FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Gaza in Crisis

by SONJA KARKAR

They came one cold December day.  Not fearless warriors but fearsome hoardes hell-bent on destruction of the genocidal kind that leaves no room for regeneration.  That was one year ago in Gaza.

The attack shocked a complacent world into finally seeing Israel’s merciless ferocity against the Palestinians already hounded, herded and imprisoned in compounds throughout their land, if not actually driven out.  More than sixty years of Western devotion to Israel’s security was blown wide open as truth shattered spin in three weeks of carnage and devastation.

Dead bodies do not lie and neither do the maimed and the disfigured. Thousands have been left to make sense of the horrors they saw and the hollow aftermath to which they have been abandoned. Landscapes of rubble as far as the eye can see are still testament to the homes once standing in villages and towns, the homeless now huddled in tents while they wait one year on for materials to re-build. Little food, contaminated water, rationed fuel and electricity and the barest of medical supplies are just more of many cruel and wanton deprivations pushing Palestinian society to the limits of endurance.

This is Gaza:  a population of 1.5 million people kept in formaldehyde by Israel’s crippling siege. It is a human catastrophe that has many enablers. World leaders have shut their eyes to the crimes witnessed and documented countless times over by human rights groups.  World media continuously sidesteps the truth and deliberately ignores international efforts to highlight the humanitarian crisis.  Together they are complicit in Israel’s dehumanisation of a people.

We are also complicit if we remain silent and do nothing.  It is not enough to know and empathise.  Change can only come from people being engaged – learning, thinking, communicating, and being prepared to act.

Almost 2000 internationals have taken action.  Some 200 are in Jordan after a three-week trek through Europe in the Viva Palestina convoy of trucks filled with humanitarian aid while another 300 joined them from Greece, Turkey and Jordan; and then, there are the 1400 who have landed in Egypt from all over the world for the scheduled Gaza Freedom March on 31 December.  Neither group has been given clearance to enter Gaza.  This is where the rest of us who were unable to join these brave souls can bring some power to bear.

There simply is no time to waste.  Letters, faxes, emails must be written to governments, embassies and media outlets.  Not one letter, not one time, but a constant stream. We have to urge friends and families to write as well.

We have to urge governments to put pressure on Egypt to open the Rafah
crossing and pressure on Israel to lift the siege. We have to hound the media like they hound us when they sniff a story. And Gaza is a story that needs to be told.  The marchers and the convoy bringing aid to a besieged Gaza are only a part of that story.  The real story is Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their homeland.

Israel must be held to account because it is the instigator of all this misery.  Israel has acted with impunity for far too long.  It is a bully in world affairs and our leaders and media are all shamefully intimidated.  Only people coming together collectively can change that dynamic – and we must come together, before we too become craven hostages to Israel’s criminal enterprise.

Standing up for Palestinian human rights is not anti-Semitic because the Palestinians are also a Semitic people.  Nor is it anti-Israel, but rather a protest against Israel’s Zionist policies and practices designed to permanently fragment and dissipate Palestinian society.   So brutal is its Zionist agenda and so contrary to Judaic teachings that many Jews are already speaking out in shame at what is being done in their name.

As decent and honourable citizens of the world, we too need to speak out in shame at what we have allowed to occur for far too long. Terrible crimes have been committed and some predict that even more terrible ones are to come. The reality is that all along we have been witnessing a slow genocide and we have allowed guilt, pragmatism and self-interest to stand in the way of our common humanity.  The world needs to say “enough” and refuse to indulge Israel’s Zionist leaders and advocates whose free ride has taken them to the heady heights of arrogance.  That universal effort needs to begin before the bitter winter freezes any kind of hope in Gaza and it needs to be sustained for as long as it takes to free all of Palestine.  Anything less, will hasten a 21st century genocide.

SONJA KARKAR is the founder of Women for Palestine and co-founder of Australians for Palestine in Melbourne, Australia.  She has written numerous articles on Palestine, which have been published in various e-journals and newspapers and accessed on the website she edits http://www.australiansforpalestine.com.  She can be contacted at sonjakarkar@womenforpalestine.org

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail