Mothers March on the Israeli Consulate

Mothers March Palestine
Photo Phil Pasquini

Promising to return once a month, the group “Mothers on the March,” who have actively engaged for the past decade through weekly vigils in protesting police killings and brutality of Black and Brown people by police, held their first demonstration February 24 outside of the Israeli Consulate, calling attention to the injustice for killings of Palestinians in Israel and the illegally occupied territories along with freeing Gaza from its ongoing confinement.

In the recent Tyre Nichols police killing case, the Mothers noted an Israeli connection with Memphis Chief of Police Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, the city’s first African American female chief, who completed leadership training with the Israel National Police in 2013. While the group’s original focus was on the police killing of unarmed Black and Brown people in the US, it has evolved over time in protesting other injustices and killings along with Civil Rights issues and cases of wrongdoing.

With this week’s daylight raid by the Israeli military in the West Bank that saw 10 Palestinians killed, several of whom were innocent bystanders and at least 100 others wounded, the mothers’ cause for concern was amplified into acting, feeling strongly about standing up by taking a position to speak out about the killings.

Chalked on the sidewalk was a reminder that since January of this year 35 Palestinians have been murdered by the Israeli Defense Forces. The small group marched and chanted while holding signs with messages demanding justice for Palestine and calling for an end to the ongoing “genocide” of the Palestinian people and the Israeli plan to expand settlements in the occupied territories.

They were not alone in their protest regarding settlements as the United Nations reported this week that it had “…adopted a presidential statement expressing its deep concern and dismay over Israel’s recent announcement of further construction and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as the ‘legalization’ of settlement outposts.”

Netanyahu’s ultra-conservative government also received further condemnation for the proposal of moving to legalize the nine settlements retroactively that are presently illegal under Israeli law from the US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Also speaking to the issue was CAIR Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell saying: “Although we welcome the Biden administration’s support for the UN Security Council statement, non-binding statements of condemnation are not enough to deter Benjamin Netanyahu’s racist government. The Biden administration must take concrete action, including conditions on aid, to stop the Israeli apartheid government’s increasingly out-of-control human rights abuses.”

Regarding Israeli law, massive demonstrations and civil unrest in Israel continue as thousands take to the streets in protesting the Israeli Knesset’s preliminary passing of the “Supreme Court override” bill aka “Netanyahu’s Judicial Coup” that would allow lawmakers to overturn the court’s decisions through a simple majority vote thus rendering the court mute. The bill has drawn worldwide condemnation for its ability to concentrate power and in eroding Israel’s “democracy.”

This legislative attack on the checks and balances of the government while favored by Netanyahu’s ultranationalists and ultra-conservative coalition is seen by many as transforming the country into an “illiberal democracy.” The New York Times has also reported that many Israelis and high-tech companies, afraid of what will transpire when the bill is passed and the general direction the country has embarked on, have elected to leave in fear of further social breakdown and a non-conducive business environment.

Photo Phil Pasquini

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and Nuze.ink. He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.

© 2023 nuzeink all rights reserved worldwide

(This article has previously appeared in Nuzeink)

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