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Report from Support Gaza Stop Israel protest in Cork Saturday 10th Jan

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Saturday January 10, 2009 19:44author by Miriam Report this post to the editors

Big increase on numbers attending last week's demonstration

Approximately 1,200 people attended - it was a spirited protest with some very good speeches. Many joined the march as it made its way from Daunt Square down the length of Patrick Street, down Merchants Quay and then into Parnell Place where it halted near the CIE bus station - where bus drivers are organising a collection for the people of Gaza. Then there were a few more addresses and the march turned round and retraced its steps back to Daunt Square. So far as I am aware nobody from either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail was there - but good representation from Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Party, a Green Party councillor speaking for himself, Sinn Fein, Kathy Sinnott MEP. Representatives from Cork Muslim Community spoke as did Dr Hamid Abas, of the Deaprt of Micro Science at UCC - who is also Chair of the Cork Muslim Group. Present also was Humaira, Cahirperson of the Women of the World Group in Ireland.

Shoppers in Cork's main street, Patrick's Street, were once again halted in their tracks as the march wound its way by - many clearly supportive - and clapping or yelling their encouragement, with some joining us on the way. Drivers in the opposite lane were honking horns in support as many of the banner notices asked them to.

We loudly chanted slogans as we went along -led by members of Cork's Muslim Community and other groups:

Free Free Palestine!
Gaza, Gaza don't cry - Palestine will never die!
One-two-three--four, We don't want your bloody war!
Five-six-seven-eight, Israel's a terror state
IDF and Israel - out of Gaza NOW!

Israel's Appalling Lies

Aside from the politicians who spoke against Israel's actions, one of the march's main organisers James Bowen, Professor of Computer Science at UCC, (and founder member of the excellent Palestine Information with Provenance (PIWP) website) - made some important points and, as at last week's protest, was scathing about the performance of the mainstream media. He described how a More 4 journalist this week cornered Mark Ragav, one of Ehud Olmert's principal spokespeople and got him to admit on camera that Israel knew Hamas had not fired any rockets into Israel before it launched its attack - that it had been recorded in official Israeli documents and on one of its government websites. Further, he was able to show that, not only had Hamas not been firing rockets they had also been trying to prevent smaller grouups from doing so during the ceasefire. [strong]So the accusation that Hamas broke the ceasefire thus 'provoking' the Israeli attack, has now been admitted by one of Israel's top representatives to be completely invalid, founded on a proven lie - and yet the mainstream media juggernaut rolls on , spewing lies from Israel's script.[/strong]

Bowen also quoted Naomi Klein who has said in recent days that the situation is just like South Africa used to be - the only difference being that the holocaust is being used as an excuse.


A full scale boycott of Israeli products is being organised in Cork and throughout Ireland this week. Again, James Bowen called for 'a well organised and mannerly boycott' of shops to follow the march next week, which will involve protestors visiting shops known to carry Israeli products and asking them to stop or face peaceful protest on behalf of the people of Gaza. He said the protestors should do everything possible 'this side of the law' and said that it would be a serious disservice to Gazans if anyone was to break the law and bring the protest into disrepute.

What to boycott

A leaflet was in circulation expalining some of the products to be avoided. It reads:

"[strong]Tesco[/strong]: Loose red peppers, loose red grapefruit, Herbs; basil, coriander, chives, dill, mint.

Anything with the [strong]Jaffa[/strong] label on it. Bowen explained how the Jaffa label had once been owned by a Palestinian family who grew oranges in groves from which they had been expelled in 1948 - their home, their livelihood and even their own brand name were all stolen by Israelis. Jaffa oranges were famous for centuries before Israelis sucessfully colonised the Palestinian name along with the city of Yafa.

[strong]The Good Food Stores[/strong](Douglas Village shopping centre and The English Market)
Loose peppers, chillies herbs, lemon grass, dates (Medijoul), sweet potatoes

Also [strong]Dead Sea[/strong] skin care products, sold on a free standing stall in Tesco's store Paul Street, the Good Food Ship Dougland and the English Market are produce of Israel and can easily be boycotted.

