MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Israeli and Palestinian conflict continues to grow over in the Middle East.
Here in the states and even right here in Memphis, people are coming together with hopes of raising awareness to the ongoing issue. Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall in downtown Memphis.
People marched and even carpooled to the National Civil Rights Museum to show solidarity with Palestinians. This comes after weeks of violence overseas and organizers say they hope Sunday’s march can shed just a little bit of light on the issue.
“I’m here to support the freedom for the people of Palestine. They have a right to the place that they live in. They have a right to live peacefully,” said Salma Khan, a protester.
People carrying signs reading “end the occupation in Palestine” and “Save Sheikh Jarrah” covered the streets of downtown Memphis.
The rally, hosted by Memphis Voices for Palestine, comes just one day after the anniversary of Nabka which is Arabic for “catastrophe”.
On May 15, 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes in what is now Israel during the war, according to organizers.
73 years later the conflict continues.
However, international reports say tensions have intensified after violence broke out due to clashes between Israeli Police and Palestinians in Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan.
Rocket attacks were launched on Israel from the militant Palestinian group Hamas. Israel responded with airstrikes which have since killed nearly 200 Palestinians.
“There’s an apartheid system in place, and we’re here standing in solidarity with the people who suffer as a result of the apartheid and the occupation,” said Omar Suboh, of Memphis Voices for Palestine.
Even though the conflict is thousands of miles away, many Palestinians living here in Memphis who attended the rally say they have family overseas, and they are protesting what they see as the ethnic cleansing of their people.
“There isn’t a lot of empathy for Palestinian lives. We always hear about what’s happening on the Israeli side but there isn’t enough awareness, there isn’t enough support for Palestine and what’s happening to the Palestinian people,” said Yasmin Al-Jafari, a protestor.
And among those in the crowd were people like Yahkov Freeman who says despite his Jewish beliefs, he stands in solidarity with Palestine.
“My Jewish values oppose apartheid,” said Yahkov Freeman, a protester.
Now you can learn more about the organization’s cause by visiting Memphis Voices for Palestine on Facebook.