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March to follow Senedd vote of support for Gaza ceasefire

Heartfelt cries from Cardiff Bay for genocide to stop

By Steve HarrisonPublished 23 days ago 12 min read
Images of a fraction of the children to have lost their life in Gaza in the last four weeks

Tomorrow I hope thousands of people will take to the streets in Cardiff, following Wednesday’s Senedd vote in favour of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, to support the humanitarian stance taken by Welsh politicians against the genocide caused by Israel in the Palestinian enclave.

In Cardiff Bay on Wednesday 24 members of the Senedd voted in favour of Plaid Cymru’s motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in hostilities, with 19 against and 13 abstentions.

Members on Labour's backbenches — including Jenny Rathbone, John Griffiths and Carolyn Thomas — spoke passionately in favour of an end to the genocide, while in Westminster Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is coming under growing pressure to echo that plea and demand Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians ends immediately before more children are brutally slaughtered by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Jerusalem.

I followed Wednesday’s debate online, the first time I have ever logged on to watch the Senedd in action, and joined the vigil outside in Cardiff Bay organised by former Plaid Cymru MS Bethan Sayed.

It was refreshing to hear many Senedd members address the vigil in support of a ceasefire, but I suppose no surprise that not a single Conservative politician had the courage or backbone to add their voice to the humanitarian cries.

Aside from support from Senedd members, other speakers from all walks of life addressed the rally to vent their anguish and abhorrence at what is taking place in Gaza, where 2.2 million people are trapped inside the world’s biggest open-air prison which is suffering incredible devastation as each day passes while Israel’s actions are allowed to go on unchecked by Israel-apologists in Washington and Westminster who just gaze at their navels.

Humanitarian Betty Hunter speaking at the Senedd vigil on Wednesday

Inside the Senedd Plaid leader Rhun ap Iorwerth, who tabled the motion, said members owed it “to all those who have lost their lives, Israeli and Palestinian, to speak up for a lasting peace”.

“While we may be looking on from afar, it’s important to remember that there are families in Wales that are directly impacted,” he said. “The grief isn’t confined to Israel or to Gaza.

“Hamas’ attacks on 7 October were unjust and inhumane — indescribable — but the collective punishment of the Palestinian population is also unjust and inhumane.”

Whilst I agree with the Plaid leader that the loss of life on both sides of the conflict represents a humanitarian tragedy of unimaginable proportions and the border incursion on 7 October — and alleged brutality by Hamas against Israelis — was also inhumane, I have to reiterate my belief that it was organised by Israel, which created Hamas, bankrolled it to an election victory in 2006 and has refused to allow a further vote on the matter since.

Incredibly on 7 October the world’s most tightly monitored border was allowed to go virtually unguarded by Israel Defence Forces for more than eight hours to allow Hamas free rein to take hundreds of hostages and spirit them away to Gaza so that Israel can say to the world they are “defending” themselves in order to disguise their real objective… the theft and occupation of the Palestinians’ ancestral homeland through a policy of ethnic cleansing and unspeakable barbarity.

I firmly believe that there are thousands upon thousands of Israeli people who are as aghast at the genocide as am I, but the vast majority have been desensitised to Palestinian life for 75 years and regard the poor citizens of Gaza as vermin. Think back to Nazi Germany during WW II… does it ring any bells?

So it came with great sadness to hear Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd proposing an amendment to the Plaid motion calling for a “suspension of hostilities to allow for the establishment of humanitarian corridors”. But give me a break, there is no humanity being displayed, or ever will be, by Israel... and Hamas exists in Gaza to justify this policy by the Knesset.

But, tabling the amendment, Darren Millar said Israel “has the right to defend itself and its citizens in the face of such barbarity”... which simply made me wonder what planet he is on. He spoke eloquently enough but has clearly undergone the same brainwashing as the vast majority of Israelis and has lost his sense of proportion completely.

