As Israel threatens genocide, people across the world march with Palestine

Protesters in the US highlighted that the root cause of the violence against Palestinian people is that Israel is an outpost of US imperialism

October 13, 2023 by Natalia Marques
Thousands rallied in Times Square, New York City. Photo: Wyatt Souers/ Party for Socialism and Liberation

As Israel’s war against Palestinians ramps up to genocidal proportions, the people of the world called mass mobilizations to reaffirm their support of the Palestinian cause on October 13. Palestinian resistance groups also called on people to stand in solidarity and hold mass mobilizations across the globe on this day. 

In Jordan, security forces attacked a historic mobilization which saw thousands march to the Palestinian border. Jordan is among a select few Arab countries that have fully normalized relations with Israel. Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994 and established mutual diplomatic relations.

In Iraq, thousands gathered at Tahrir Square in Baghdad to express solidarity with Palestine. Similar protests of thousands were held in Tehran in Iran and Sa’ada in Yemen. Iran has slammed further moves by Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel as “reactionary,” consistently maintaining a pro-Palestine stance, as is the same with Yemen. Today, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi condemned Israeli war crimes and said that all supporters of Israel, including the United States, are complicit in the crimes against Palestinians.

Palestinians have also organized their own demonstrations. Gazans who were ordered to evacuate by the Israeli government have boldly defied orders, marching through the streets chanting, “we prefer to die and not to be humiliated.”

Peoples Dispatch was on the ground in Times Square, New York City, where thousands gathered in response to the war crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces against Gaza. The rally occurred only days after a similar action in Times Square, which was targeted by counter protesters and stifled by police. 

Other local officials, even progressive ones, rushed to denounce the rally in order to toe the strict pro-Israel line in US mainstream politics. US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, put out a strong statement condemning the pro-peace rally. “The bigotry and callousness expressed in Times Square on Sunday were unacceptable and harmful in this devastating moment,” she wrote.

The organizers of the October 13 demonstration include the Islamic Leadership Council of New York, Al-Awda New York, and American Muslims for Palestine.

Gufran Said, a young Palestinian living in Brooklyn, said she came out to protest because, “the Israeli occupation is currently genociding 2 million Gazans—where half the population is under 18, because the IDF is arming settlers in the West Bank to massacre Palestinian civilians, because even the president of this country is spreading consent, manufacturing lies we haven’t seen since the Iraq War.” She referenced the hate crimes that Arab Americans have been experiencing at the hands of Zionists in New York City. 

“Even the Palestinians in New York City are being targeted with violence and threats of losing their livelihoods for speaking out, Palestinians who are only in this country because we have been ethnically cleansed from our lands 80 years prior. We’re here because silence is compliance to the Palestinian genocide.”

“We have a major task here in the US, “ said Miriam Osman, an organizer with the Palestinian Youth Movement, at the rally. “We demand that the blockade ends once and for all, that humanitarian aid can enter immediately, and that all US aid to Israel end immediately.”

“The root cause of the violence against our people is that Israel is an outpost of US imperialism,” she added.

The US supplies aid to Israel to the tune of roughly USD 4 billion each year. As the most recent Israeli atrocities against Palestinians unfold, US President Biden and Congress are crafting an additional USD 2 billion aid package

NYPD spins up islamophobic fear mongering

As rumors of a “Day of Jihad” circulated among the right-wing in the United States, fear mongering about potential terrorist activity, the New York City Police Department ordered “all uniformed members of the service in every rank” to “perform duty in the uniform of the day and be prepared for deployment.” 

The NYPD also activated its Joint Operations Center (JOC), infamously employed to surveil protest movements. Multiple city agencies, including the Sanitation Department, are required to notify the JOC “as soon as they become aware of any incidents related to this event” for the next few days.

Other protests in New York City have been the target of harassment, including a student rally in solidarity with Palestine at Brooklyn College, in which conservative NYC Councilwoman Inna Verikov showed up illegally brandishing a gun and was later arrested. Progressive council members have called for an investigation into her expulsion for “attempting to intimidate peaceful demonstrators.”

Israeli “tricks”

Currently, Israeli Occupation Forces are undertaking a massive operation of ethnic cleansing in the Gaza strip, ordering 1.1 million Gazans to evacuate the northern part of the territory in under 24 hours. This impossible demand has caused the Gazan government and resistance groups to level accusations of psychological warfare at Israel. “Warning Gazans to move is false propaganda and we urge our citizens not to be drawn by it. These attempts are part of psychological warfare,” stated Gaza’s government media office. The resistance has urged Gazans to remain steadfast in their homes.

There are reports that Israeli Occupation Forces are massacring Gazans as they attempt to flee south. According to the Gaza government media office, “A new massacre committed by the occupation against three convoys of citizens in different locations on Salah Al-Din and Al-Rashid streets, who tried to reach the south of the Gaza valley as per the request of the occupation army. This massacre has so far, in a preliminary toll, left 70 martyrs, most of them children and women, and more than 200 injured.”

A video has been circulating of a young Gazan journalist, Bisan, who claims, “[The Israelis] pushed people to evacuate from the Northern to the Southern areas via a safe route, as they said. Ok, that was a trick. That was a trick. [The Israelis] targeted ambulances, cars, and buses in the road, and more than 150 people were killed.”

The death toll in Gaza has climbed to almost 2,000, with over 7,000 injured by Israeli Occupation Forces. On October 13, a children’s hospital in eastern Gaza had to be evacuated due to the IOF’s use of white phosphorus, a chemical weapon that causes horrific burns and is heavily sanctioned under international law.