Following Israel’s decision to begin a ground invasion into Gaza on Thursday, people have taken to the streets all over the world in protest.
Toronto was one of the major cities in Canada in which protests were held on Saturday, condemning the government’s support for Israel. One of the protest’s organizers, Hind Awwad, said that the Canadian government’s “unwavering support” of Israel amounted to them sharing responsibility in the “crimes in the Gaza Strip.”
On Monday, around 500 people participated in a silent protest in Tokyo. According to The Daily Star in Lebanon, protesters waved Palestinian flags, formed large letters spelling “Gaza” in a local park, and carried signs reading, “Stop the killing in Gaza. Japan cares.”
“We want people in Gaza to know that they are not isolated from the world,” said Sonoko Kawakami, who was one of the protest’s organizers. “Gaza is far from Japan, but we are going to continue to do whatever we can do here.”
Protests were held near the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Monday. The Daily Star reported that, “The protest was organized by left-wing trade unions and peace groups and included Turkish Cypriot activists from the ethnically divided island’s breakaway north.”
Marches of solidarity took place in the Middle East in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.
Demonstrations were also held in Europe, in capital cities such as Madrid, Belfast, and Amsterdam. One of the largest rallies in Europe over the weekend was a rally in Vienna, where the number of participants reached 11,000 people.
In Washington, hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the State Department on Sunday. According to the Washington Post, Palestinian Americans, Muslims, Jews, and others rallied “to demonstrate against Israeli violence in Gaza, with many expressing frustration with what they see as unconditional U.S. support for Israel.”
“The U.S. is the primary patron of Israel and provides unequivocal diplomatic and military support,” said Noura Erakat, a Palestinian lawyer and professor at George Mason University. “It’s a complicit third party in what amounts to a massacre of the Palestinian population entrapped within the Gaza strip.”
Mervin Adwan, a mother of six from Gaza, has lived in the United States for the last 13 years. “I would like to see my people safe in their lands. I want to feel free to visit my family, and I can’t do that because it’s not safe for my kids,” said Adwan, who hasn’t been back to Gaza since she originally left.
“We want to urge the U.S. to please stop this bloodshed,” said Rabbi Dovid Feldman, from the group Jews United Against Zionism, who was a speaker at the event. “It’s time to realize it’s wrong for the Palestinian people and dangerous for Jewish people.”
On Saturday, a protest was held in San Francisco. According to the San Francisco Gate, those involved were “Chanting ‘Free Palestine’ and accusing Israel of genocide.”
“At least this is something I can do, a way I can show my support for the Palestinians,” said Amal Saleh, a San Francisco protestor who claimed she was shocked by the “dehumanization of Palestinians” in this conflict.