Emotions are running high in this year’s annual observance of the international Quds Day.
Participants have gathered from all around the Washington, DC to attend this rally that is also being hosted in several cities across the country. The observance of Al-Quds in the US started in 1979. This Al-Quds observance has a bigger emotional undertone because of the bloodshed happening in Gaza. On a day that many here feel a solidarity with Gazans there is a lot of sadness and a lot of anger. The death toll in Gaza is rising every day. Many people here are expressing their anger and frustration over Israel’s bombardment of Gaza’s civilian population. Others called on the Obama administration to take more responsibility in stopping the incessant killings of men, women and children not involved in the war.
This week, Israelis are suspected of shelling a United Nations run school in Gaza. Even the poetry and speeches that usually take on a more relaxed tone, have more of an urgency because of the travesties in the Middle East. Although many people came here in Washington, DC to discuss a better way forward for Palestinians. Many here had their hearts and minds in Gaza.
The Presbyterian Church in the US has voted to sell about $17m worth of stock from three American companies working in Israel. Presbyterians say move to pull investments modelled on campaign against apartheid in South Africa.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry has cancelled his trip to the Middle East after a surprise bid by the Palestinian President for further UN recognition. Mahmoud Abbas signed a request to join several UN agencies and expressed his anger at Israel’s delay in prisoner releases.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy told President Barack Obama last week he was fed up with dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and considered him a liar. Sarkozy made the comment during a private conversation with Obama during a G20 summit in the French riviera town of Cannes last week and the remarks were overheard by a small number of journalists but not initially reported.
“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama during a frank exchange where the US president took him to task for backing a Palestinian request for membership of the UN cultural heritage agency UNESCO.
A Reuters reporter was among the journalists present and can confirm the veracity of the comments, which were relayed by a French internet outlet today. (Source)