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Gaza - Genocide & Media Lies
By Mary Sparrowdancer
©. 2008 mary sparrowdancer
Help for Palestine ­ sparrowdancer.org
During this past week, Israeli military forces invaded civilian villages trapped within Gaza's closed borders with tanks, helicopters, warplanes, and drones, massacring 39 and wounding over 100, including scores of unarmed children, babies and women.
Israel says this is punishment for the homemade Qassam rockets fired this week toward Sderot. The total number of Israelis killed by these Qassams was Zero.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) headlines on January 18th, based on a story from the Associated Press (AP), state, "Israel Temporarily Closes Gaza Border Crossings." This is a wildly misleading statement. Israel has had the Gaza borders sealed off since 2000, trapping the 1.5 million civilians living in the Gaza Strip as prisoners in their own homes. Completely trapped, they cannot escape the wrath or whims of the Israeli military. Empowered by its massive and brutal military, Israel has been systematically ethnically cleansing Palestine of native Palestinians for 60 years now. What Israel has been doing and continues to do to the Palestinians, especially those it has trapped without mercy inside Gaza, is full-blown genocide but Israel is getting away with murder due to misinformation continuously sold to the public as "news." (1) (2)
The long-closed border crossings surrounding Gaza have been keeping Gaza residents in a state of misery and poverty for years. In 2007, Israel began an escalated denial of food and other necessary supplies to Gaza after Israel declared the civilian population of Gaza to be a "hostile entity."
The WSJ/AP article then creates a masterful soft-pedaling of Israeli atrocities by stating, "Palestinians living in Gaza have had to live without some foodstuffs and basic supplies like spare car parts and computer paper." The truth, however, is far from the laughable "spare car parts" line. The truth is not laughable. It is horrifying.
The truth is that the Israeli government has refused to allow the following supplies into Gaza: bottled water, food, soap, medical supplies, medications, anesthesia for its growing number of sick and injured, paper, emergency relief funds from abroad, simple care packages, adequate supplies from the UN, winter clothing, electricity, fuel, postal service (US Postal Workers in Tallahassee told me, "there is no Palestine"), cement to repair the numerous Palestinian refugee homes repeatedly bombed and demolished by Israel tanks and warplanes (and a lot of cement is very badly needed as much of Gaza is in ruins), and even batteries for the growing number of hearing aids now needed by those who are shellshocked in Gaza. At this time, there is no clean water in Gaza, nor is there adequate fuel or electricity. (3)
Regarding the outright genocide and humanitarian catastrophe now taking place in Gaza, the WSJ/AP article reassures the reader that there is nothing to worry about, stating that according to Israeli spokesman Shlomo Dror, "Gazans had enough food that no one would go hungry." Further seeking to reassure us, Mr. Dror gives the following statement: "There is a government decision that there will not be a humanitarian crisis in Gaza." Mr. Dror, however, speaks of the future while ignoring the past and the misery of the present, leaving one to wonder at what point the Israelis will view the collective punishment of 1.5 million thirsty, hungry, and increasingly homeless civilians as a "humanitarian crisis." Gross increases of malnutrition were noted as early as 2002 due to the continuing Israeli border closure and denial of adequate food to these civilians, many of whom are refugees forced off their other Palestinian lands taken from them by Israel. According to the World Food Program, anemia rates due to malnutrition have now risen to over 77%. (4)
Photo by Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. (PCHR) 2003.
Gaza refugee village following ongoing bombardment and bulldozing
of refugee homes by Israeli military forces.
In addition to the Gaza civilians being made homeless and collectively punished by starvation, thirst and Israeli-imposed filth and neglect, during the past few months over 70 medical patients have needlessly perished while awaiting medical treatment, because the Israeli government denied them permission to pass throughGaza's completely closed borders. (5)
There are many ways to decimate unarmed, or primitively armed native populations when a brutally armed military force desires to move in and take their land away from them. For the past 60 years, Zionist Israel has used many methods in an attempt to drive the Palestinians from their ancestral lands. Among those methods is repeated, total destruction of their property.
As the Israeli military continues to drive Palestinians from their land, Zionist Israel has also depended on its worldwide mainstream presses to hide all of the rather shocking details from the general public, as well as from their own Israeli citizens. Many Israelis do not know that each of the Jewish-only "settlements" dotting the Palestinian countryside has been illegally built upon land forcefully taken from the Palestinians without compensation. Not a single settlement can be built unless further land is again forcefully taken from the Palestinian owners. This has been easily done, however, because only the military aggressor who covets this land is armed with tanks, warplanes, and other sophisticated equipment.
PCHR ­ More Israeli aerial destruction of Gaza refugee
homes. 2003
The real information detailing what is going on in Gaza and the rest of Palestine will not be easily found in mainstream media. The majority of the mainstream media brings us "news" written in such a way that it is unfairly biased in favor of the Zionist aggressors, while downplaying or completely dismissing the slaughter of Palestinians by continuously referring to these victims as "terrorists," "armed militants," or "wanted."
Independent journalists, on the other hand, appear to have taken the investigation of world events far more seriously. They tend to try and find the truth via firsthand accounts, which they then share with the world. One such independent, freelance journalist is Sarah Price. Sarah, who is based in Los Angeles, visited Gaza in October, 2007, to see for herself what was happening there.
At the time of her visit last October, special arrangements had to be made in order for her to cross the borders that continue to be closed and guarded by the Israeli military.
Once inside the closed borders, she saw the grim reality of everyday life in Gaza. She heard the constant noise of the Israeli military presence, she saw the children smiling one moment and panic-stricken the next following Israeli air strikes. She saw the truth about the food situation that Israel is now trying to hide from the world's eyes. The vendors in the markets had only rotting and spoiled fruits to sell, but none of it was discarded. (6)
"It will still be gone in an hour," Sarah quotes physician and human rights advocate, Dr. Mona El-Farra, as saying, "because they have to eat something." (7)
With the borders tightly closed and no one able to easily see what the Israeli military is doing, during the past week Israeli forces comprised of tanks, warplanes and helicopters invaded again civilian refugee villages in Gaza, destroying more buildings and homes, while also massacring 39 innocent men women and children. In addition, over 100 civilians were wounded, a large percentage of them children, compounding problems for both patients and hospitals, due to Israeli denial of medical supplies.
As the Israeli Apache choppers and warplanes roared over Gaza Strip targeting homes at random as well as shelling a wedding party in which one woman was killed and scores of children were injured, an Israeli drone flew off on its own mindless mission, and without conscience or warning it singled out and slaughtered a mother and her two sons who were riding home on a donkey cart carrying oranges. Medical personnel had trouble identifying these victims from the fragments and pieces that were left by the vicious drone attack. (8)
According to WSJ/AP, the latest announcement of "temporary" border closing and air strikes are due to "recent rocket barrages" fired toward the southern Israeli town of Sderot. (Sderot is built upon the Palestine village of Nadj.) The WSJ/AP article goes on to quote ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror again, this time saying, "'It's time that Hamas decide to either fight or take care of its population,' he said. 'It's unacceptable that people in Sderot are living in fear every day and people in the Gaza Strip are living life as usual.'"
One wonders what "life as usual" must be like for the 1.5 million hungry prisoners of Gaza. One also might wonder what sort of weaponry Mr. Dror expects the Hamas to use as he challenges the Hamas to fight the Israeli military. The Palestinians have no access to tanks, Blackhawks, Apaches, drones, blimps, F-16s, armored vehicles, gunboats, or nuclear weapons, all of which are possessed by Israel. What does Mr. Dror expect the Hamas to fight with against the massive Israeli army, navy, and air force?
Photo: PCHR, 2004. "Life as usual," following yet another
Israeli military strike on refugee homes in Gaza.
The "recent rocket barrage" that Mr. Dror referred to resulted in no Israeli deaths. In fact, the Qassams rarely result in injuries or extensive property damage. Israeli "Defense" Minister, Yaakov Toran, is quoted as saying, ". . . we need to remember that Qassams are more a psychological than physical threat. Statistically they cause the fewest losses. . . " And yet, it is the Palestinians who are constantly referred to as "terrorists" by the mainstream press. Nearly every day, those who are armed with rifles and the boys throwing stones at tanks and armored vehicles are referred to as "militants," or "terrorists," while the criminally aggressive Israeli military with its arsenal of weapons is referred to as a "defense" force trying to protect itself from "Palestinian terrorists." (9)
Photo by Laurent Rebours of the Associated Press, 2000.
Fares Odeh from Gaza, age 13, throws a stone at an advancing
Israeli tank sent to disperse demonstrators with live ammunition.
