By Suzanne Scarlett Bessisso
A protest in support of Palestine is to take place in Prague on Friday, May 21st, at 2 pm marching from Malá Strana to the Israeli Embassy.
This comes after the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman, publicly announced solidarity with the state of Israel on May 14th by hanging the Israeli flag on the square at Prague Castle.
Matyáš Pilin and Jasmin Zakie, co-organizers of the march in Prague, decided to put together this event to do all they can to bring awareness and show solidarity with Palestine.
“If we can start a conversation and have people look at the evidence, look at the human suffering and not just blindly repeat worn-out phrases that we hear in the media so often, true change can begin to take shape,” said Matyáš Pilin.
Pilin believes that the Palestinian struggle is barely covered in the Czech media, and when it is, it’s extremely misrepresented, “the coverage is mainly done from within the Israeli borders, where there is no real threat to life and rarely shows the pain and suffering of the Palestinian people.”
The Czech Republic’s history of being occupied by the Soviet Union reflects the struggles of the people in Palestine under the Israeli occupation by being dispossessed, isolated and forced to survive by any means possible, yet the Czech government declared solidarity with Israel.
“Due to Czech Republic’s long history of support for Israel, we could occupy a uniquely powerful place in the discourse, and I am ashamed that no single politician has stepped up to the mark and used this platform to speak the truth,” said Pilin in response to Czech Republic’s solidarity with Palestine.
The metaphorical torch to bring awareness and fight for the human rights of Palestinian people was passed on to the generation of social media, to fight for what is right irrespective of geopolitical goals or of broader economical interests, to hope for change and push those in power to reflect the opinions of the masses.
“I am worried that our march will be mischaracterized as anti-Jewish, but highlighting the struggles of one people should not be a radical idea, and most certainly should not come at the expense of a different group of people. Standing with Palestine does not make you an anti-Semite or a radical,” he adds.
Similar protests took place in London last week with protesters gathering in front of the Prime Minister’s office on Tuesday, 11th May, and thousands of people marching towards the Israeli embassy on Saturday, 15th May.
Protests in New York, Los Angeles, France, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Sudan, Lebanon, are also taking place this week.