‘War is not the answer’ – A brief interview with a decades-long White House protestor

A few steps away from the White House lies a shack covered with in various banners reading, “Free Palestine”, “End the occupation of Palestine” and “War is not the answer”.

Al-Masry Al-Youm interviewed Philops, a demonstrator who has been in-protest for three and a half decades at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

He originally began his sit-in in 1991 in protest of the spread of nuclear weapons, however he decided to continue his peaceful demonstration against wars that have been fiercely spreading over the last few decades across the globe.

Philops, seated in a wheelchair wearing a Palestinian shawl covering his floor-length braids and braving freezing, rainy weather, says that he calls on US President Joe Biden to stop the war on Gaza and put an end to backing Israel.

He also called on Britain and Germany to stop funding Israel, and noted how several countries in the Security Council, as well as before the International Court of Justice, demanded an end to the ongoing bloodshed yet nevertheless continue to fund the war. Regarding the attacks on Yemen, he believes that the Huthis are defending their interests and Palestine.


Israel defies ICJ

The Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson has recently announced that Israel has “decided to ignore the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”

He added in statements reported by international media: “We cannot accept this decision. We will continue the war on Gaza in the same way.”

The ICJ, the highest court in the United Nations, ordered Israel to take measures to prevent and punish direct incitement to genocide in its war in the Gaza Strip.

The ICJ’s ruling in late January sparked widespread reactions to South Africa’s claim that the Israeli occupation army committed genocide in Gaza.


Casualties continue to mount

The number of victims of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip since the war broke out on October 7, 2023 has exceeded 27,000 people.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza announced on Thursday that the casualties from Israel’s aggression had risen to 27,019, while the number of wounded had risen to 66,139 people.

The ministry later announced on Friday that the Israeli occupation had committed 13 massacres within 24 hours, claiming the lives of 112 people.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also announced Friday that its estimates indicate that 17,000 children in Gaza are orphaned or have been separated from their families.


Peace all over the globe

Philops’ cause is not limited to Palestine, but also calls for an end to all global wars, including between Russia and Ukraine, and North and South Korea’s military ongoing standoff.

He noted how the two Koreas are one people who are of the same race and kinship.

Hence, he believes they should be united despite the fact that both have been split along the Military Demarcation Line since 1953 till present.


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