One man’s vigil against the violence in Gaza

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Stanwood Nutter
Stanwood Nutter

Stanwood Nutter has been picketing the Winston-Salem Journal building on Spruce Street every day from 8 to 10 a.m. since the Israeli military assault on Gaza began, and he said he plans to be there every day until the siege lifts.

His chose his location, he told me, because he believes news media coverage of the conflict is biased towards Israel, adding that he doesn’t have a specific problem with the Journal‘s handling of the story.

Nutter said his sympathies for the Palestinian people were awakened through a 2012 trip to the West Bank, where he helped plant olive trees and repair damage to orchards affected by the Israeli occupation in a village outside of Bethlehem.

Nutter said that he has received honks of support and thumbs-up from passing motorists, but no negative reactions.

I asked him how he would respond to supporters of Israel who say that the artillery strikes and ground operations are necessary to prevent Hamas from firing rockets into civilian areas of Israel. I might have mentioned another rationale — destroying tunnels built by Hamas to infiltrate Israel.

“Stop your illegal settlements and stop the occupation,” Nutter responded. “Israel should return to the 1967 borders — the borders it had before it attacked Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Syria.”

Meanwhile, carnage mounts, with 100 Palestinians reported to have died today, along with three Israeli soldiers. United Nations officials have expressed outrage at an Israeli assault on a school where civilians were attempting to take shelter, and also condemned as “unconscionable” the Israeli shelling today of a market where people were buying produce under what they believed to be a truce.