Irish Anti War Movement Shuts Down Israeli Embassy, Calls for Sanctions

By Chloe Sands

Hundreds chanted, walked for miles and lingered on. What started out as a protest with Palestinian melodies blasting on the speakers and chants of “Israeli ambassador Out! Out! Out!” turned into a mellow sit down in front of the main embassy gate. But the protestors wanted more; marching in the streets of Dublin for three hours seemed too small a price to pay for the unknown number of flotilla lives lost at the hands of the merciless Israeli killing machine. So the question was put to the crowd: Do you want to remain overnight at the gates of the embassy and blockade it like Gaza is blockaded? Well, not exactly like Gaza – no one will miss a meal or die of untreated cancer as a result of this blockade.

Over 50 protestors chose to remain vigil until the morning and, come morning, block the two vehicle entrances and the single pedestrian entrance to the Israeli Fortress. At first I thought the night seemed long, after all we had not prepared for this so there were no sleeping bags, no cushions, no supplies of any kind to keep us going overnight. Neighbourhood rules also meant that we could not keep our speakers on. To stop me feeling sorry for myself, I thought “If you think this is bad, imagine what it must be like on the MV Rachel Corrie tonight”. But soon help started arriving from all around. Friends, friends of friends and strangers in cars passing by provided tea, coffee, falafel sandwiches, biscuits, pillows, blankets and candles. A group of exquisite musicians suddenly arrived with their soft guitars that played our ears into a state of semi-sleep until morning. A cocoon of warmth was suddenly cradling us on this cold Dublin sidewalk.

 

In the morning we expected our blockade to be challenged. We expected that the Israeli diplomatic mission would attempt to get in. We thought that the Irish Gardai would lift us off the pavements one by one and force the entry of the Israeli employees and the ambassador. But the morning came and went and there was no sign of the diplomats. Throughout the day we witnessed an ever-increasing number of Gardai deployed to form a buffer between us and the embassy. We could not help but notice the half-concealed sympathetic gaze of those officers. The afternoon came and went, and still no sign of the diplomats - although their Mossad agents hovered across the road to photograph our faces on several occasions.

Finally the mainstream Irish media reported that the Israeli embassy had in fact been prevented from operating in Dublin on June 4, 2010. After the initial sense of accomplishment of the goal of closing the embassy for the day, I realized that there was an even bigger coup. Why did the Israeli ambassador and his staff not challenge us and try to enter their offices? After all, it is their embassy. And we could hardly pose a threat with our tired, pale faces, half-frozen limbs and zombie-like level of alertness (Hey it was a long night, ok?) I wondered: surely if we had blocked, say the Spanish embassy, we would have been arrested by now – right? But in this case not only were we not arrested, but we were not challenged at all. Am I imagining things, or is the course of action taken by the Israelis in the face of our confrontation not an admission of guilt?

So what is the nature of this animal? When challenged face to face it shys away from confrontation. Does it prefer to stealthily move into action only when the opposition least expects it? Does that mean that, like the ambush on the Mavi Marmara, we can expect to pay a price for the humiliation we caused you when we least expect it? Will the information collected on each and every one of us be one day and unexpectedly used against us?  Will our passports be tampered with? Will we be found to hold weapons? Why, Israel, do you feel the need to kick below the belt? Why can you not operate openly and transparently?  The world is getting tired of your games - wake up. You have become your own worst enemy.

 

The IAWM is staging another blockade of the Israeli Embassy this Tuesday at 7am. Come help us surround the embassy so that it cannot open for business. The message is simple, lift the blockade on Gaza, and we’ll lift the blockade on you.

Related article: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0604/breaking25.html