can’t see the forest

Crimes against humanity: the misery in Gaza

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Gaza-Israel border

Gaza-Israel border

For a year and a half now, the government of Israel has imposed a blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Despite the sporadic influx of foreign aid—chiefly from the UN—living conditions have steadily deterioriated in Gaza, with UN officials recently referring to them as simply “the worst ever” since the beginning of the illegal Israeli occupation in 1967.

Banks are experiencing cash shortages. There have been dire shortages of food and electricity; whole communities collectively totaling about 1.5 million residents are being punished for the retaliatory violence committed by a few. This, while outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush has the characteristic audacity to congratulate himself on his “bold” record of policy initiatives in the Middle East.

“The Middle East in 2008 is a freer, more hopeful and more promising place than it was in 2001,” Bush recently told reporters in a Washington forum.

Don’t make me barf. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called a g.d. lie.

With the appointment of a Zionist loyalist to the top West Wing position and having copiously fawned to organizations such as AIPAC during his campaign, it appears that President-Elect Barack Obama will be unlikely to meaningfully adjust U.S. policy toward Israel anytime soon.

That’s change you can believe in. Yes, we can.

It is largely through the diplomatic, fiscal, and military support of the U.S. government that Israel continues to occupy the Palestinian territories and brutally oppress their native inhabitants. For example, the UN Human Rights council has condemned the actions of Israel well over a dozen times in the past couple of years; these proceedings are routinely boycotted by Israel and the United States of America, continuing a pattern of diplomatic back-scratching that has persisted for decades as Israel continues to conduct exercises against other regional powers using US technology and logistical support.

This BBC news story highlights the plight of the family of Fazi Abu Gerada, a Gaza City man struggling to feed his family on meager supplies of bread and vegetable oil in a house with no electricity, scarce water, and a leaky roof:

It is dusk, a crescent moon was just visible overhead, and Fauzi has lit a fire. This is for cooking, heat, and light, as the electricity is still off in Gaza City.

Fauzi is 40 years old and has been unemployed since the intifada that started in 2000 prevented him from crossing into Israel to work as a labourer.

His wife and six children all live with him in a single-roomed house, scraping by on food aid from the United Nations and others.

“I have no income to feed my children. Sometimes I cannot even give them bread,” he told me. “We beg some food from here, and some food from there. Our life is begging.”

Looking despairingly at the breeze block and wood shack which was their home, he adds: “Eight people all live in this one room here. The water comes in in the winter but I don’t even have money for a plastic sheet to put on the roof.

“We are suffering. It’s like living underground. Once I thought I’d burn the house down with everybody in it just to escape this misery.”



One Response

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  1. opit said, on 12/7/08 at 10:55 am

    The Heathlander posts a lot on the Gazan situation. Rick B at Ten Percent is less focussed on that but works at more general coverage of worldwide travesty.
    Back when I was at oldephartteintraining I recall about late April 2006 an article in Ha’aretz by a local jouirnalist outlining support for a splinter group in the Knesset being boosted by funds authorized by the Oval office. Unhappily, that goes behind a subscription wall within a week of being issued and I have no data left on further specifics. The upshot was that this was the start of the heightened ‘response’ by Israel to skirmishes on the border.
    Another note is that Israelis have been whipped into fearfulness over Iran for years : likely one of the reasons that Russian intelligence thought ‘the balloon was going up’ in the Gulf Feb 07.
    Global had posts in Aug 06 on the naval presence off Iran : two carrier groups ( 3 now ? ) in small confines and at risk : Iran has supersonic missiles that ‘jink’ on their way in. NATO has some ships there too. Even the US Coast Guard !

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