By JANICA ZAMORA and JASMIN MACASIEB
MANILA – Members of progressive groups held a protest in front of the United States Embassy in Manila on Tuesday, Nov. 14, condemning “the United States imperialism’s accountability in the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.”
In a statement, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan maintained that “the US has provided unqualified support for the war crimes committed by Israel and has refused even the most basic call for a ceasefire.”
“As US bombs rain down on Gaza for 37 days now, the US is giving Israel another $14.3 billion to pursue its war on the Palestinian people,” Bayan said. “The deaths of more than 4,000 children and the destruction of hospitals, schools and refugee camps, are the responsibility of the Biden government.”
Filipino Muslims joined the protest, expressing solidarity with the Palestinians.
“We stand with the Palestinian people in their fight against the decades-long oppression of the Zionist Israel government, the colonial occupation, the utter disregard to Palestine’s right to self-determination, and the US imperialist wars of aggression,” Amirah Ali Lidasan, co-chairperson of Sandugo and secretary-general of the Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA) said.
The ongoing attacks of Israel in Palestine have also triggered unease in Muslim communities. Lidasan drew parallels between the struggles of the Moro people and the Palestinians.
“The embassy that you protect is arming, encouraging, and supporting Israel’s military forces to carry out the mass killings of our Palestinian brothers and sisters”, Lidasan told the members of the anti-riot police deployed in the US Embassy.
Despite the blockade, protesters managed to get near the US Embassy.
Ainah Marangit, another Muslim protester, said that the pain felt by the Palestinians is shared by their fellow Filipino Muslims.
“I speak on behalf of Filipinos, especially those residing in Mindanao, who witnessed and deeply feel the pain of what is happening in Palestine. As a fellow Muslim, it’s heartbreaking for me, as one who shares the same faith, to witness the suffering in Palestine. However, supporting their cause is not exclusive to Muslims and even if you’re not a Muslim, everyone should desire peace.” Marangit said.
Attacks on hospitals
Meanwhile, Edelina de la Paz, chairperson of the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) and president of the Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association decried the attacks on the hospitals in Gaza.
“They kill them just like that. They even bomb hospitals and kill doctors, nurses, health workers, and patients. People seek shelter in hospitals, thinking they are safe, but then hospitals become targets for bombing. What kind of humanitarian response is that?” dela Paz lamented.
She also emphasized the importance of holding accountable those responsible for war crimes, urging global leaders to take concrete actions to address the ongoing genocide.
De la Paz stressed that showing opposition against outright killings is important, claiming that Palestine’s resistance is their way to fight for their rights and their land.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) said there are 137 attacks on health care in Gaza, which resulted in 521 deaths and 686 injuries, including 16 deaths and 38 injuries of health workers on duty. (AMU, RVO)