Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Last Week in Gaza

Last week, May 15th  is said to be the bloodiest day of the recent demonstrations in Gaza. Israel killed almost 50 unarmed Palestinians.

While Donald Trump, Jared Kushner and Benjamin Netanyahu were celebrating the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem, just a few miles away, Palestinians were living in concentration camp like conditions. United Nations Human Rights Council leader Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein described the living conditions in Gaza as being:

Caged in a toxic slum from birth to death; deprived of dignity; de-humanized by the Israeli authorities to such a point it appears officials do not even consider that these men and women have a right, as well as every reason to protest.[i]

Of course, Israel calls them “terrorists,” which provides an excuse to humiliate, and ignore their basic human needs.  Human Rights Watch tried to motivate the Israeli government into acting more responsibly by criticizing its brutal policies.  Instead of hearing the concerns of Human Right Watch, Israel kicked them out of the country.  Problem controlled.

What Israel cannot control are the demonstrations on the Gaza border. It tries to by shooting into the crowds of people. It would be comical if it were not so tragic. The IDF, the “most moral army on the globe” crouched behind earth berms firing into crowds of unarmed protestors across a fence, killing, at last count, 115 Palestinians and injured 13,190, since March 30th.  These numbers include 13 children killed and 2,096 injured, and over a thousand women wounded.[ii]

Why do Palestinians in Gaza continue to risk their lives to protest?  Why? Because:

Gaza is a prison, Gaza is a concentration camp, Gaza has been blockaded for a decade, Gaza’s occupation is a perennial crime against humanity, but most of all Gaza is a target. Gaza is a target because it suits the Israelis to have two million captive Palestinian men, women, and children (half of them are children) to despise, starve, deny medical supplies, reduce to inescapable and unlivable conditions, kill, and then brand as “terrorists” for not surrendering and disappearing from the face of the earth 70 years ago.[iii]

So, they demonstrate at the border, hoping someone will notice.

Thomas Are
May 29, 2018

[i] Bob Livingston, Editor, The Bob Livingston Letter,
[ii] Imemc.org article: Health Ministry: Israeli Army Killed 112 Palestinians, Injured 13,190 Since March 30th.  May 21.
[iii] William Boardman, Israeli Snipers Kill Unarmed, Defenseless People: Isn’t that Murder?  Reader Supported News, May 21, 2018.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hamas Responsible

The headline said, “Hamas is Responsible for Gaza’s Hardship.” [i]

After I picked myself up from the floor, (Ignorance, especially when it is chosen and announced with pride), always overwhelms me.

Hamas responsible?  It was not Hamas that drove out more than 700,000 Palestinians in 1948, both Muslim and Christian, taking their homes and livelihoods. Many of them wound up as penniless refugees in Gaza. Israel did that.

And it was not Hamas that murdered Count Folke Bernadotte, the United Nations special envoy who mediated a “truce” not to Israel’s liking. Israel did that, too. And it was not Hamas that pulled off a sneak attack in 1967 against Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and the U.S in attacking the USS Liberty, an unarmed reconnaissance ship, killing 34 American sailors. And it was not Hamas that drove nearly two million Palestinians into the Gaza with limited access to water, food and medical supplies. Israel did that.

Hamas did not bombard Gaza to smithereens in December 2008-09, and again in 2012, and again in 2014, destroying homes, sanitation plants, hospitals and infrastructure.

And it is not Hamas who is shooting into unarmed crowds of Israeli soldiers. Since March 30, when the people locked up in Gaza started demonstrating against their occupation and abuse, sixty Palestinians have been killed and over 2,700 wounded by Israeli fire. Not one Israeli soldier has received a so much as scratch in this so called “conflict.”

When I was a child, my mother asked, “Who broke the window?”  I answered, “Billy did.”  I threw a rock at his head and he ducked.  If that makes sense to you, then I guess you can say, Hamas is responsible for Gaza’s hardship.

Thomas Are
May 15, 2018

[i] Letters to the editor, Atlanta-Journal-Constitution, Sunday, May 13, 2018.