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Dozens gather at pro-Palestine rally in Vancouver

Last Updated Dec 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm PDT

(Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

'It sparks a lot of discontentment, not just in the Middle East, but around the world': Pro-Palestinian rally organizer

Vancouver Police told about rally discussing problems in the Middle East

Tensions flared briefly at the rally after a person carrying an Israeli flag had it snatched from his hands

Editors note: NEWS 1130 has removed information about a person’s involvement with this rally. It has come to our attention that one man who was referred to as an organizer of this rally was not actually involved in this event, but another. We apologize for the confusion. 

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Dozens of people gathered at the Solidarity for Palestine rally in Vancouver Saturday, as a direct response to President Donald Trump’s action earlier this week declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

“I’m originally from Palestine, but I was born in Syria,” explains Mahmoud. “We need to show all the world that Jerusalem is a red line, we’re not going to let it go, we must fight for it, and we’re going to win this case.”

“We believe that Jerusalem is ours right? And no one has the right to say that Jerusalem is the capital for Israel, right?” said Duaa. “So that’s why we are here today, because Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, and it’s going to stay forever, yeah.”

The demonstration wasn’t only attended by Palestinians. Annie Ohana says she’s a big supporter of Palestinian rights and opposes the announcement, despite being a Sephardi Jew with family members living in Israel.

“It’s erasing the Palestinian people, it’s erasing the history of the region. That being said, I’m a supporter of both Israel and Palestine.”

“The Palestinians have the right to be recognized, so too does Israel and the Jews. So standing on top of an Israeli flag is not helping, right? Holding up banners that ‘X’ out Palestine or Israel is not helping. The idea is we need to recognize all peoples, in a way that supports all peoples,” she explains.

Tensions flare

Meanwhile, the Israel Advocacy Chair with a Jewish fraternity at UBC has taken issue with some signage at the pro-Palestine rally.

Referring to a piece of cardboard which features the Israeli flag with an “X” over it, he says those attending the Solidarity for Palestine rally weren’t conveying a message of peace.

Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo

“They are denying the legitimate Jewish connection to Jerusalem, and they are claiming that the Jewish people have no right to be in the land that they call Palestine,” explains Adam, who’s Israeli flag was also grabbed from his hands at one point. The piece of cardboard which had the Israeli flag drawn on it with a red “X” over it was also lit on fire.

“Both sides have the absolute right to absolute freedom of expression. Demonstrating national pride is not something I consider disrespectful, and I question how they can call it disrespectful when … they have our flag crossed out,” he says. “The Palestinian people there have a legitimate connection to the land, but that doesn’t mean that the Jewish people don’t either.”

Adam, like many others, says he would like to see a peaceful solution to the issues in the Middle East. He is encouraging people to look at both sides of the argument before dismissing either.

Editors note: NEWS 1130 has removed information about a person’s involvement with this rally. It has come to our attention that one man who was referred to as an organizer of this rally was not actually involved in this event, but another. We apologize for the confusion.