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How Gaza Offends Us All

Children in Gaza scavenge through trash heaps in hopes of finding food.Gaza is a modern-day attack on human rights, and some would go as far as labeling it as ethnic cleansing. However, it’s clear that the suffering of Faria al-Bobali and her infant daughter is an ode to the cowardly passiveness of the world towards Gaza.Children in Gaza scavenge  through trash heaps in hopes of finding food.Faria al-Bobali’s 10-month-old daughter is suffering from malnutrition due to an Israeli blockade on Gaza. Her mother depends on UNRWA, the United Nations relief agency that distributes food to at least half of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents. But UNRWA says it will soon run out of supplies. The impending closure of the UN Center only adds to the seemingly endless misery of the Palestinian people. Nine out of ten Gazans are living below the poverty line and fail to feed their families, and many children were already going hungry.

The United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have all condemned Israel’s blockade as “cruel”. Former US president Jimmy Carter has made no apology for vividly describing the situation in Gaza as “a heinous atrocity” amounting to nothing short of a war crime. The question that must be asked is: what government in the 21st century can deny another group of people their basic human rights, that is, the right to security, food, water, shelter and dignity? Additionally, how does this government commit such a grave crime against humanity and somehow manage to remain complete unscathed?

The agonizing slow death order placed on the Palestinian people is finding its first victims in more than 400 seriously ill patients being prevented from leaving Gaza to receive urgent medical attention in Israeli or Arab hospitals. We are witnessing the type of ghetto the world thought we would never see again. The comparison was presented earlier this year by none other than Israel’s deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai, when he threatened “a bigger holocaust (shoah)” against the Palestinians in Gaza. He would later “explain” his usage of the word as meaning “disaster”. In any case, the threat was ominous enough.

For all its complexities and horrifying results, the purpose of Israel’s blockade is to push the entire Palestinian population into survival mode. Individuals are preoccupied with the daily detail of survival and its exhaustions. The most recent Red Cross report on the situation called the repercussions of the siege “devastating”. Hospitals in Gaza are barely functioning, and the fuel being shipped in is barely enough to operate the Gaza power plant for one day. The notion to “drip-feed” aid to the Palestinians was first conjured up in 2006 by an advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister. Dov Weisglas said in February 2006, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not make them die of hunger.

The Israelis have refused to heed the international call to stop their defiance of human rights. Then again, why should they? The same world superpowers who have issued flaky statements asking Israel to lift its siege continue to provide the financial and military backing for the war on the Palestinian children. What so-called “international investigation” will we see this time for the murder of civilians via starvation? Same as the one after Dan Halutz dropped his 2,000-pound bomb on an apartment building in Gaza, killing 15 people, nine of them women and children? Or similar to that after the siege of Jabalya in the fall of 2004? Maybe like the half-baked inquiry after Huda Ghalia’s family was blasted into nothingness during an outing on a Gaza beach? This time it doesn’t look like if there will even be an investigation, not that any of the previous investigations helped. They merely gave Israel a pat on the shoulder for committing genocide.

As recently as last week, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund warned that Gaza’s severe cash shortage may cause local banks to collapse. Israel has said cash money does not fall into the category of “urgent aid”, and as such it is not necessarily. Expect the already weakened Palestinian economy to completely disintegrate, with little outcry from the world.

Audaciously enough, the international community appears to be rewarding the Israeli genocide. In November 2008, Shimon Peres was honored with a knighthood from the Queen of England. He is also likely to be “honored” with a lecture series named after him at Oxford University. These “honors” are slightly outrageous for a man who helped to forcibly expel 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948.

Gaza is a modern-day attack on human rights, and some would go as far as labeling it as ethnic cleansing. However, it’s clear that the suffering of Faria al-Bobali and her infant daughter is an ode to the cowardly passiveness of the world towards Gaza.

