Anti-War Protest in Montreal as Iran-Israel Peace Movement is Ignored by Media

The current conflict in Iran and Israel has been on everyone’s lips these past few days as more bombings take place, despite an ignored peace movement between the two. Like it or not, the issue hits closer to home than many would realize, due to Quebec having a large multicultural community.

On Friday, a protest of several hundred people took place in downtown Montreal against Gaza bombings. There was a large number of police at hand to ensure all would remain peaceful. Québec Solidaire members Françoise David and Amir Khadir were both present.

Khadir, who was born in Tehran, declared for peaceful intervention by the Canadian and United States governments rather than simply choosing sides. "It's important to show solidarity with the Palestinian people," said Khadir. "And by the way, the Israeli people [are] also suffering from all those war mongers who have [an] interest [in] the war."

A candlelight vigil in Westmount took place the same evening for Palestine, held by a smaller group.

Currently the Egyptian officials are hoping for a truce, as Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State for the U.S., gave a press conference with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu.

One aspect in the whole conflict is the media, due to the selectivity of certain stories. While some are ready to choose sides, people have to realize the Quebecers who have relatives in the targeted areas. The main focus is constantly whether politicians are ready to make a truce or not, but what they selfishly don’t note is in the process of their egoism, they are the least affected by their actions. We’re the ones who have to endure what the government does time and again, since they don’t listen.

In the late 1960s there was a major peace movement against the Vietnam War. Many were drafted to fight in the army against their will. Today, the governments are ignoring something larger, as though Stephen Harper sees this to try and improve Canada’s public rank even if it means taking an unfortunate “Americanized” angle on the conflict.

Montreal was not the only place to hold a protest against the attacks. Across the hemisphere, the Cuban Movement for the Peace and Sovereignty of the People held a protest as well.

A peace movement has been developing between- believe it or not- Iranians and Israelis- that began in March of this year when one man named Ronny Edry posted a photo of his family with a message of anti-war, and thus people joined. He stated, “To the Iranian people, to all the fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters. For there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate. I'm not afraid of you, I don't hate you."

In spring, one thousand people took to the streets of Tel Aviv condemning the threat of war. New Statesman magazine reported, “A poll by Tel Aviv University's Guttman Centre found that 63 per cent of Israelis strongly or moderately oppose unilateral attack by Israel on Iran.”

Ifat Zvirin, a demonstrator, said: “We are afraid, like most of the people in the country who are against a war with Iran. We want all the Middle East to become a nuclear weapon-free zone, and that includes Israel.”

Many are afraid of a war breaking between Iran and Israel since Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an announcement in February that he is reportedly developing their nuclear program. The Arab-Israeli conflict goes as far back as the 1880s during the Ottoman Era and the migration of European Jews. In 2002, Saudi Arabia hoped for a peace initiative at a summit meeting of the Arab League.

If the media would not be owned by large conglomerates that care more about celebrity endorsement than reality, the peace movement would be on major news headlines, rather than the slogan “Muslim Rage” being branded on Newsweek after a short film was released against the prophet Mohammed, which sparked protests that were largely exaggerated for propaganda.

One has to wonder how many honest facts on the Quebec Student Movement this year actually floated to media outlets abroad, seeming as they didn’t even reach those in provinces across Canada. So we can’t question why an anti-war movement between Israel and Iran seems to be myth, that is, until word of mouth continues to spread.

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