“That is why Israel has set out on this mission to dismantle Hamas in a bid to prevent similar attacks in the future, “ he said. “But it’s important to draw the distinction here. Israel is at war with Hamas, it is not at war with the Palestinian people.”

Distinctions, distinctions… then just sit back and watch the slaughter ensue as Miller and other Israel-apologists just shut their eyes to the carnage they condone… hardly a humanitarian response.

Outside the Senedd, during the vigil in the Bay, 32-year-old Cardiff resident Naser Albargouthy, whose family has suffered at the hands of Israel and been displaced throughout the world since 1948, said: “What we have witnessed for the past four weeks of violence and genocide by the Israeli state is loud and clear that the Palestinian people don’t matter, they have killed more than 10,000 people of which half are children, and more than 30,000 are injured, with thousands still under the rubble... they have killed activists, journalists, nurses, doctors and UN workers.”

Albargouthy continued: “They are sparing no one with this mass killing and brutality. They have bombed hospitals, mosques, churches, ambulances, residential buildings, UN storage units, they have cut water, electricity and aid supplies to the more than two million people in Gaza.

“Israel wants to erase Gaza and Palestinians off the map, and this is going on in the West Bank too. Meanwhile the UK government is still doing nothing to stop this genocide, on the contrary they are supporting Israel’s attacks and giving them the green light to continue this butchery. We will not be fooled that this started because of 7 October, this has been going on for 75 years.”

Members of Albargouthy’s family, who still live in Palestine, have suffered terribly under Israeli terrorism. “The past week one of my relatives was killed and more than 10 were detained for protesting,” he said. “Not to mention that there’s many of my family members who have been imprisoned for more than 40 years, others in prison for more than 15 life sentences, one of them you might know is Marwan Albargouthy who led the first intifada.

“Palestinians have been oppressed and living under an apartheid regime. Millions of Palestinians have been displaced over the years and my family are among them.

“Palestinians in the West Bank are not even allowed to speak or share anything online regarding what’s going on in Gaza, my family and friends told me many times ‘Naser we envy you that you are able to share on your social media about the genocide, as we are not allowed to raise our voices because the Israeli army is monitoring everyone and they stop us on the streets and in the shops anywhere and they force us to open our phones to check our social media’.”

Albargouthy continued: “The UK government should take a stand now and call Israel out for what it is, a terrorist state, and hold it accountable for the war crimes they are committing and have committed for the past 75 years.

“I’ll end my words by saying that the efforts of this government to silence us and demonise our peaceful marches, and spread propaganda against us to smear our cause, won’t stop us, we will never forget or forgive. I’m proud to be Palestinian and I always will be until my last breath.”

I spoke to Albargouthy afterwards and would happily enjoy his company as he came across as a very genuine individual, just scarred unimaginably by the tragedy and injustice meted out to his family over the past 75 years since the Israeli occupation of Palestine began.

He’s understandably angry at the incredible inhumanity of the Israeli authorities and is crying out for justice... but all he really wants is for his family and countrymen to be left in peace, without fear of reprisals, to live a normal life like we currently enjoy in Wales. His heart is not filled with hate, just unimaginable pain at what is being allowed to happen in Gaza.

Naser Albargouthy addresses the Senedd gathering, flanked by organiser Bethan Sayed

Another impromptu speaker at the vigil was retired Fairwater-resident Paul Seligman, who spent over 40 years working in the IT industry specialising in quality management. A campaigner for human rights and social justice, Seligman’s parents spent time on a kibbutz founded by refugees from Nazi Germany, before and after the creation of the Israeli state in 1948, and as a schoolboy in Cardiff he too was exposed to discrimination as a result of his Jewish heritage.

After school he spent a year in Israel being trained as a Zionist youth leader but left disillusioned with the way the state was developing. But he has returned on many occasions over the past 45 years and was last there in 2019.

During the vigil at the Senedd Seligman read out a letter he had recently received from a friend living in the West Bank. A grandfather and family man, he wrote: “I hope you are fine. Thank you for your message and your sincere feelings! This means a lot to me and my family.

