As I write this I have recieved a growing amount of e-mails and letters from my constituents who are outraged at Israel's ongoing offensive against the Palestinian people. I have written to the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and am also signing a Statement of Opinion at the Assembly that has been put down by Bethan Jenkins AM. Hopefully this will register the Welsh Government's calls for an end to the violence in the Gaza Strip.
In the next week we can make our opposition to Israel's attacks clear by attending the following demonstrations in Wales:
Every Tuesday 12 - 1 p.mVigil
Nye Bevan statue, Queen St, Cardiff
Friday 9 January
Assemble 2 p.m. outside Cardiff City Hall, Cathays Park
Two Gaza Emergency Appeal Fundraising events:
I.Wednesday 7 January
Benefit gig for Gaza in aid of Middle East Childrens Alliance
with Frankie Armstrong - Cath Little - Bob Evans & Mary Ann Roberts -Imran Khan - Shanee Taylor - Guto Dafis - Stefano GiaconneCôr Cochion (Cardiff Reds Choir) and poems by Patrick Jones- stories by Amanda Rackstraw Tickets: £5 or donation, Available at the door: 7:30-11 pm in Dempseys, Castle St. Cardiff - tickets £5 or donation
Coaches from Cardiff to Saturday's Demonstration in London
EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION - Please Forward to as many People as Soon as Possible!Saturday 10 January, Central London
Coaches leave at 8 am, Museum Steps Cardiff and 8.30 am Bus Station, Newport
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a seat asap!
Tickets - £16 waged / £10 unwaged asap
In the north:
Vigil and protest against the Israeli invasion of Gaza
Saturday 10 January
Midday, Queens Square, Wrexham
Bring placards and banners to show your feelings
"Israel is committing a shocking series of atrocities by using modern weaponry against a defenceless population - attacking a population that has been enduring a severe blockade for many months."
The UN Human Rights Council
A few hundred people turned up on a freezing cold New Years Eve in Cardiff to protest against Isreal's atrocities in Gaza. Plaid Cymru's Jill Evans MEP spoke on behald of CND Cymru and Plaid Cymru. There are plans for more demonstrations. One has been called for tomorrow in London and is supported by more than 30 organisations including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign , Stop the War and CND For regular updates, you can join this or this group on Facebook.
There have been demonstrations throughout the week including this one against biased media coverage at the BBC Wales studios reported here and here.
One of the BBC protestors said:
"While we hear about rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, we rarely hear that this is Palestinian land stolen by Israel. Since Saturday, Israel has killed more than 350 civilians in response to the repeatedly reported 4 deaths amongst the Israelis. The hugely disproportionate response by the Israel is not highlighted."
This article in the Times gives a good perspective on the media reporting of the situation.
"...while the horrific scenes in Gaza and Israel play themselves out on our television screens, a war of words is being fought that is clouding our understanding of the realities on the ground... The Bush-Blair response to the Hamas victory in 2006 is the key to today's horror. Instead of accepting the democratically elected Government, they funded an attempt to remove it by force; training and arming groups of Fatah fighters to unseat Hamas militarily and impose a new, unelected government on the Palestinians. Further, 45 Hamas MPs are still being held in Israeli jails."
I agree with Tony Benn, who says "The Israeli Government, armed and supported by President Bush, with its savage attack on the people of Gaza now represents the greatest threat to security in the Middle East and the world peace movement is mobilizing on a massive scale to defeat this aggression. I appeal to everyone who can possibly do so to attend the many demonstrations that are being held here so that the British government is left in no doubt as to the strength of opposition there is to this war."
If you can't attend any of the demonstrations, you could write to your MP, urging them to insist on an immediate end to Israel's bombardment and blockade of Gaza and to call for an urgent debate in the house of commons on Israel's actions.