PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portlanders joined other protesters around the world Saturday in pro-Palestinian demonstrations, calling for an end to attacks on Gaza.
Saturday also marks Nabka Day, which commemorates the deplanement of Palestinians in 1948.
A crowd gathered outside Portland City Hall at Terry Shrunk Plaza in solidarity with Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah, a tiny neighborhood in East Jerusalem that has been the center of a decades-long property dispute.
Palestinian families who for generations have lived in this neighborhood face evictions from their homes after an Israeli court ruled that a group of Jewish settlers has claim to the land.
This dispute is just one microcosm of the decades-long conflict that has since escalated to more airstrikes in Gaza. Israeli leaders have consistently argued that they are defending themselves while those who support Palestinians say that Israel has historically been the main aggressor.
Speakers at the Portland rally called for government leaders to end “Apartheid” in Israel.
“We need people that live in governments and countries that are the imperial core that fund this U.S. war machine, that fund war globally to step up,” said one demonstrator, Hannah Alzgal. “They have the power to boycott and divest sanction Israeli Apartheid.”
Demonstrators also called for a change in how the middle east is presented in schools and news stories, adding that Western institutions aren’t painting the whole picture of the Israel-Palestine conflict.