloody three decades of violent death and our peace process is slowly taking root. We still have a long way to go and in many respects our ability to understand one another and create a truly shared society is a slow and difficult process yet step by step we must journey on.

Our children deserve no less - and the children of Israel and Palestine deserve to live and grow and laugh and play - free and safe - and it is not some distant alien preventing this - its ordinary human being like me and you - especially when we align ourselves to one side or the other instead of standing in solidarity together and saying in one strong voice -END THIS MADNESS NOW!

We, as active supporters of the SAVE declaration, are encouraging mothers everywhere to stand in solidarity together against violent extremism and today I want to feel the power of that message permeating the corridors of power all over the world. I want the decision makers everywhere to get serious about developing viable peace agreements and the crucial implementation processes which follow.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Unfortunately, so often, vested interest, power imbalances and resentment stand as huge obstacles to progress - and peace processes wallow in stagnation and indecision.

The focus of the world's media is today on the hostages being deported from Israel and the anger of both the Palestinian government and the Israeli government over what has happened.

The families of the dead and injured will watch this and wonder - how many more fellow human beings will have to suffer before the inevitable resolution is found.

Anne Carr, SAVE Northern Ireland
Dialogue Practitioner, Belfast, Northern Ireland


Date:  07/06/2010
Name:  Darren Turner
E-mail:  darrenMove@live.co.uk
There is no sign of hope.
You say the Palestinians will not disappear in a puff of smoke. Israeli politicians have nearly all the military power, and still keep to the old ideas of =no alternative= and the Palestinians are a =defeated people=. In Northern Ireland things changed because of people like you, =and= because the US backed the republican cause, while a change in UK government stopped the bias towards the unionist cause. The problem is that Europe and the USA still do not get that they have a collective guilt for the genocide of the Jewish people, =and= the oppression of the Palestinian people. As the joke goes, God says the Palestinians will have freedom, but not in his time. God bless you.

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