Campaigning anti-racist journalist David Sheen with Gaza witness report by Garry Walsh of Trocaire
Wednesday 8th July, 8pm
Great Denmark Street,
Admission free, donations welcome
To mark the first anniversary of the start of the 51-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza last summer that left 2200 Palestinians dead, including 556 children, PalFest Ireland presents “Incited in Israel, Inflicted on Gaza – Hate”, with campaigning anti-racist journalist David Sheen. This will be preceded by a witness report from Gaza by Garry Walsh of Trocaire, based on his recent visit.
Garry Walsh is Trócaire’s Programme Officer for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Trócaire supports local humanitarian and human rights projects on the ground, and Garry was recently in Gaza and witnessed the devastation caused by last Summer’s Israeli military offensive. Garry will give an eye-witness account of the situation in Gaza, and outline the work that one of Ireland’s largest international development organisations is doing to protect and defend human rights in the region, and indicate what Ireland and the international community can do to help achieve justice and human rights.
How could 2200 Palestinians be killed in 51 days last summer in Gaza with impunity by Israel? What is going on in Israel that creates an atmosphere where such a brutal attack on a people forbidden to leave can be inflicted? How can such a siege be visited on Gaza again and again, coupled with a crippling occupation of the whole of Palestine?
For the past five years, Canadian-born David Sheen has been reporting from inside Israel on the frightening levels of anti-Palestinian and other forms of racism that pervade Israeli society, inform government policy and incite vigilante attacks. “Without wide exposure, this persecution will not end on its own” says Sheen, whose writing has been published in Ha’aretz, Alternet, the Nation, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada and other outlets. He testified to the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and before the European Parliament and the German Parliament. He is also writing a full-length book based on his reporting.
“As I visited neighbourhoods in Gaza that lay completely in ruins, the scenes reminded me of images of European cities after World War II” – Garry Walsh, Trocaire.
PalFest Ireland sees the expression of suppressed truth as one of the basic functions of art. Without it, we are at the mercy of the money-spinning pr industry. How is the consensus manufactured in Israel that lets this relentless horror be inflicted in their name – and, by our complicit inaction, in ours? David Sheen explains how it’s done.
The evening will open with musician Mick Blake’s composition Another Child, Another War, with video projection.
Friday 10th July, 7pm
Great Denmark Street,
Tickets for this event cost €7
“Palestinians Need Political Action Not Cheques”
Norwegian surgeon Dr. Mads Gilbert, who worked in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza during the attacks last year, is coming to Ireland to give a talk on his experiences, including the siege of Gaza. During the 90 minute talk Dr Gilbert will show footage taken during the attacks as he recounts the harrowing events he witnessed while working in Gaza’s main hospital. The talk will also address the BDS campaign and the effect international solidarity movements are having in Palestine.
Dr. Mads Gilbert’s letter to Obama from last summer’s attacks speaks volumes of the human suffering he witnessed while in al-Shifa hospital:
The last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.
The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24 hour shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!
Now, once more treated like animals by “the most moral army in the world” (sic!).
My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless, my closeness to the Palestinian “sumud” gives me strength, although in glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace – but we cannot afford that, nor can they.
Ashy grey faces – Oh NO! Not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes,cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away … to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa in the last 24 hrs. Enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: no electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterday’s hospitals. But they do not complain, these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormously resolute.
And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flow, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening!
An then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts its gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from the navy boats just down on the shores, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic ‘Zennanis’, the hummers), and the cluttering Apaches. So much made in and paid by the US.
Mr. Obama – do you have a heart?
I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe.
I am convinced, 100%, it would change history.
Nobody with a heart AND power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.
But the heartless and merciless have done their calculations and planned another “dahyia” onslaught on Gaza.
The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death.
Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue.”
Mads Gilbert MD PhD
Professor and Clinical Head
Clinic of Emergency Medicine
University Hospital of North Norway
Friday 10th July
Hodges Figgis Book Shop, 56-58 Dawson Street, D2
PalFest and Hodges Figgis invite you to join doctor and activist Mads Gilbert who will be signing his new book, ‘Night in Gaza’. In the summer of 2014, Gaza was attacked by Israel for the fourth time since 2006. This attack lasted fifty-one days. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor, had worked at al-Shifa Hospital during each previous conflict, and in July 2014 he went back there. While he was helping the wounded, he kept a camera in the pocket of his green operating scrubs. In this book, he tells the story in words and images of the fifty-one days of bombing and human suffering that he witnessed. At the same time, this book is a tribute to the courage, endurance and almost inconceivably strong spirit of Palestinian health workers and volunteers, a spirit replicated throughout the severely tested society of Gaza, occupied Palestine.
– Farmers, Fishermen, Food and Occupation
Saturday 11th July, 11am-12:30pm
Dublin Food Co-operative Society Ltd.,
SPEAKER: Elaine Bradley, Human Rights and BDS Activist
Admission free, donations welcome
To remain on their land, Palestinian farmers need to resist elements of the occupation including the expropriation of their land and resources, the damaging of crops and the restriction of markets. Fishermen need access to their traditional fishing grounds rather than the 3 mile limit imposed by Israeli force.
This talk explores the impact of occupation on food production, farmers, fishermen and their families, and how a combination of attacks and administrative restrictions serve to further Israel’s colonial project. The talk will explore the creative ways that agricultural workers are resisting and the imperative for the international community to stand with them in solidarity in their fight for their land and rights.
There will also be some Palestinian Fair Trade products on sale at this event.