Nine days later, as Fares was throwing stones at another Israeli
tank, he was shot in the neck by an Israeli sharpshooter and killed.
The fact is, Israel is committing atrocities and war crimes because it can do so with its extravagant armed forces, funded and made possible by US dollars. Israelis a military force from which the civilians of Gaza cannot adequately defend themselves, and it is a military force that is randomly attacking civilians without regard for the fact that the large majority are unarmed, or are armed only with stones. It is a military force that considers boys who throw stones at armored tanks as "militants" deserving death or imprisonment.
Israeli citizens who do learn the truth about the stark suffering and loss of all human rights in Gaza and the West Bank are usually horrified at the conditions. They form groups, they protest, they write, and they march in solidarity with the Palestinian refugees.
One such group is Gush Shalom. They are planning to assemble a Convoy of trucks carrying water filters and other supplies desperately needed in Gaza. Their Convoy will go to one of the Israeli checkpoints along the Gaza border on January 26th, 2008.
There, the assembled people of the Convoy will stand not as Jews or Christians, or Muslims, or anything else that separates one group from another. They will stand together as human beings and ask the Israeli guards for permission to cross into Gaza so that they may deliver the needed goods to the Palestinians waiting on the other side of the fence. When I read about this planned convoy, I sent a donation to help purchase supplies. I sent it to the Eschaton Foundation, Resource Center for Nonviolence, which is accepting donations in the US for the Gush Shalom Convoy. (10)
Yesterday, I received a thank you letter from Eschaton, and in the envelope was a charming little card with pressed flowers on it.
The card read, "Flowers fromPalestine." I touched the delicate flower petals that had somehow endured their journey from Palestine to Eschaton in California, and from there to my home in Florida, still intact. The petals seemed to suggest there might be a simple and enduring way out of this terrible situation in the Holy Land.
Turning the card over, I read the message on the back. "We don't want you to bring the Israelis to their knees, but to bring them to their senses. We believe in restorative justice: to redress the wrongs rather than avenge them, (signed) Zoughbi Zoughbi of Wi'Am, Palestinian Conflict Resolution. Bethlehem - Palestine."
Perhaps having spent the day researching the violence and watching videos of the carnage in Gaza left me emotionally vulnerable, but when I read this, I was overwhelmed. Now came the tears that I had fought back all day long. A flower does indeed have a far better chance of bringing about enduring peace than bullets and artillery fire ever will.
I send my best wishes and good luck to the Israeli Gush Shalom Convoy of compassion. May your passage be smooth on January 26th, and may this border be opened to you. I hope the whole world will be watching. May this day mark the beginning of a new era, in which many nations will come to their senses and see that humanity does not need to live in a state of perpetual violence.
Most importantly, after 60 years of endless suffering, may the God- given human rights, dignity, and civil liberties of the Palestinians finally be acknowledged and honored for the first time.
* * * * * * * * *
mary sparrowdancer is an independent journalist and the author of a bestselling book about the Messiah, "The Love Song." Her website, "Help for Palestine," can be found here: www.sparrowdancer.org. Information about her book can be found here: www.sparrowdancer.com Mary wishes to thank Sarah Price for her important comments and information.
* * * * * * * * *
Gush Shalom Convoy information and addresses
Eschaton Foundation
515 Broadway,
Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
* * * * * * * * *
1. Wall Street Journal.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120064525946700387.html? mod=googlenews_wsj
2. Gaza "total siege and closure," September, 2000.
3. Conditions in Gaza.
4. World Food Program.
5. Death Toll of patients reaches 70 due to closed borders.
6. Sarah Price ­ Lighthouse video. 55 Minutes.
Eyewitness account of what she saw in Gaza.
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/the-lighthouse-4-todayand39s- viewers--the-reality-in-the-middle-eastmpg/4200352077
7. Sarah Price writes about Gaza.
http://annies-letters.blogspot.com/2007/12/building-hope-from- rubble-sarah-price.html
8. Mother and sons killed by drone.
9. Defense Minister Director-General Yaakov Toran, on Qassams.
10. Gush Shalom
VIDEO ­ 3 minutes, showing aftermath of latest Israeli air strike on Gaza.
http://video.google.com/videoplay? docid=-8825066995598479751&q=gaza&total=6540&start=20&num=10&so=0&type =search&plindex=8
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