The Israeli retaliation in Gaza for the kidnap and murder of three Jewish teenagers, has been called disproportionate. That is an understatement.
To date nearly 1,800 Palestinians have died in bombing and artillery attacks by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). Almost 400 of them have been children and the images of dead and bloodied civilians, caught in the crossfire, coming out of Gaza make this current operation, nominally to protect Israel from Hamas rocket attacks, especially cruel.
There have been many demonstrations against the war globally and today in Tokyo, Japan further joined that clarion call for restraint and peace in Gaza with a small, vocal demo in Shinjuku.
The rally began before 2pm in the park outside the east exit of Shinjuku station and about 600 people were said to have joined the rally and demo march that started at 3pm. It looked more like a thousand or so to me though. Most were Japanese with members of the Friday anti-nuke and anti-war protest groups making-up the majority. But there were also few Muslims residents of Japan and a couple westerners among the marchers.
I do not know enough to comment on the significance of this protest in affecting Israeli policy. The protests in other countries like the UK and US have been much larger and more vocal in their opposition to Israel. More leverage can be applied by the US to reign in an angry, vindictive military and the people of America are growing louder in demanding their government does just that. Japan by comparrison has little dealings with the Jewish State.
How the fact that people thousands of kilometres away care enough to march in the street for you will affect the moral and determination of the Palestinians is another thing.
That is perhaps more the point.
I had always been a grudging admirer of Israel due to its indomitable wish to just exist. But this action in Gaza is just plain nasty and seems determined to solve the problem of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel by cleansing the Gaza Strip of its population.
The whole situation is very complicated with extremists on both sides ratcheting up the violence and vitriol, and I cannot see it ending well. But people all around the world who value peace and the lives of innocents have to make their voices heard to try and stop this war.
Images above of some of the protest.
More images of the Gaza protest in Tokyo, Japan at my archive here.