26 May 2008

Protest in Paris

Protest in Paris

May 17, 2008- Thousands of French filled the streets, carrying placards and banners, singing songs and shouting slogans. This is Paris, May 2008, 40 years after the social revolution known as “May 68” shook France. The uprisings in the 60s saw a series of student protests and general strikes that caused the eventual collapse of the French government.

One could have easily mistaken the protest to be one of those marking the strike in Paris, by thousands of teachers and public sector workers, to protest against job cuts and education reform. But if one listened closely and read the banners, it was clear that this protest was in support of the Palestinian people.

May 2008 also marks 60 years since the Nakba- the Catastrophe- when thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes by the Zionists, who then went on to form the state of Israel. And while Israel celebrates its 60th birthday, many around the world, like the thousands of French protesting in the streets of Paris, are asking, ‘What is there to celebrate about?’ How can anyone celebrate when the Israeli occupation and attacks against civilians in Gaza and the West Bank continue unabated?

The protesters marched in the streets carrying Palestinian flags and posters condemning the Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians, calling for an end to the siege on Gaza, the right of return for Palestinians, and an end to Israeli occupation. This is part of a campaign by Palestinians and social activists in France, demanding the French government pressure Israel to stop its abuses of the Palestinian people and to assist the Palestinians in achieving independence.

Sabrina, a student of law in Paris, says that the government is seen as being too supportive of the Zionist state of Israel. Nadia, who studies political science, went on to explain that it comes down to business- the French state wants good relations with Israel and continues to encourage business and trade. And the French public is not being shown an accurate and balanced view of the situation, they argue. ‘If you only watch the mainstream TV, you will think that it is the Palestinians that don’t want peace and that all Israelis are good!’

Naseem, a Palestinian computer science student from the town of Baqa al-qarbia, was happy to see so many French out on the streets, supporting the cause. He happened to be passing through Paris when he heard of the protest, co-organised by other Palestinian students studying in France. ‘I thought that the world has forgotten us in Palestine!’

Another Palestinian, who had been living in France for the past 10 years, said they will not forget. ‘We want to return to the land of our grandparents- and show people that Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived together on this land for hundreds of years.’

For now, they hope and protest, and the song that has become popular with Palestinians and their supporters, rings through the streets of Paris:
I hail thee, hawk of Lebanon
I welcome thee, Hassan Nasrallah
Here are your men, Hezbollah…


'liya said...

Wish I could be there to join in the protest.

UTP said...

and once again...nothing happened...life goes on after a few days of the protest...

a sheer waste of time...

Ojalanpoika said...

Could you kindly comment, whether my details are correct in a dissident essay concerning the recent scaling up of production in the Israeli high Tech companies in:
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Expelled-Jews-statistics.htm ?

However, if you are only after Jihad against Eretz Israel by the means of media war after the conventional weapons were not succesful, please do not bother. I don't want to have anything to do with any holy war - wars are not holy. No matter if they are won or lost.

E.g. "...Before the Second Intifada, there were nearly 200 Israeli companies listed in the Nasdaq, at the Intifada the count dropped to 70. (The number is still greater than from all the European countries combined). It is said that the dollars are green since the Americans pull them down from the tree raw and fresh. The start-ups are imported straight from the garage, and scaling up of production in the "conflict hotspot" has been considered impossible. But the new Millennium has brought a change in tide.

As an example, the supranational Intel transferred the mass production of Centricon-processors to Israel, where ~20% of citizens possess university decrees (ranking 3rd in the world) but where the environment respects patents and are not plagiating every item they produce to others like the rocketting China. Intel was also offered an overall tax rate of 10%, which is about three times lower than that of US.

Also, the biggest generic drug factory in the world was recently established in Israel. Generating US$7 billion in annual revenues, Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) is the world's largest generic pharmaceutical company. That is: to cure people with less money. TEVA makes generic versions of brand-name antibiotics, heart drugs, heartburn medications, and more - in all close to 200 global generic products, 700 compounds, and more than 2800 dosage forms and formulations. TEVA's pharmaceuticals are used in some 20% of U.S. generic drug prescriptions. Examples of TEVA's generics include lower-cost equivalents of such blockbusters as anti-depressant Prozac and cholesterol drug Mevacor. Nevertheless, in biotechnology and original drug development, about 400 experimental Israeli drugs have been approved or accepted in clinical phases.

The population of Arabs under the Israeli government increased ten-fold in only 57 years. Palestinian life expectancy increased from 48 to 72 years in 1967-95. The death rate decreased by over 2/3 in 1970-90 and the Israeli medical campaigns decreased the child death rate from a level of 60 per 1000 in 1968 to 15 per 1000 in 2000 at the Westbank. (An analogous figure was 64 in Iraq, 40 in Egypt, 23 in Jordan, and 22 in Syria in 2000). During 1967-88 the amount of comprehensive schoold and second level polytechnic institutes for the Arabs was increased by 35%. During 1970-86 the proportion of Palestinian women at the West Bank and Gaza not having gone to school decreased from 67 % to 32 %. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in West Bank and Gaza increased in 1968-1991 from 165 US dollars to 1715 dollars (compare with 1630$ in Turkey, 1440$ in Tunis, 1050$ in Jordan, 800$ in Syria, 600$ in Egypt. and 400$ in Yemen)..."

Recovering from hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of the brain,
Pauli Ojala, evolutionary critic
Biochemist, drop-out (MSci-Master of Sciing)
Helsinki, Finland