“Yes, we are part of this situation. There is no doubt the situation in the West Bank is different from Gaza. There in Gaza people die faster and en masse, entire families are killed, the entire residential areas are destroyed, hospitals are destroyed, schools, mosques and churches are destroyed.

“The disaster there is stark and overwhelming. Death is the master of the situation. Water, electricity, food, medicine, fuel, the internet are cut off, and even the air is polluted with dust, the smell of gunpowder and phosphorus bombs!

“One of them from Gaza said that the wounded persons and others envy the martyrs killed under the rubble of their houses because their suffering ended with martyrdom, but those who remain alive are suspended deaths.

“Gaza has so far been bombed by more than 30,000 tons of bombs from occupation aircraft. Some of these bombs weigh up to one ton! The smell of death is everywhere there! I do not know how much images and news are reaching the world about the killing of more than 10,000 people so far, the majority of whom are children, women and the elderly.”

The letter continues: “Here in the West Bank death takes a different flavour. The majority of the martyrs are young men, at a rate of five to 10 per day, the average ages 15 to 30. Here the roads are closed and all the villages and cities are surrounded by dirt barriers, iron gates, occupation soldiers and hateful settlers ready to kill any Palestinian in cold blood.

“Attacks on farmers, expelling them from their land and preventing them from picking their olives — this is olive-picking season in Palestine — they steal everything! Night raids on houses by the occupation forces after midnight and in the early morning hours. Smashing the contents of houses, terrorising children, trapping all members of the family in one room, soldiers pointing their guns at everyone, beating parents and young men in front of everyone. You can imagine children and a wife watching the father, who represents the protector of the family, humiliated and assaulted in front of them!

“Here in the West Bank there is water, electricity and internet! No one can get to work. We watch television most of the time, watching the scenes of killing, destruction and body parts. We try to hide our tears in order to maintain the morale of others.

“When a person is alone, he lets the tears flow to relieve some of the pain and suffering that burdens the heart. We are human beings who suffer and grieve, but we do not lose hope! Always there is hope!”

Outside the Senedd, issues with the loudspeaker made Seligman’s narration of the letter difficult to hear but reading a transcript now my heart is sinking and my eyes are struggling to hold back tears.

This is monstrous, inhumane just does not begin to describe it adequately. These innocent civilians, whose families have been subjected to immeasurable horrors during the past 75 years, are being ethnically cleansed… no other way to describe it.

So listen up everyone, this is the message from a Welshman of Jewish heritage who has made many visits to see family and friends in the region over the past 45 years. Seligman does not condone what Netanyahu’s government is doing and neither should our politicians… it is genocide, pure and simple.

Tomorrow the people of Cardiff will have another opportunity to take to the streets to condemn the genocide in Gaza, but I’d just like to make it clear to Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman that it is not a “hate march”... it is a humanitarian crusade to prevent the further slaughter of Palestinian children.

The march will start at 12pm from the Aneurin Bevan statue on Queen Street and proceed to the BBC offices on Wood Street, not far from the MediaWales offices. Perhaps this weekend the Reach-owned news organisation will send a reporter to cover the event so an article can appear in Wales On Sunday, after all our Senedd has backed the protesters cries for an immediate ceasefire.

On a final note though I would urge all those taking part in this march to respect that it is Remembrance Day and people will be honouring the fallen servicemen who lost their lives during WW I, another tragic conflict that caused needless suffering in the world.

These two events have a common message… to let the world know that warfare, death and destruction serve no purpose… they just take away our loved ones to satisfy the greed of those who call for the shots to begin… don’t give them any fuel to start another world conflict.


About the Creator

Steve Harrison

From Covid to the Ukraine and Gaza... nothing is as it seems in the world. Don't just accept the mainstream brainwashing, open your eyes to the bigger picture at the heart of these globalist agendas.


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