Guernica stands in solidarity with Gaza


An article from the Peoples Dispatch (published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license)

On Friday, December 8, thousands of people from the Basque city of Guernica hit the city center in a stunning display of solidarity with the people of Gaza who are facing Israel’s genocidal attacks. The thousands who assembled at the Pasialeku Market Place in Guernica formed a human mosaic depicting the Palestinian flag and part of Pablo Picasso’s famed anti-war painting, Guernica.

Frame from a video of the event. credit: Gotzon Aranburu / @GotzonAr via Spectee.

In the event organized by the Guernica-Palestine Citizens’ Initiative, citizens, trade unionists, artists, anti-fascist groups, anti-war groups, and activists from left-wing parties, including the United Left (IU), condemned the Israeli bombardment of Palestinian people. The city’s anti-aircraft siren sounded  for a minute, drawing parallels between Guernica’s enduring pain from the bombing it faced during the Spanish Civil War and the ongoing airstrikes faced by the people of  Gaza.

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Question related to this article:

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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Guernica is a historically significant city in the Basque region of Spain that was bombarded on April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italian air forces in support of their ally, the Spanish military general Francisco Franco. The infamous bombing of the city, which was a stronghold of the Republican forces, was one of the events that paved the way for the Fanco’s capture of northern Spain.

Hundreds of civilians were killed in the bombing which evoked widespread outrage across the world. Renowned artist Pablo Picasso’s landmark painting  ‘Guernica’ was in response to the brutal bombing. It is regarded as an exemplary anti-war painting in modern history.

In its statement on the Palestine solidarity event, the Guernica-Palestine Citizens’ Initiative insisted that the world and history must not accept a new Guernica and that “Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people. The international community [must] share the suffering of the Palestinian people and stop the massacre.”

On December 10, on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Basque Federation of the United Left (IU) stated  “What is happening in Gaza is a genocide contrary to ideals envisaged by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

As of December 12, over 18,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli bombardment in Gaza, and around 50,000 people have been wounded. More than 7,500 people are reportedly missing and more than 1.9 million people have been displaced by the relentless airstrikes.

(Thank you to Fatima Zédira for calling our attention to this event.)