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Artists, Activists and Nobel Peace Laureates stand up for Palestinian rights
Wednesday July 30, 2014 11:06 PM, Agencies

A diverse group of celebrities, artists, and activists that includes American Jews and Palestinians are speaking out for Palestinian human rights in a new video released online today.

Pro Palestine

The video is a first of its kind expression of support for Palestinian freedom, equality and justice and features celebrities such as Chuck D, Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Wallace Shawn, Tony Kushner, Mira Nair, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Nobel Peace Laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, Rigoberta Menchu Tum , activists and artists like Mira Nair, Anand Patwardhan, Ken Loach, Naomi Klein etc holding signs with the names and ages of Palestinian civilians recently killed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

“The Israeli leaders seem sincere when they say they believe that their actions are appropriate. Apparently, one of ‘us’ is worth many more of ‘them,’” said actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, who provides the voice-over narration for the video.

“American leaders know they are lying when they defend the murder of children in their beds. And we, the public, pay for the bombs, pay for the airplanes, and pretend not to notice what’s going on.”

As Israel continues its assault against the occupied, besieged, and blockaded Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 1,200 Palestinians since July 8, most of them civilians, a growing number of global citizens of conscience feel compelled to speak out against Israel’s disproportionate attack on the Palestinian people.

“We wanted to provide a platform for the growing list of prominent individuals who are outraged by Israel’s brutal violence against Gaza’s civilian population,” said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization that co-produced the video.

“Our message is that securing freedom and justice for Palestinians is the only pathway to a lasting peace.”

Pro Palestine

"My family was forced to flee our beloved Jerusalem in 1948 and every day since then, we have longed for freedom,” said Nina Saah, an 83-year-old Nakba survivor featured in the video.

“What is happening in Gaza breaks my heart all over again. And yet I am so moved by all those who have come together in this video and the outpouring of support I am seeing for Palestinians. It gives me hope that the people of the world will be the ones to change our situation and that freedom and justice will come."

“This is a scream on paper. This is a wail,” said playwright Eve Ensler, one of the artists featured in the video.

“There are no more words. Only this moment where we rise against the illegal and deathly occupation of Palestine, against mass slaughter of the defenseless, against the complicit silence of the international community, against the military might and arrogance of the Israeli and the U.S. governments who choose annihilation over justice and love.”

In addition to those featured in this video, a growing number of celebrities have been speaking out via social media about the horrors we are witnessing in Gaza, as reported recently by BuzzFeed and The Hollywood Reporter.

“This is the vile Israel - the country that taught injustice and ugliness to the tyrants of the world,” tweeted Syrian singer Assala, who is also known for her outspoken support of the Syrian revolution.

Lebanese singer and performer Ragheb Alama turned his Twitter account into a gallery of videos and pictures displaying the atrocities caused by Israeli attacks.

“They [Israel] killed the people, burned their land and said that terrorism comes from us. Who is the terrorist? WHO?” he tweeted.

Prominent Lebanese singer Assi al-Hilani took a different approach, tweeting about “the need for a quick Arabic summit for the brutal aggression of our families in Palestine” and asking, “Where are you Arabs?”

Hilani was not the only celebrity to condemn the absence of an effective Arabic response, with Lebanese actress Ward El Khal saying “if the Arabs are not with you. God is. #WeAreAllGaza.”

The pro-Palestinian Twitter phenomenon did not stop at the celebrities of the Arab World; big names from around the globe also penned tweets in solidarity Gaza.

Pop sensation Rihanna tweeted the hash tag #FreePalestine before deleting it eight minutes later and writing instead: “Let's pray for peace and a swift end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict! Is there any hope?”

American NBA star Dwight Howard also tweeted and then deleted the #Free Palestine hashtag after a fan shared pictures of Gaza with him.

Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon showed his support for Palestine by tweeting "#Free Palestine #ForzaBuffon."

According to the Middle East Monitor, Germany soccer superstar Mesut Ozil is set to donate his $600,000 World Cup winnings to the children of Gaza.

Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks put up a post on Instagram that read "pray for Palestine."

Famous American comedian Whoopi Goldberg condemned the attacks by retweeting: “Whoopi can you please RT that the men, women & children in Gaza, Palestine have been getting Massacred for the past week.”

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