Hundreds rally at Vancouver Art Gallery for peace in Gaza

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Hundreds rally at Vancouver Art Gallery for peace in Gaza

Close to two hundred people showed up to the Vancouver Art Gallery this afternoon in a demonstration for peace in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

“I hope that Canadians understand that we’re really supporting the same kind of democratic rights and freedoms that they do,” said Saar Regev. ”It’s not a demonstration it’s a peace rally, we’re here to show support for Israel for it’s right to defend itself.”

The message by many at the rally – organized by Israeli-Canadians – is for peace and asking Canadians to make an educated opinion on the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“With the internet today, people can get a lot of information and they can choose. Whatever they choose, it should be for the right reasons,” said another demonstrator.

“Form your own opinion, but by all means, from an informed opinion and above all, because we’re in Canada, and because we’re Canadians, support civilized debate.”

The protestors gathered for about 3 hours.

Police on duty at the event say there was no violence and it was a peaceful rally.


  1. Most people on both sides are not against anybody’s right to defend themselves including Israel. The main issue is Israel’s unproportional response and the number say it all. Roughly for every 1 Israeli killed, a 100 innocent Palestinian civilians are blown up. By comparison, Israelis are safe. Israel is a first world and has a modern army, navy, and air force. Including an air defence that alone eliminates pretty much any rocket. When you know there are Terrorists in a building, you send in military operatives to eliminate the specific threats as oppose to flood bombing the entire are. If Israel took that type of approach, I’m pretty sure they would have the full support of the international community.

    • “When you know there are Terrorists in a building, you send in military operatives to eliminate the specific threats as oppose to flood bombing the entire area. ”
      If you are General MacArthur and want a prolonged war with significant loss of your own troops you do. If you want it over fast, with minimal risk to your own troops, you do exactly what the Israelis are doing.
      I’d prefer a diplomatic solution, but until the lid east is paved over, there will never be piece.
      Hamas is like a school boy poking a bear with a stick, when the bear has had enough, stop poking.

      • ‘Minimal risk to your own troops’ is the key to what’s wrong. Military should never put their lives ahead of innocent civilians who have nothing to do with anything. Nobody should get hurt but if this firing has to continue on both sides, 10 Israelis to 1000 innocent civilians dead is how it will continue. The more surgical method I mentioned above will mean more like 20 Israelis to maybe 100 innocent civilians dead as accidental gun shot cross fire to civilians will cause far less deaths then flood bombs. But hey if 10 Israelis is worth more then 900 less innocent Civilians who have nothing to do with this then never mind. Is this not a no brainer?

        • Sammy, I know what your saying but “body count” is not a logical way of looking at justification for any kind of war. War should be avoided at all costs because it endangers everyone. Israel is asking the Palestinians in Gaza to stop indiscriminate rocket fire on Israeli civilians, renounce violence, honor past treaties and get back to the negotiating table. That is a reasonable request that does not invoke violence. But they are not dealing with rational people. Hamas is a psychopathic radical organization that is engaged in guerrilla warfare with the IDF. They tactically draw fire to their own civilian homes, hospitals and schools to maximize the potential of civilian casualties. The IDF has embarked on a military operation, not a policing operation. The military can insert special forces (which the IDF has) to take out special targets, but Hamas is a much larger fighting force that hides in plain clothes inside Gaza and stores weapons and missile caches in homes, hospitals, tunnels and schools. If the IDF walks into Gaza they can be ambushed by anyone – they don’t know who’s who because it’s guerrilla warfare. The only logical thing to do is to evacuate women, children and the elderly, but surprisingly this is not part of the conversation.

          Hamas has even strapped explosives to a donkey and booby trapped tunnels which killed 5 IDF soldiers. It’s not up to the Israeli’s to protect the civilian population of the the same people that want them dead. that’s an insane request. It the job of the U.N. and Hamas or Palestinian Authority to protect their own civilians. They are violating basic U.N. and human morals by putting their own civilians in the line of fire. The question you should be asking is why doesn’t the U.N. request the evacuation of women, children and the elderly so that Hamas and the IDF can conclude the fighting.

          The Israeli’s have lived under rocket fire since Hamas took over the Gaza strip in 2005. They have shown tremendous restraint and tried to solve the problem diplomatically since then, but there is no diplomacy with Hamas, they don’t respect a 2 state solution and are bent on the destruction of any state to be replaced with an Islamic state no matter the cost. A Hamas political leader has been quoted saying numerous times: “We love death, as much as they (Israelis) love life.” Think about what kind of people make a statement like that.

  2. It’s not going to happen but, if I we’re King, I’d send a few shiploads of medical and disaster relief supplies to Gaza. Canada must step up and lead the way of no one else will.

    • I agree, it would be nice, but I have to ask myself, why is that rockets and parts for rockets seem to be getting into Gaza in huge quantities, yet humanitarian and disaster relief supplies cannot?
      I draw the conclusion that Hamas cannot kill any Israelis with a roll of bandages, for that they need rockets.

    • Gaza has received BILLIONS in relief and handouts for many decades . . . where does it go? Most into the pockets of despots, did Arafat not have 3 BILLION dollars in his personal bank account when he died?
      Nothing ever changes . . . perhaps if the folks in Gaza loved their children as much as the Israelis love their children . . . there might be progress.
      The reality is much of the food, water and electricity for Gaza is supplied by the Israelis.
      On the other hand . . . only one Govt calls for the Extinction of the J*ws . . . HAMAS!

      • Dale: “Nothing ever changes . . . perhaps if the folks in Gaza loved their children as much as the Israelis love their children . . . there might be progress.”

        Exactly how do you measure love? How and when did you run comparative study on “love” to be able to espouse such venomous, evil and wholly inaccurate thoughts?

        It’s that kind of stupidity, ignorance and hatred that feeds the cycle of violence that exists in the world.

        • Ever watch some of the excerpts from Gaza TV John?
          Thought not . . . reality is John they teach their children to hate from the time they learn to walk. They have a history of strapping bombs on their children . . .
          Israel is a free democratic society, where Arabs, Christians, J*ws and others live in freedom.
          Have YOU read the Hamas Charter John? Or are you just another of those liberal noises?
          Israel left Gaza almost a decade ago, left greenhouse, functioning businesses that the arabs could have stepped into, created an economy. Instead they SMASHED everything and started firing rockets into Israel the same year. They elected a Terrorist govt, Hamas . . .
          Are you upset that Iran builds the rockets and Qatar supplies the funding? This is an Iranian proxy war . . . get informed john.
          What we do know John . . . if Hamas laid down their weapons tomorrow . . . there would be peace!
          If Israel laid down their weapons tomorrow . . . there would be a massacre . . . and the likes of YOU would ignore it . . . just like you and the media today are ignoring ISIS in Iraq slaughtering Christians and blowing up Churches that date back to the 1st Century.

  3. The problem, Sammy, is that Israel has the technology to disrupt the ability of Hamas to kill Israelis. Going by your theory, Israel should wait until 1 Israeli is killed, and then instruct their military to kill one person in Gaza. That makes no sense at all. The bottom line is this-the people living in the Gaza Strip, an area of 360 square KM, need to get on with building a viable economic and social structure, instead of this obsession with killing Jews and eliminating Israel. You can spend your life wandering around memory lane, settling scores, getting revenge, etc, or you can get on with life. This is a culture that encourages the children of poor people to strap bombs to their bodies and kill themselves, just so a few Jews can be killed too. There is something very sick about that.

    Israel is living a daily life surrounded by people who want to kill all of their people, and whose leaders say so every day. To suggest that the response to this is “disproportionate” is absurd.

    • I agree that reciprocation does not resolve the issue.

      This war will only temporarily eliminate the threat from Gaza. Somehow despite the sea and land blockades, Gaza seems to be able to smuggle in sufficient weaponary to periodically wage terror in Israel.

      While Israel, like any country, army, airforce or navy has the right to defend itself, But this war is so horrific and warrants another solution.

      Perhaps it is time that the UN gets its act together and those countries with veto power get out of the way so that a permanent peace-keeping force is established- with the authority to return fire in either direction.

      And Gaza should be allowed to have an open border so that it can participate freely in the global economy-under UN supervision of course.

    • Honestly, you sound like you don’t have a clue about security or conflict studies, the geopolitical history of the region, or the current political makeup of the occupied territories. Exactly how do you expect “the people living in the Gaza strip (…) to get on with building a viable economic and social structure” when they are AN OCCUPIED PEOPLE? Are you forgetting this key factor which explicitly inhibits social and economic development? Especially when you factor in the illegal settlements that are being constructed by Israel? Check your facts dude.

      • Gaza has NOT been occupied since 2005 John . . . get informed!
        Do you not remember when the settlements were pulled out in 2005?

        They elect their own government . . . Hamas, who has spent untold 10s of millions on what John? Improving the lives of the citizens, or building miles of Concrete Tunnels under the sand. Do they use these tunnels as bomb shelters for their citizens John? No, they store their rockets and keep the Hamas gang safe.

        Even the Egyptians are fed up with the Gaza gang . . . they have similar security issues. Egypt proposed a ceasefire last week, Israel agreed by your Hamas friends would not.

  4. Sadly, Bruce, truckloads of aid have been going into Gaza, both from Israel themselves and from around the world through Egypt. None of that aid actually reaches the population until after it gets taxed (It is given free to Gaza) by the Hamas and PA government. Each year, 3.1 billion is international aid is sent to Gaza. That is enough to ensure a good life for all 1.6 million residents, if it wasn’t just taken by the fat cats. In addition to the money, tons of goods are shipped daily, and power is supplied for free.
    Sammy, Proportion of causalities can only be valid when the forces are both of equal type and status. When one force (Hamas) has no formal uniform, hides in among civilian buildings and population, and doesn’t meet the enemy forces head on, the casualty counts are always going to be disproportionate. Look at the US war in Afghanistan, where 800,000 people were killed by US attacks, the high portion of them civilians.
    While that doesn’t excuse or lessen the absolute tragedy of their deaths, this is a war zone, and there will be dis-proportionate Gaza deaths. I, too, wish that only the militants were the ones dying, as then this war would end, and the hopefully the Palestinian Arabs would finally be able to live peacefully in the 21st century with their Palestinian Jew neighbors.

