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It's Time to Visit Gaza

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    It s Time to Visit Gaza By Miko Peled The Electronic Intifada http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6547.shtml The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one area
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2007
      It's Time to Visit Gaza
      By Miko Peled
      The Electronic Intifada

      The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one area where liberals and neo-
      conservatives in America find common ground. From Nancy Pelosi and
      Hillary Clinton all the way to George Bush and Condoleezza Rice one
      and all are united in supporting Israel's assault on the Palestinian
      people and their land.

      The criticism of Jimmy Carter's book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid
      is a case in point. The hysteria on the Right is not worthy of
      repetition, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outdid herself by issuing
      a statement that: "It is wrong to suggest that the Jewish people
      would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that
      institutionalizes ethnically based oppression." Wrong to suggest?
      Here is something right to suggest: Madam Speaker, it is time for
      you to visit Gaza.

      In The Tribes Triumphant, arguably one of the best books ever
      written about the Middle East, journalist Charles Glass describes
      children in Gaza on their way to school: "... little girls with
      white fringe collars, boys leading their younger brothers ... with
      canvas bags of books on their backs, hair brushed back and faces
      scrubbed ... Thousands and thousands of children's feet padding the
      dusty paths between their mother's front doors and their schools ...
      Beautiful youngsters so innocent that they could laugh even in Gaza."

      Glass reveals that 56.6 percent of the 1.4 million people living in
      Gaza (if you can call it living) are under the age of 18. That means
      792,400 children; Gaza has no cinemas, no theatres, no concert
      halls, and no space for entertainment or amusement. Where then do
      these children play? Israel controls all access to, from and within
      Gaza, never allowing these children to see the world outside this
      tiny crowded strip of sand they call home. If this, Madam Speaker,
      is not ethnically based oppression, what is?

      "Gaza First" was the slogan that got the Oslo accords off the ground
      in the early 1990s. Today, as innocent, unarmed men, women and
      children in Gaza are imprisoned, starved and killed by Israel in
      broad daylight, its obvious that it, meaning the Oslo agreement, was
      another nail in the coffin of a just and lasting peace. Then came
      Sharon's Gaza disengagement, which was a disingenuous claim by
      Israel to make "concessions for peace". Pretending to pull out of
      Gaza for the sake of peace, Israel tightened the noose around Gaza
      and its people while freeing itself from any obligation for the
      welfare of the people of Gaza.

      People call Gaza a hotbed of terror, neglecting, or perhaps refusing
      to see that people in Gaza are attempting, albeit in all futility,
      to resist the terror under which they are forced to live. Close to
      one million of Gaza's 1.4 million residents are refugees or
      descendents of refugees forced out of their homes from other parts
      of Palestine only to be imprisoned and impoverished in Gaza. In The
      Roadmap to Nowhere Tanya Reinhart writes: "Since 1967, 280,000
      people in Gaza have passed through Israeli prisons, detention cells
      and interrogation rooms." The connection cannot be overlooked:
      Residents of Gaza have made a name for themselves in resisting the
      Israeli occupation of Palestine even before 1967 and they have paid
      dearly for this resistance.

      On 11 December 2006 Jan McGirk described in The Independent the
      effects of Israeli terror on the children of Gaza: "No sane child
      can remain unaffected by the mayhem of Gaza Strip. Playmates
      frequently are killed or maimed: at last count, Israeli guns had
      slain 88 Gazan children and wounded another 343 between mid-June and
      December, 2006" She further writes that "In Gaza's grim conditions,
      mothers find it hard to tell if their offspring are crying out of
      fright, pain or misery. But when normally bickering brats fall
      silent, it's the first sign of mental scars from being constantly
      scared." She adds, "Muhammad, who would hit smaller children or
      shatter cups when he did not get his way, eventually revealed in an
      after school meeting that two IDF soldiers had executed a young man
      right in front of him."

      In America people still speak of a "peace process", and the
      situation in Gaza and in the West Bank is characterized as a
      conflict between two people who can't find a fair compromise. Few
      dare to mention that the only process that is taking place is
      oppression for the sake of expansion. Palestinian children are
      imprisoned, traumatized, starved and murdered so that Israeli can
      maintain its hegemony over the: "Land of Israel".

      Gaza is collateral damage, the children of Gaza are of no
      consequence and the leaders of the enlightened, democratic Western
      world could not care less. But in spite of its enormous military
      might Israel's authority over life in Gaza can be must be defied.
      People conscience must act so that the ethnically based oppression,
      of which House Speaker Pelosi says it is wrong to accuse Israel,
      must be brought to an end.

      Miko Peled is an Israeli living in San Diego. He is the son of
      Israeli General Matityahu Peled.



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