Protesters take over steps of Israeli consulate in Toronto with bloody display
The front steps of the Israeli Consulate in Toronto are covered in blood today — fake blood, that is, from a number of organizations who are protesting against what they call the country's "brutal occupation, military attacks and ethnic cleansing" amid the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine territories.
Members of groups such as Independent Jewish Voices, World BEYOND War Canada and the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute took to the building at Bloor and Yonge on Friday afternoon with dramatic signage — which included messages like "Israel and Canada, there is blood on your hands — and a river of faux blood in tow to prove their point.
Like many in Toronto and around the world over the past week and a half, demonstrators are calling attention to and demanding action against the deadly round of attacks in Gaza that finally resulted with a cease-fire on Thursday after 11 days during which more than 230 people died and thousands more were injured
But, those in attendance at the consulate today know that the ceasefire is only a temporary lull in violence that has spanned generations.
Powerful photos from today's action. “We are making the violence of Israel’s brutal occupation visible on the consulate’s doorstep in Toronto. We are making it impossible for anyone to enter & exit Israeli govt offices w/o confronting the bloodshed they're complicit in.” pic.twitter.com/koHEkAT1wq— World BEYOND War Canada (@WBWCanada) May 21, 2021
"It can no longer be business as normal at Israel’s consulates in Canada. The death and destruction inflicted by Israel in Gaza, as well as the heightened violence by Israel across Palestine, cannot be washed away," Rabbi David Mivasair of Independent Jewish Voices told reporters at the scene.
"This belligerence is the latest in an ongoing aggressive 73-year settler-colonization project by Israel across historic Palestine. The ceasefire doesn’t end the injustice and oppression."
He aims to represent Jews in Canada who are not supportive of the Israeli government's actions — or Canada's in providing them with tens of millions of weapons over recent years.
Members of government from a number of countries that sit on the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force, which includes Canadians, penned a joint letter yesterday asking that the international community hold Israel accountable for what are widely considered to be human rights and international law violations.
"We know that our governments in North American and Europe have played a material role in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights for decades, through trade, arms and security deals, as well as diplomatic support," they wrote.
"Now is the time for governments to adopt concrete measures to put pressure on Israel to respect human rights."
They are only one of countless groups and activists asking for international intervention.
Protest at Israel Consulate Toronto— Prakash Das (@Prakash_Dassc) May 21, 2021
"No longer business as normal at Israel consulates in Canada. Belligerence latest in ongoing aggressive 73y settler-colonisation project by Israel across historic #Palestine. Ceasefire doesn’t end injustice & oppression”
Rabbi David Mivasair pic.twitter.com/52PtimLRTK
Similar events like the one in Toronto today have also been held at Israeli consulates in other countries, as demonstrations in support of both sides continue around the world.
Those that took place in Toronto last weekend got chaotic, with clashes betwen the 5,000 people who gathered in support of Palestinians in Nathan Phillips Square and those who were present to champion what they consider Israel's right to defend itself.
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