I was fortunate enough to speak at the recent Palestine Solidarity Campaign Demonstration in Cardiff. This is what I said. 👇
Last year I wrote a piece for the Western Mail imagining myself as a Palestinian women. I’m Welsh from the top of my head to the soles of my feet, but my mother taught me it was important to walk in other people’s shoes – so I did. And what a revelation that was.
I came to feel their suffering – and understand their oppression which has gone on for decades. The long hours of travelling to and from work, the humiliation and dangers at the Israeli road blocks, the loss of my land because there is an illegal wall built across it, the inability to get medicines when I need them, or vaccines for my family in the COVID crisis, and worst of all –as a mother myself, the worry about my children. Are they safe when they walk to school, when they go out to play. That’s the worst.
And recent events have made this so much worse – my heart breaks for the suffering of so many Palestinians – so many children injured and killed.
The Israeli police actions against Palestinians at the Al Aqsa mosque, their brutal behaviour towards Palestinians in Jerusalem during Ramadan, the planned evictions at Sheikh Jarrah all added to the years of oppression of the Palestinian people, both in Israel and in the Palestinian territories, and led to this escalation of violence.
We have a proud history in Wales of standing up against oppression – from the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War to the anti apartheid movement which helped free Nelson Mandela, who was able to come here to Cardiff to join us in celebrating his march to freedom.
I now call on all political and trade union organisations and public representatives in Wales to press for the recognition of the state of Palestine. I call for an end to Israeli occupation. Israel must adhere to international law, and the UK must end the sale of arms to Israel and place a ban on the import of goods from the illegal settlements. This week I signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament that called for suitable sanction until all violations of international law and human rights are ceased.
For a resolution to these conflicts – the power lies with the state of Israel who should end the siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation immediately. That would begin the process of bringing peace to the region.
One Christmas I gave a gift of an olive tree to Palestine. One day I hope to be able to sit under that olive tree with my Palestinian and Israeli friends in peace and friendship.