By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,174)
The cease-fire is on – the cease-fire is off – back and forth its goes – now it’s on and now it’s off. It’s hard to keep up with the changes from dawn to dusk in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s the third such conflict in six years.
One thing that remains constant though and does not waiver from dawn to dusk is the enthusiasm of a group of pro-Palestinian supporters; Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights. Support for the cause has been growing steadily recently. “There has been a change in public opinion in the past several years,” Schaible said. “The more people learn, the more support there is for the people of Gaza. Israel is shooting itself in the head. Israel has killed twice as many women and children than troops. These killings could not have been an accident. We have witnesses to this.”
This evening’s rally was the third in three weeks in Portland. Schaible, retired from USM, plans on continuing with his “Outrageous Truth Campaign” with more literature distributions this week. Petitions have been prepared that will be delivered to both of our Senators’ offices soon – Senator Susan Collins (R) and Senator Angus King (I). More rallies and marches are planned for the future as well.
“I haven’t heard any opposition to Israel on Massachusetts Public Radio. It should be welcoming different points of view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’ve yet to hear any critique of Israel’s current siege of Gaza on MPR. No Palestinian has been invited to offer their view on MPR,” said Anna Beckwith, of Belmont, Massachusetts. She and her brother are visiting Portland and discovered the Congress Square rally this evening.
“Even in more normal times, life inside the Gaza Strip is hellish. Aside from immobility – no way out and no way in – there are, on average 12 hours of power cuts a day. In the first nine days of this conflict there were 20 hours of blackouts,” according to a report in the August 8th issue of “Newsweek” magazine, on page 17.
Because of the possibility of a disruption in the rally by pro-Israeli supporters, Schaible asked the Portland Police Department to have a police presence on site. Fortunately, there were no disruptions of the rally requiring police intervention.