Saturday, January 17

Thousands marched through Jaffa against the war in Gaza

"Brothers, it's burning"*, stated a placard carried by a Jewish woman in today's protest march, eerily referring to ancient days, when Yiddish was common amongst eastern European Jews and a shtetl had been torched.

Something happened in Jaffa today. Something which is beyond the thousands who marched to protest against the war in the Gaza strip.

In 1948 the very large majority of Jaffa's 120.000 people strong Palestinian population was expelled, many in fact to the Gaza strip, others to Lebanon. The 3.200 who stayed behind were pressured into a position of "being quiet", not raising their voices.

No longer so.

Today the people of Jaffa raised their voices, loudly and clearly. Many have not heard form their Gaza relatives for days, others received messages of how their Gazan family members have been butchered by the IDF. How the wounded cannot receive treatment because there is no way of getting them into a hospital. How the IDF shoots at medical crews and ambulances. How one of Gaza's few hospitals was bombed and burnt out, no longer functional. And in Jaffa we refuse to be silent. Thousands marched through Jafa's rainy and dark streets in protest against the war, from the Charles Clore Park to the HaShnayim park, where two minutes of silence were observed, chanting for an immediate stop to the war for the sake of the children of both countries.

And on a more ominous tone: Some of the police man guarding the demo were masked. I wonder what this implies. Trying to see how we react to it?

And towards the end of the demo something weird happened. A guy with a camera posing as a writer for the NYT tried to interview me. By his line of questioning and the way he formulated his questions, it became soon quite clear there is little connection between him and the NYT. It seems more like he's from arutz 7 or other ultra right wing rag, sort of "under cover in the dangerous streets of Jaffa". Pathetic.

*Our Town Burns
Author and Composer: Mordkhaï Gebirtig (1877-1942)

It burns, brothers, it burns!
Our poor shtetl pitifully burning,
Angry wind with rage and curses
Tears and shatters and disperses,
Wild flames leap, they twist and turn,
Everything now burns!

In Yiddish:

Es Brent!
עס ברענט (גיבירטיג)

Es brent! Briderlekh, s'brent!
Oy undzer orem shtetl, nebokh, brent!
Beyze vintn mit yirgozn
Raysn brekhn un tzeblozn
Shtarker nokh di vilde flamen,
Alts arum shoyn brent!

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