About Huda Jawad

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  • Shimshon

    The question here is who is genocidal in Palestine ? The Palestinians (or whoever they are) had many opportunities to form their own state. They rejected them. The Hamas and the Hezbollah want the extermination of the Jews. Is it not genocide ? [url]http:www.Shimshon9.com[/url]

  • nayana

    i see the heart ache of both sides, but always the question ends up coming into my head is why didnt the palestinian govt take the opportunity years ago to create their own nation?

    both the palestinians and the israelis were given the opportunity for their own country at the same time, why didnt they take that opportunity and create their own peaceful nation?

    I feel sadness for the palestinian people, their govt has not acted in their best interests all these years.. they could ahve had a country years ago and by now be living peacefuly.

    Remembering that peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to deal with it.. sure their might always be differences and conflicts between israel and palestine, but they could have had their own country.. they both had the same opportunities.. and israel took their opportunity..

    Everyone can keep blaming everyone else, but fact remains that the palestinian people were badly respresented by their govt and that is a real shame.

  • Ann

    It appears the hasbara brigade have descended already. Shimshon and Nayana spout their disinformation and blatant rubbish.

    1. Who is genocidal? The Israeli government. Hamas has offered hudna after hudna and has offered to recognise 1967 borders. No, Shimshon, Hamas and Hezbollah do not want the extermination of Jews. You offer lies in the stead of proof. In contrast, only in the past year, Israeli Interior Minister Meer Sheetrit has been candid in wanting to “wipe Gaza off the map”. Here is a partial catalogue of Israel’s other stated genocidal ambitions, by no means exhaustive:


    2. Nayana, I wouldn’t call land theft, forcible dispossession, ethnic cleansing and slow-mo genocide as “having the same opportunities”. The UN recognises 1967 borders and the right of return of Palestinian refugees, it is Israel that thumbs its nose at international law and keeps creating “facts on the ground”. Opportunity? Israel steals and lies. That’s not opportunity. That’s called theft. And genocide, for which Israel is responsible.

    Thank you Huda Jawad for this piece highlighting the plight of Gazans in the Gaza Ghetto. Shame on you Israel.

    Nearly 70 years ago, in a small eastern European city, an oppressed and occupied people were under siege, living under atrocious and brutal conditions, lacking food, medicine, electricity, water, and slowly being strangled in the hope they would just disappear.
    Warsaw Ghetto 1941 – Gaza 2008. Israel, you are a disgrace.
    — Zaid Khan.

  • Michale

    I got to this page via ICH, and I must commend the author for such a great piece. Truly extraordinary, this is the human toll of war and sadly it is preventable.

  • Ali Bazzi

    this piece is the perfect combination of compassion and knowledge..it gives a voice to those who have been forcefully silenced. the writer’s reward is great with the Lord for this work..

  • frequent reader

    I do not condone wildly launching missiles on any population, but to see how Israel has choked the Palestinians explains why they did so. With no hope of stopping Israel’s outrageous blockade, they tried to hit back in someway, anyway.

    I am not surprised that the US media is now trumpeting Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ as though Hamas forced its hand. Thank God for media being free on the internet.

  • Bryant

    Israel are the real terrorists! When small children are tucked in bed at night sleeping and a big rocket full of mistles blasts on their house, is that not Nazism??!!! I think so! Israel are killing tons of Palestinians! Palestine is the real Victim! Insha’Allah, Allah will protect His people in Palestine! Israeli’s cannot be chosen people of God as Christians believe. A Chosen person of God would not harm others! ;-). Ask a Jew what they think of the Bible and you will see they could care less about what it says. Palestine and Lebannon have the right to defend themselves. Islaam is peace! Not terrorism! Shii’ite Islaam Forever!

  • Hossein

    US and European people pay tax and their governments give it to Israel to kill women and innocent children. Hamas was selected with Palestine nation vote. Why Israel surrounds Gaza and don’t let wounded persons receive food and drug? Isn’t Israel a occupier?? Isn’t this an unfair war? Who has equipped Israel with F16 fighter plane?
    I think Democracy and Human right is a big lie in West.

  • Sb786

    Very well written!