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London Event Discusses Gaza, Demands Permanent Cease-Fire

A panel in London discussed the Middle East on Saturday and demanded a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip where more than 15,000 people have been killed by Israel since Oct. 7.

The “Freedom for Palestine: Imperialism, War and the Middle East” panel was organized by the Stop the War Coalition after Israeli attacks on the besieged enclave resumed.

Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said what is happening in Gaza is “a second Nakba,” or catastrophe, in reference to the exodus of Palestinians from their lands in 1948 when the state of Israel was created.

He said the whole population of Gaza is being removed and pushed into the Sinai Desert in a bid to create a new one on the other side of the Rafah Crossing.

“What does it take for the United States and Britain and Europe and others to actually call it out,” he said, defining the situation as “destruction of life.”

Corbyn, who is MP for Islington North, criticized the majority of politicians for their stance in the face of the situation in Gaza, and said that the last month in parliament has been like “living in a parallel universe.”

He also criticized the idea of a humanitarian “pause” and stressed that there is a need to demand a cease-fire. “The idea of a pause was a nonsense, detached from reality. What we need is a full cease-fire,” he said.

‘We must make it clear that history will judge all those who stayed silent’

Labour Party MP Apsana Begum noted the resumption of the Israeli bombing of Gaza and asked: “How is this being allowed to continue.”

“It’s absolutely crucial to hold our government to account as to their role,” said the Poplar and Limehouse MP as she criticized the British government’s stance on Gaza.

“For Western powers, it appears to be the case that there is no limit to how many Gazan children’s lives can be brought to an end,” she said.

Begum noted that it is also “vital” for those in the Labour Party to hold leadership to account.

She urged everyone to join weekly pro-Palestinian protests across the UK.

“We must make it clear that history will judge all those who stayed silent or those who looked away and all those who gave the green light to war crimes,” added Begum.

We have and will never abandon ‘the right to return’

Palestinian-American lawyer and activist Lara Elborno said Palestinians “will never back down.”

“Do the US and Israel know that even though we haven’t lived free for 75 years we deeply love this life,” she asked rhetorically.

Elborno noted that witnessing humanity is an act of resistance against “colonial violence designed to strip people of their humanity.”

“Against colonial powers working overtime to convince you that this genocidal reality is inevitable,” she said, adding her message is: “It is not, rather freedom is inevitable.”

“So please continue in this moment to do the single most important thing that you can do by displaying unequivocal political solidarity with the Palestinian people,” Elborno underlined, and said the Palestinian people are “a symbol of hope and dignity for all oppressed people worldwide.”

She stressed that despite all, she, like all other Palestinians who have been forced into exile, “have never and will never abandon the right to return” to their land.

Source : aa