[strong]Agrexco[/strong] export fruit and vegetables for sale all over Europe and the US under the trade name [strong]Carmel[/strong]. (Carmel is also the new name given by the Israelis to the Palestinian town/city of Haifa.) Much of Carmel's produce is grown on confiscated Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley, and the Israeli government owns 51% of the company.

Large chain stores such as [strong], M&S, Supervalu, Atlantic Homecare, Argos, B&Q, Woodies[/strong] continually sell Israeli produce. [strong]Fyffes[/strong] import and distribute Israeli fruit in Ireland.

Stock regularly changes in food stores and so to do suppliers. So as you shop pay close attention to the country of origina, printed either on the product or on the shelf.

The lists above are not complete, so as you shop quickly glance to see the country of origin. [STRONG]NB: barcodes ending in the numbers 729 mean the item is produce of Israel [/strong]

Also, mentioning to the store manager that you do not wish to consume Israeli produce could greatly assist in generating a strong boycott.

Your assistance is needed now. If you feel strongly about the situation in Gaza and the need to boycott, but you are unsure of what you as an individual can do here are some useful websites:

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign ( "

(End of leaflet)

author by Miriampublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 19:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish government has been one of the most condemnatory of the Israeli attack on Gaza. From the IPSC leaflet:

[strong]"Taoiseach/Prime Minister Brian Cowen[[/strong] has strongly expressed "condemnation" for the invasion and for the slow moving attempts to obtain UN security council agreement on the crisis:
"The fact that the United Nations security council cannot come to an agreement on calling for a ceasefire is hugely disappointing personally for me."

"We also must see real political progress on the Palestinian cause for an independent and free homeland for themselves [the Palestinians]"

[strong]Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs[/strong]:- "The carnage and humanitarian deprivation being inflicted on the people of Gaza must be brought to an immediate end."

"I am appalled by this indiscriminate attack by Israeli air forces which has resulted in so many civilian fatalities, including children."

"The International community must redouble its efforts to halt the carnage now taking place in Gaza."

Michael Martin is TD (MP) for a Cork City constituency - he should put substance to his words and come to participate in and support next week's demonstration in the city.

author by Conor. M - S.E.E.Dpublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 20:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done in Cork. Good numbers.

author by Miriampublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 20:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The excellent Mr Seymour at Lenin's tomb has all the information:

Anything about Dublin, Galway demos?

author by Harrypublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 22:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

@Tim, An article in the Wexford Echo this week:

“What is the point of protesting against Israel? It doesn’t work. Standing in the cold and shouting is a waste of time.”

So said a poster on the website this week who queried the usefulness of nationwide protests at the indiscriminate massacre in Gaza.

While “standing in the cold” in town squares, or outside the Israeli embassy in Dublin, may seem ineffective and pointless, an article in the Jerusalem Post last week succeeded in underscoring the effectiveness of these protests as a method to gauge Irish revulsion at the murder and mayhem in the besieged, and hermetically sealed, Palestinian ghetto.

“Israel's position in the world right now is “not good” and getting worse with each passing day of Operation Cast Lead, said a senior official in the Foreign Ministry. The official was referring primarily to Europe - not to the position of governments, but rather to overall public mood as reflected in the media and by numerous demonstrations.

“Ireland, according to foreign ministry officials, is currently one of the European countries most antagonistic to Israel, and a country where the hostility of the press is matched by the tone of the government,” began an article entitled “Shouldn’t Israel be ashamed of itself?”.
The article went on to further describe “the toxic environment in Ireland” and cited a call from Chris Andrews TD describing “Israel's action [as] state terrorism and calling for the expulsion of Israel's ambassador to Ireland” as evidence of this apparent toxicity.

While Ireland is a tiny country on the periphery of Europe it is clear that Irish disgust at the annihilation of Gaza reverberates around the globe, ultimately being reported in Israel itself and thus ensuring that its citizens know that their State’s murderous aggression is abhorred in at least one Western country.

Further endorsement of these vocal protests has come from Hikmat Ajjuri, the delegate-general of Palestine to Ireland: “The gruesome images of the most brutal aggression ever conducted by a “democratic” state, which are coming from Gaza and shown daily on our TV screens, should induce all those with a sense of humanity to raise their voices calling not merely for an end to this aggression but also for a change in the rules of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.”

