Call for ceasefire in war against Palestine

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Some of the people who joined the rally outside the US Embassy in Port of Spain on February 17 calling for a ceasefire in war against Palestine. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

PUBLIC relations officer of Concerned Muslims of Trinidad and Tobago Imtiaz Mohammed said it was time for the United States to step in to stop the Israel-Palestine war.

Speaking at a march organised by a group opposite the US Embassy around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday, Mohammed said: “The world is calling for a ceasefire. It’s long, long overdue. We can no more see and tolerate what we’re seeing on television in terms of the men, women and children being brutally murdered in the worst way possible.”

He added that hospitals in Gaza had numerous shortages including staff and even more people were dying as a result. The situation should no longer be tolerated.

Mohammed said the US had been supporting Israel for decades and claimed it was complicit in the death of thousands as it spent millions of dollars to supply Israel with weapons.

He also accused Western leaders of hypocrisy in their fight against terrorism saying the situation was not very different from Russia’s war with Ukraine but they were giving Ukraine assistance but not Palestine and God would hold them accountable one day.

Speaking to Newsday he said he did not expect a response from the US Embassy but he still had to deliver their message that they were in support of the people of Palestine.

“The world has to continue putting pressure because public pressure is what puts politicians on their back foot. While in Trinidad and Tobago you only have a few hundred people coming out to these protests or marches, you have hundreds of thousands of people marching in other cities and countries.”

Ozzi Warwick of the Joint Trade Union Movement and OWTU stressed it was not a religious issue but one of humanity and justice.

“The trade union movement has always been the social conscience of society. We have always stood for justice and what is happening in Gaza is deeply, fundamentally unjust.

“And to witness such a thing happen in our lifetime, right before our eyes in real-time, because of all these different social media networks, to watch women and children die every single day right before our eyes. It means that we have to take a stand. And it’s about standing up for justice and standing up for what is right.”

He pointed out that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said it was “plausible” Israel has committed acts that violated the Genocide Convention and ordered Israel to refrain. And if the situation had happened anywhere else, the US would have sent in troops or assistance a long time ago.

Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah stressed that, in a joint statement, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, which initially supported Israel in the conflict, urged Israel to call a “humanitarian ceasefire” signalling the horror of the situation. He also applauded the government of South Africa for taking up the matter with the ICJ.

He added that the Concerned Muslims of TT was supported by the Joint Trade Union Movement, the Emancipation Support Committee, The Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women, the MSJ, and the Caribbean Freedom Project.

As a collective, they would be writing to Caricom heads calling on the organisation to support the South African position and completely sever ties with Israel if it continued along its genocidal path.

“We can not have in the world the genocide that is taking place and people staying silent. That is absolutely wrong.”

There will be a Standing with Israel march organised by the Redemption Christian Centre and TT Response around the Red House from 12.30 pm on Sunday.