‘We have to do something:’ Hundreds turn out to join human chain between US, Russian embassies to condemn murder of Syrian civilians
December 18, 2016, 11:12 pm
Hundreds of Israelis gathered in downtown Tel Aviv on Sunday to protest the international community’s failure to stop the reported massacres of civilians trapped in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo.
Forming a human chain along the half-kilometer stretch between the Russian and US embassies, Jewish and Muslim demonstrators carried signs reading “Stop war crimes now!” and “Stop the holocaust in Aleppo.”
“I’m here doing the only thing I can, because I feel powerless in this ordeal,” one protester told a JTA reporter. “There are people who are suffering, so we have to do something.”
“People are here for one very simple reason: we’re passionate about the moral problem of people being massacred throughout the world,” said Rabbi Hananel Rosen.
“I think that Western leaders… to a certain extent enabled this to happen, because as a society, leaders learn to tolerate things that we don’t say are beyond a red line,” Rosen said. “God created the world and everybody in it in the image of God, and if we’re not willing to put our foot down about that then we’ll find ourselves religiously and morally wanting.”
The demonstration organized by anti-racism group Tag Meir was initially planned to take place Saturday night directly in front of the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv, but police denied the group a permit, citing a prohibitively high turnout.
Protests have been taking place in cities all over the world, as people take to the streets to express their outrage at the crisis in the battered Syrian city, where the Assad regime — backed by Russia — has largely seized control after weeks of airstrikes on rebel-held areas.
In Aleppo, on Saturday, trapped Syrian civilians and rebels waited desperately for evacuations to resume from an opposition enclave of the city which has fallen to the brutal onslaught by Syrian government forces.
Aleppo has been ravaged by some of the worst violence of the nearly six-year war that has killed more than 310,000 people.