Thursday, March 13, 2008

Slowly strangled

Today, Gaza is being subjected to a slow, purposeful killing, cloaked in state-sanctioned legitimacy and 'security concerns'

By Laila El-Haddad
The Guardian

".......Respected Israeli professor Ilan Pappe has said that genocide "is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip". Genocide is not a word most people use lightly. But words laden with meaning have been used often, where Gaza is concerned, of late. Israel's deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai warned that a "shoah," the Hebrew word most commonly used for the Holocaust, will come to Gaza if the rocket fire does not stop.......
The real genocide in Gaza will not be assessed through sheer numbers. It is not a massacre involving gas chambers. Rather, it is a gradual, modern-day genocide - a genocide through more calibrated, long-term means. It is cloaked in state-sanctioned legitimacy and "security concerns", and as a result, tends to be overlooked. All is OK in Gaza, the wasteland, the "hostile territory" that is accustomed to slaughter and survival. Gaza, whose people are somehow less human, need not cause the world alarm, at least not until a mass killing or starvation is carried out. So the donors keep the trickle of humanitarian supplies coming, just enough to stave off disaster.
But Gaza cannot continue to hover just above the brink of disaster, keeping an international outcry at bay, while surviving from truckload to truckload of supplies.......
John Dugard, the United Nations' special rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories recently said: "Gaza is a prison and Israel seems to have thrown away the key." But even in a prison, inmates have certain rights; and the wardens have certain obligations they must fulfil towards them. They receive water, food, electricity.
In Gaza, Palestinians are guaranteed none of these things. And Israel, though obligated by international law to provide for the welfare of the population it is occupying, has declared the territory "hostile" in an attempt to evade its legal responsibilities......"

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