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Home arrow Resources arrow News arrow Jewish women freed after protest at Israeli consulate
Jewish women freed after protest at Israeli consulate PDF Print E-mail
Jan 07, 2009 at 02:36 PM

Jan 07, 2009 01:36 PM

Eight Jewish Canadian women who were arrested while holding a protest inside the Israeli consulate have been released.

The RCMP arrested and handcuffed the women, who were staging a sit-in protest against the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza inside the consulate at 180 Bloor St. W. The women were held briefly inside a paddy wagon, but were not charged and were released.

A paddy wagon with the women inside drove past a group of chanting protesters outside the consulate just before 1 p.m.

Included in the group were Israeli peace activists, filmmakers, the president of Science for Peace and a variety of students.

"Israel purports to represent all Jews worldwide and these atrocities are not being committed in our name," said spokesperson and filmmaker Cathy Gulkin, standing outside of the consulate.

Gulkin said the women entered the secure consulate on the seventh floor of the building two by two around 10 a.m.

She said the point of the protest was to draw attention to the fact that not all members of Toronto's Jewish community support the agenda of the Israeli government.

"There are Jews that do not follow the Israeli line and are sickened by what is happening in Gaza."

Outside of the consulate a group of more than thirty supporters carried signs saying "People of Gaza you are not alone" and "Toronto Coalition to stop the war."

They shouted slogans "No justice, no peace," "Jewish women not in our name"and "Stop the violence."

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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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