Mr Ajjuri has called the silence of world leaders “shameful” and said this silence “blatantly reflects their impotence and failure to face the Israeli political leadership's intransigence and irresponsibility”.

While the craven response from a hand wringing UN, which failed to even agree on the wording of an anemic statement thanks to the US employing its overused veto to again protect Israel from global censure, is contemptible the immediate condemnation of the attack from our own Minister for Foreign Affairs Michael Martin is laudable.

“I condemn in the strongest terms Israel’s action in launching air strikes in Gaza against Hamas targets which have resulted in widespread civilian fatalities.”
“These actions, far from ending the cycle of violence which has gripped both Gaza and southern Israel in recent weeks, are unfortunately only likely to escalate the situation and make the search for an effective ceasefire in Gaza even more difficult,” said Mr Martin, proving that not every Western Foreign Affairs Minster engages in mealy-mouthed rhetoric.

While hundreds perish in Gaza and thousands continue to be horrifically maimed a propaganda war in the media is also being waged.

When an Israeli tank shell exploded outside a clearly marked UN school, killing more than 40 and injuring more than 55 innocent civilians who had been sheltering there under the misapprehension that it was immune from attack, the International Herald Tribune carried the straightforward headline “Israeli Mortars Kill 40 Palestinian Refugees”. CNN, however, decided to run with "Israel: Hamas Mortars Prompted Attack Near UN School”. News organisations – desperate to be seen to be impartial – allow Israeli disinformation from military spokespeople to go unchecked. In one CNN interview, an Israeli official said Hamas had taken control of Gaza in a “bloody coup”, implying that Israel – the only democracy in the middle east, as we are often told – was doing Palestinian civilians a favour by dropping 700 shells on Gaza in two hours.

While this lie was allowed to fester unopposed, the truth is that Hamas won a democratic election, which was overseen by independent observers, and its members were voted into office by Palestinians who had tired of years of Fatah corruption. Israel did not like the outcome of the election, but that does not make it a “coup”.

Veteran middle east reporter Robert Fisk said the eagerness of Western media to present Israeli lies and propaganda as fact was incredible and likened it to reporters during WW2 presenting the Nazi side of the argument while reporting from concentration camps.

Meanwhile, Israel prevents Western journalists from entering Gaza and reporting from the conflict – an unprecedented step from a “peace-loving democracy” with nothing to hide. Instead, journalists are reduced to standing at the border using long lens cameras to capture images of shells exploding in the distance as reporters use Israeli press releases verbatim to ensure “fair and balanced” reporting of events.

As Israel continues to crow about its “smart weapons” and “precision strikes” let us not forgot that bombs are falling in a tiny strip of land, measuring 25 miles by 5 miles, which is home to 1.5 million people, half of whom are under the age of 14.

Furthermore, as the death toll continues to mount and figures for civilian casualties continue to climb, we should be aware of the fact that male deaths are not counted among the civilian toll – for the purposes of calculating the innocent human cost of this outrage, all males are presumed to be militants.

Adequately expressing the outrage one feels at Israel’s action is difficult but attending protests, to ensure large crowds continue to attract media coverage, and boycotting Israeli goods is one way to try to make your voice heard.

For a full list of Israeli products visit

author by John - WPpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Miriam you forgot to mention the good turnout of members from the Workers' Party and WSM, both of which gave out leaflets. I counted 15 WP members there and there were people from other groups there too.

