Pro-Palestinian rally in Washington seeks end to US Aid to Israel

The demonstration csme as a cease-fire that ended 11 days of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas

AFP May 30, 2021
Supporters of the Palestinians rally during the National March for Palestine demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, May 29, 2021. PHOTO: AFP


More than 1,000 people rallied Saturday in Washington in support of Palestinians and called for an end to US aid to Israel.

The demonstration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial came as a cease-fire that ended 11 days of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has held.

"We are hoping to send a clear message to the United States government that the days of supporting the Israeli state without repercussions are over," one of the demonstrators, 39-year-old Washington lawyer Sharif Silmi, said as he stood in the crowd where many protesters held red, white, green and black Palestinian flags.

Read: UN body orders probe of 'systematic' abuses in Israel, Palestinian areas

"We will stand against any politician that continues to fund weapons to Israel. We will oppose them, we will vote against them, we will fund their opponents, until we vote them out of office," Silmi said.

Lama Alahmad, a resident of neighboring Virginia who is of Palestinian origin, said that US public opinion is turning in favor of the Palestinian cause.

"There is a huge change" going on in the US with regard to the Palestinian cause to secure a sovereign homeland, Alahmad said.

"We just want the world to recognise that we are human beings. We are not terrorists," said Alahmad, a 43-year-old stay-at-home mother who grew up in the United Arab Emirates before moving to the US about 20 years ago.

Read more: UN rights chief says Israeli strikes on Gaza may be war crimes

Silmi insisted there was growing opposition in the US to how Israel treats the Palestinians, which he likened to apartheid in South Africa.

"People have now woken up, and we're resisting. Whether young Jews, young Muslims, young Blacks, young whites, there is a generational shift. And people are working across ethnic groups, racial groups, to work for change and freedom and liberation for Palestinian people," Silmi said.