EDITORIAL Derry’s response to plight of Gaza

GAZA PROTEST. . . Saturday's Gaza protest makes its way down Shipquay Street. DER3014MC217
GAZA PROTEST. . . Saturday's Gaza protest makes its way down Shipquay Street. DER3014MC217

The strong attendances at the protests against ongoing violence in Gaza prove yet again that this city is always ready to register its voice against injustice and cruelty. Derry knows more than it should about the indiscriminate killing of innocent people by agents of the British state, so there is always going to be sympathy for others who find themselves at the wrong end of murderous state forces.

While certain sections of our divided society may seek to argue otherwise, protest against the plight of those in Gaza is not a statement in favour of Hamas or any other armed group. It is a demand for an end to the slaughter of innocent civilians, many of them children.

Some of the scenes emerging from Gaza defy description. As awful as the video and pictorial images are, they are incalculably worse on the ground. Not even the most sensationalist sections of the media would publish images that truly depict the shocking scale of what is happening, yet innocents are forced to witness hellish scenes of death and destruction.

Any state prepared to bomb places of learning, places of worship, hospitals, the single power station in the country and cut off water supplies must stand condemned by all. We echo the cry of Pope Francis when he says: “Stop, please stop! I beg you with all my heart. I think of the children, who are robbed of the hope of a dignified life, of a future. Dead children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphans, children who, for toys, have the debris of war. Children who do not know how to smile.”

In last Friday’s edition of the Derry Journal, Buncrana man John Cutliffe, who went to help in a Palestinian hospital, urged the people of Ireland to put pressure on our politicians to make our voices heard and somehow force an end to this campaign. We join John today in making that call. Our humanity dictates such a course of action against such an inhuman crime.

Below are some of the messages sent on behalf of readers to the Irish government and the international community...

Sione McDaid: This is a one sided draconian terrorist force guilty of countless war crimes. It’s time for the rest of the world’s governments to follow South American’s stance on the Zionist regime of ethnic cleansing. Time to abandon all things Israeli!!!!

Evie May: It takes two to tango. It breaks my heart to hear my friend in Israel talk of her daughter having to hide in her wardrobe to keep safe and staying there for hours, crying, too scared to come out again long after threat is gone. We can only hope they are kept safe. Peoples lives on BOTH sides of this war are deeply affected. BOTH sides need to work at peace

Stevey Griffiths: I’m sorry to hear about your friends daughter, I’m sure there’s hundreds of kids in Israel terrified by the noise.... but when it breaks your heart to hear of that please spare a thought for the 300+ babies laying on ice in Gaza because their bodies can’t be laid to rest due to shelling. Not to mention possibly 1000 other civilians.

Sean McKinney: ISRAEL is an out of control monster, in its massacre of palestinans babies,women and innocent children. All it takes is a simple basic level of common sense to realize that this is not a two-sided war, but this is a one-sided MASSACRE

Daoine Ni Frighil: World leaders share the shame of letting these murders continue and the double standards they apply to countries in conflict has been laid bare. The united nations is a joke!!!!!

Derry Doire: To the Irish Government , over recent weeks the people of Ireland have taken to the streets of just about every city, town and village right across Ireland to express their disgust at the continuing slaughter of innocent Palestinian women, children and babies by the Zionist terrorist state of Israel. We the people have also been demanding that you the Government should immediately expel all Israeli diplomats and close their embassy in Dublin until Israel stops this slaughter of innocent people and lifts the siege on Gaza. The People have Spoken .

Thomas Bradley: Innocent slaughter of Palestinians children is horrific and should be condemned by all right minded people.

Anna Kavanagh Fisher: It needs to stop. full stop!

Lorraine Brown: It is time the world stands together and puts a stop to what Israel is doing. Enough is enough. All government leaders have to do more than talk.

Neil Murray: Israel. You have lost the respect you used to possess by the reckless and inhumane bombing of Gaza. The world is watching and listening to your misguided actions. Lame excuses and unacceptable propaganda are never enough. Pull back now and end the horrible suffering of an underseige and helpless people.

John O’Neill: I remember watching a show on TV about 5 years ago called nazi collaborators and the anger I felt against the nazis because of the horrors they were visiting upon the Jews the show is now doing a rerun and I can tell you I no longer feel anything for the people of Israel but hatred

Claire McLaughlin: Help us share our messages around the world..join and invite as many as possible Light of support for the people of Gaza

Catherine Hegarty: Stop the slaughter of innocents in Gaza!!! Governments must stand against this inhumanity!!boycott Israel

Siobhan Mullin-Fitzgerald: This is not a fair war and Israel are committing murder way beyond any true conflict by purposely targeting children, hospitals and the innocent. To hear that female Israelie government minister say that all Palestinians are terrorists and that all their mothers should be killed too for bringing up terrorists is truly shocking. This needs to stop!


Sinéad McCarron: War is never about religion or culture...its fueled by greed and retaliation is fueled by anger!!!! Bless those children that are being killed and the children who will survive and carry their anger threw life and pass to their children!!!

Paul Hegarty: I am getting very frustrated and angry. This is totally unjustified. Yes, extremist Muslims need to be dealt with, as much as extremist Irish Republicans, Unionists, and others. This is a a HUMANITARIAN crisis in a big way. To say that the 1700 that have died so far are Hamas members is ludicrous. To say that they are Hamas supporters - is probably right. Religion is the bane of humanity, as is ethic discrimination. Allow the Palestinians freedom of movement, access to work, a good standard of living, education, and health care, then the situation may be different. Israel is a false state, but it exists. Northern Ireland, is a false state, but it exists. We must recognize that fact, accept it, and adapt to it, but for as long as Israel treats people in its own unique way, I will not ever, ever, support it or recognize its right to exist...

Gary McDonald: Israel will not be happy until they have 100% control - they are trying to wipe Gaza/Palestine off the map. Nobody actually believe’s your excuses every time you kill innocent children. Any support you may have had or any sympathy is rapidly dissapearing throughout the world. Are you going to be content to be the most despised nation on earth - apart from by your puppets in the US or England?

Kelly Anne Fleming Lynch: I hope the Israeli army now know the flood gates are open...The good people of the world are emerging united and disgusted at the rounding up and hunting down of the Palatines,mainly children. The world once sympathised with their people,never imagining they would rise up and brutally torture and kill another race. Words fail me, as to how the world leaders don’t take a stance from a humanitarian point of view.

Pablo Doherty:

What If These Were Your Children

What if these were your children

The doctor calmly said

As he told another father

That his daughter is now dead

What if these were your children

Lying in the bed

With limbs all bruised and bloody

And shrapnel in their head

What if these were your children

The bodies in the street

As the brave Israeli war machine

Blows them off their feet

What if these were your children

Orphaned every day

Stranded scared and lonely

What do you think you’d say

What if these were your children

Reported on the news

Refugees with no escape

Battered and confused

So let your children be informed

And tell them of the plight

Of Palestinian families

This injustice can’t be right