Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Will You Continue to Ignore Gaza's Suffering, Mr Obama?

By Kathleen and Bill Christison

Palestine Chronicle

"Palestine and Palestinian suffering have always taken a back seat in the world's attention while the United States starts this war, finishes off that war, or expands it; while the world deals with wars and economic crises; while the attention of the compassionate is taken up by starvation and pestilence and war in Sudan or in Congo or Rwanda or Somalia. Throughout these crises – quite legitimate crises all – Palestine is always left to molder, sometimes at a more rapid pace in more inhumane circumstances than at other times.

Right now, the circumstances could not be more inhumane. Right now, the paramount Palestinian crisis is in Gaza, where Israel – with active political and ongoing financial backing from the United States – is blockading a tiny, horribly overcrowded piece of land and consciously depriving its 1.5 million people of all of the essentials of life: of food, of medicines, of equipment to keep hospitals running, of fuel for cooking, of fuel for producing electricity, of fuel for running generators, of fuel for automobiles, of spare parts for sewage treatment plants (so that plants break down and sewage pours into the streets and, in quantities in the millions of liters, into the Mediterranean), of clean fresh water......

American economist Sara Roy, a student of Gaza’s sufferings through the last several decades, long ago concluded that Israel’s strategy throughout the occupation has been not simply to let Gaza’s economy drift but rather to pursue a strategy of what she calls “de-development,” ensuring that Gaza can develop no economic base at all, by actively depriving it of economic resources and the institutional development capabilities needed to create and sustain a thriving economy. Israeli journalist Amira Hass, another student of Gaza who lived there for several years in the 1990s, has written that even the Oslo peace process proved so oppressive in Gaza that it became synonymous “with mass internment and suffocating constriction.”

(It is worthy of note, Mr. Obama, that both of these experts on Gaza are women, both are Jewish, and both are the daughters of Holocaust survivors. Both know far better whereof they speak and are far richer in compassion than all of the pro-Israel lobbyists among your advisers who have succeeded in tying your tongue.)......."

No comments: