Monday, June 9, 2008

Blue sky, toxic sea

Nora Barrows-Friedman writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 9 June 2008

".....People can't hang on much longer. There is a collective buzzing in the bones. This is an untenable situation. Human beings should never have to live like this, oppressed and sickened and terrified and malnourished and imprisoned in the eastern Mediterranean, while up the beach a nuclear-saddled military occupier state congratulates itself for possessing the "most moral army in the world." Shame on Barack Obama for slithering up to Israel and its financial enablers.

So Palestinians in Gaza, 1.5 million people, the vast majority of them dependent on foreign aid, 60 percent unemployed and 100 percent depressed and traumatized in one way or another, keep struggling and looking up toward the endless sky. Even though the sea is toxic, they still swim and fish and fly kites above the waves. I am trying to figure out what it is that sustains them. Every time I ask someone how they cope, they smile and say, "Because I have to -- for my children, my spouse, myself."

A resilience, a steadfastness -- sumoud -- that we westerners can't even fathom."

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