    • Yes. What better strategy to foster indignation against Israel than to plant your terrorist war machine in Palastinian markets, schools and hospitals knowing full well innocent victims may be killed or injured? Hamas is a cruel terrorist organization that are void of mercy for anyone.

  5. Grant:

    You are correct about Hamas using civilians as shields and not being identifiable as being part of a military. Civilian casualties are bound to increase when one side fights in this manner. Your figures for Afghan war deaths are grossly over stated. Even the most out spoken of opponents to the war their set the civilian casualties at fewer than 25,000. This number is hardly trivial, but to suggest that 800K were killed is absurd. And, of course, this does not address the number of people slaughtered by the Taliban, including women accused of adultery, homosexuals, etc

    The hatred Arabs have for Jews is pretty clear when you sit down with even the most moderate, westernized Arab muslims. The hatred is just so obvious.

    • Not only are they forcing civilians to gather around missile launch sites, last week they shot 25 Gaza citizens they said were conspiring with the Israeli military. They stored missiles in UN schools, twice, and the feckless UN when they discovered the situation . . . returned the missiles to Hamas.
      Gaza citizens have been surrendering to Israeli troops and telling how Hamas has forced them into dangerous areas.
      Reality is John . . . when you religion tells you to “lie to the infadells” everything the say must be verified. Early footage coming out of Gaza was actually from Syria . . .

  6. “I hope that Canadians understand that we’re really supporting the same kind of democratic rights and freedoms that they do,” said Saar Regev. ”It’s not a demonstration it’s a peace rally, we’re here to show support for Israel for it’s right to defend itself.”

    I think this is overall a wonderful demonstration of nonviolence, and I’m proud that it took place in Vancouver. However, there are some fallacies at its foundation. By stating that it’s not a demonstration, but a peace rally, and that it’s for Israel’s right to self defence, then the movement cannot be for peace, for any act of violence, whether in self-defence or not, is decidedly not peaceful.

    I also find it somewhat absurd to state that you support the same democratic rights and freedoms, without acknowledging the fact that the people within the occupied territories are not free, as they are an occupied people under Israel, without freedom of movement.

    Good intentions are not enough. I’m not a supporter of Hamas by any means, and find their actions deplorable, but the root of the problem is Israel’s occupation and its impacts, namely the illegal settlements and lack of freedom of movement.

    • What did you think of the demonstration in Calgary a week ago last Friday? And the week before that a demonstration in Toronto?

      Both demonstrations resulted in attacks on the Infadells, in Canada in 2014.
      The Calgary police were non-existent and of zero help . . . the Calgary Mayor is still hiding out. Fortunately our local folks have not had a similar experience.
      But what are we going to look like going forward? Paris or Brussels?

  7. @ John

    If Canadians, including peoples who immigrated here, held real peace rallies that is a good thing. But when Canadians, sympatheticic to a specific external or homeland cause, hold a so-called peace rally that is another thing.

    Without passing judgement on an external conflict, I would point out that some Canadians on either side of a conflicts whether in Europe or the Middle East support their homeland financially as well as physically. A few Canadians have actually joined the militia in their respective homelands.

    Whether they are on the side of our enemy or on our side, this is plain wrong. Let us not forget that we are Canadians….

  8. Siding with a democracy does not necessarily offer freedom or rights.Case in point. My father did not support his homeland. He did not protest in the streets. He did not blow up public buildings.

    Yet i did not have the rights afforded by the Geneva Convention to enemy soldiers and prisoners i was stripped out of my childhood home and my family and I toiled in the same beet fields as German POWs. My father did not kill a Canadian Soldier.

    Shortly after hostilities ceased, the German POWs were allowed to go home in 1946 at the latest.. We were not allowed back to BC until April 1, 1949 -4 years after the war ended. Yes- democracy is good as long as your rights are not trampled.

    So much for selective democracy. Dale hasn’t got a clue and has lived a sheltered life. He opines by choosing sides and is oblivious to the issues and facts.
    Dale needs to pay attention. You are becoming rather obnoxious.

    You need to move along… Far away.

    • What would you consider thousands of missiles raining down on your citizens Site?

      Is that an infringement on your rights? No . . . its a Terrorist Attack.

      Time to smell the coffee Site . . . Hamas is a terrorist organization, they have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of their own citizens, last week, last year and the years before that.

      What you need Site . . . is information . . . you usually have little to offer.
      Facts are a nasty thing . . . yes ! ! !

      PS: You did a lot better than the Japanese Canadians who had the Federal Govt of the day, led by Liberal Mackenzie King . . . steal their property and livelyhood.

      • “PS: You did a lot better than the Japanese Canadians who had the Federal Govt of the day, led by Liberal Mackenzie King . . . steal their property and livelyhood.”(unquote).

        Dale- What the hell are you talking about? I happen to be a Canadian of Japanese heritage. Not bad for someone who was ESL????

        Been there …did that….My father lost his livelihood and his 16 acre farm.