Solidarity with Palestine - by Stephen Lendman
Ahead of May 15 Nakba commemorations, massive crowds assembled in Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square in solidarity. They displayed banners, proclaiming, "The People want the Rafah Crossing opened," and "Palestine is a Arab state."
They also waved Palestinian flags, chanting "Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada" and "National Unity" ahead of a planned weekend march to Gaza. More on that below.
Domestic issues were also addressed, including ending recent sectarian violence and concerns about popular unaddressed issues under military junta rule. After Friday prayers, Sheikh Safwat Hegazy addressed the crowd, saying:
"(Appointed prime minister) Essam Sharaf: this is not your government. This is the revolution's government. You should kick out the six former (NDP ruling party) ministers from the cabinet. We won't accept (deputy prime minister) Yehia El-Gamal who's part of the former regime...."
In response, crowds chanted, "Down, down Yehia El-Gamal." One participant, identified only as Mohammad, spoke for others, saying:
"Sharaf's government is taking the same path as the former government. They have the same double standards, secrecy and authoritarian policy-making in internal (and) external affairs."
Though Egypt's spring hasn't bloomed, its spirit pervades Tahrir, suggesting perhaps renewed uprisings ahead. For now, however, Egyptians head for Gaza in solidarity with Palestinian liberation, a goal millions around the world support, as well as a Third Intifada to achieve it.
Surprisingly, however, despite MENA region (Middle East/North Africa) Morocco to Oman to Syria uprisings, Palestinians haven't yet reacted, except for regular small-scale demonstrations far short of large masses throughout Egypt and neighboring countries, posing challenges for ruling authorities.
Yet nowhere is regional abuse more extreme, including occupation, isolation, land theft, mass arrests, torture, targeted assassinations, daily terror, and at times war, causing thousands of casualties and widespread destruction.
Perhaps Egypt's solidarity march will inspire what hasn't yet occurred, under the slogan, "Cairo's liberation will not be complete without the liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem)."
According to Justice and Freedom Youth Movement's Ahmed Doma:
"We are organizing this event as part of the Arab Internet call for a third Palestinian Intifada, and as part of what has been termed 'the Arab mass march.' "
Facebook was used, urging that regional Arabs march en masse to Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Jordanian/Israeli borders, demanding what Palestinians have long sought, including liberation, ending occupation, the right of return, and East Jerusalem as its capital.
Participating Egyptians also want:
-- Rafah's border crossing permanently open, permitting free movement of people and goods;