- ‘Lights for Gaza’ evening of Remembrance held at the Palestinian Embassy in Tokyo
Arab News Japan
TOKYO: To honor the thousands of Palestinian victims of the conflict in Gaza, an evening of Remembrance was held at Tokyo’s Palestinian Embassy on Saturday.
Hundreds of people – both Japanese and foreigners – held candles aloft and remembered the dead in silence.
Many held banners with slogans such as “Ceasefire Now!” “Free Palestine Now!” and “End the Israeli Occupation.”
The event was held under the title of “Lights for Gaza; let’s remember their faces and stories together.”
Ambassador Waleed Siam, who is from Gaza, made a speech that started by reminding people of the extent of Israel’s actions “which aim at extermination of the Palestinians.”
“They have bombed hospitals, and they have bombed churches, mosques, our homes, our neighbourhoods. Fifty percent of Gaza is almost destroyed. The amount of bombing that is falling on Gaza is indescribable. The number of deaths is enormous. These bombs when they fall, they do not know a civilian from a non-civilian. They cannot differentiate. What is happening in Gaza today and for the past 29 days is genocide. It is the extermination of the Palestinians, and they are forcing us out of our land again.”
Siam recalled that 900,000 Palestinians were forced off their land in 1948 and accused Israel of wanting to repeat the same crimes and expel them from Gaza.
“This is a war where they took our land by force,” he said. “We have the right to resist. We have been resisting for the past 75 years. Imagine being under occupation for 75 years. They control your life. They control your electricity, the water, the food, the movement. They are dehumanizing us. They are killing us in the West Bank. They already gave the illegal settlers weapons to kill Palestinians.”
Siam thanked the protesters for their support. He said, “So far, 4,800 children have been killed. They don’t have weapons. They did not carry any weapons. Some of them are not born yet. A lot of them and a lot of women and men are still under the rubble.”
“I do not know how my neighbourhood will be when I return. We do not know what has happened to our homes, or the schools our children attended, or the grocery stores where we bought our food or our neighbours.”
Siam asked the question: “What right do the Israelis have to live there in my house? They took our land by force. And they continue taking our land by force. We have nothing against the Jews. On the contrary, Jews, Christians, Muslims, and all religions are welcome in our land.”
“Palestine is our land. Gaza is our land. East Jerusalem is our land. The West Bank is our land. Where Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem is our land.”
Siam mocked Israel’s claims that they have justice, equality, and the freedom of religion.
“They say they are a democratic country. Do you know they do not allow us to go to our mosques on Friday to pray? Do you know that they enter our mosques and desecrate our mosques every day? These illegal settlers come from Europe, the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Canada. They can drive a car and come to our land and take over, and the Israeli army will protect them.”
“Where is the judgment? Where is the rule of law? A lot of countries and the Western media have lost their humanity. Tonight gives us hope that humanity is still alive.”