Related Link:
author by Miriampublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry about that - I hurtled up from West Cork as soon as I could to get to the March and missed some of the speeches at the beginning of the protest and spent most of the time on the march speaking to various people from all sorts of groups - for example Women of the World, a muslim woman from The Somali Human Rights group and Amel Sami, a Sudanese woman artist and writer who has a blog called [strong]'Memoirs of a Sudanese Breath'[/strong]

Here is her beautiful report on yesterday's march - great photos too (I wonder if it could be made into a feature?). Not only did I forget to mention the WSM but as you will see from Amel Sami's report I also omitted the most poignant moment on the march. Four children wearing protest t-shirts were photograped at the end of the march standing together in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with the dead children we have seen lying in rows in the media. It was such a powerful moment - to think that innocents like these could be targetted by the Israelis - unthinkable that anyone could aim guns and bombs at them. AS's blog is terrific - lots of amazing writing and information there:

Speaking of anarchists and libertarian left, Chomsky comments here:

"What He Said:

“Hamas has so far sustained a very heavy blow from us, but we have yet to achieve our objective and therefore the operation continues”.

Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister, January 6th 2008.

What He Meant:

We should speak of US-Israeli objectives. It’s more than just symbolic that Gaza is being pounded by US jet bombers and helicopters, of course in violation of US law (not to speak of international humanitarian law).

Traditionally over the years, Israel has sought to crush any resistance to its programs of takeover of the parts of Palestine it regards as valuable, while eliminating any hope for the indigenous population to have a decent existence enjoying national rights. Probably one factor in US support for Israel is that this resonates so well with American history, a fact that has not gone unnoticed. The West Bank and Gaza are, of course, a single unit: Occupied Palestine. Israeli military control of the West Bank, now with the help of US-trained collaborators, is so effective that protest or resistance there is unlikely. But the occupied Gaza Strip — and there has not been a day when it hasn’t been occupied — still has a degree of independence, and there are reactions there to Israeli crimes, which continue daily. The reactions can be condemned as criminal and politically foolish, but those who offer no alternative have no moral grounds to issue such judgments, particularly those in the US who choose to be directly implicated in these ongoing crimes — by their words, their actions, or their silence.

Noam Chomsky "

author by kevin murphy - 32 csmpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 20:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I believe the Finbar walsh cumman of the 32s attended also

united against barbarity
united against barbarity

author by Miriampublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 23:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Look at each and every one of these photographs, if you can bear to:

author by Susanpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Miserable despicable and cringeworthy is an accurate way to describe the Sunday Independent's coverage yesterday of the Gaza Bombardment . After two weeks of hellfire and death in Gaza they manage to put out one page with three articles on it relating to the ongoing atrocitiy. One of the articles, it transpires upon reading, is about the bombardment of Lebanon in 2006 and how Israel was shown to be less than careful in it's targetting there.
The next is your standard run of the mill , phase 1 2 and 3 of the offensive against Hamas Dross.

The third is by some thundering gobshite called Louis Jacob. After mulling around in his own ignorance for a few hundred words he comes up with the astonishing suggestion that if we only stay quiet in the face of what we see , it might go away. Im serious that what he suggests - Say nothing and see what happens

After that you have the vulture Eoghan Harris who attacks Finatan O toole for Calling Israel on its crimes, then writing that the atrocities are "alleged" and the mutilated children might in fact be the responsibility of Hamas.
We have a giant letter on the Letters page defending Israels agression with the usual balls about the Hamas Charter.

One picture appears in the whole paper relating to the conflict - A "wounded" Israeli boy who certainly is not mutilated, being carried by a big brave Israeli man in expensive sunglasses.

author by ecpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 19:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

. . . despite the fact that I can't stand the journalist who wrote it - that is a very good article on the war in Lebanon - proving using IDF documents that Israel during that previous massacre just shelled, rocketed and bombed the shit out of civilian areas to achieve a shock and awe effect rather than to destroy military personell, sites or equipment.

author by Miriampublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Wives of Arab head of state call for Israel to stop its attack on Gaza. From the International Herald Tribune:

author by Susanpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 22:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ec Thats fine, i accept the validity of the report in its own right. It proves important points.
My point more precisely is however that it is unacceptable that Ireland leading Sunday paper carried a complete whitewash of the current slaughter, in favour of a large article that cast a vague historical doubt over claims being made by the Israeli army in Gaza today. That was NEWS in 2006 the NEWS today is that it's happening again.
The Sunday Indo shirked it's responsibility to present any relevant current data that might assist the Irish people in their understanding of current events. Disgracefully, it actually went further, weighed up word for word, it presented a pro Israel position.

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