Justice, Politics

Life in Gaza

As the UN, along with many other international organizations, has stated that Israel has committed widespread human rights violations and created hardship for civilians in Gaza, I’m posting this. It needs to be read.
You can also hear Mona on July 2nd’s Beyond the Pale hour special on Gaza.
My life in Gaza
By Mona El-Farra | July 10, 2006
THE IRONY IS almost beyond belief. Since the capture of an Israeli soldier on June 25, the Gaza Strip has been subjected to a large-scale military operation, what Israel calls “Summer Rain.” Because Israel bombed the power plant, and the area needs electricity to pump water, most of Gaza now has almost no access to drinking water. In the heat of summer, rain would be a blessing far more welcome than the ongoing bombings.
I am already starting to lose track of days and nights, of how many bombs have dropped. Since the main power plant was destroyed, we have had to live with no electricity. What we do get is patchy, and barely enough to recharge our mobile phones and our laptops so that we do not lose all touch with each other and with the outside world.
As a physician, I fear for our patients. Twenty-two hospitals have no electricity. They have to rely on generators, but the generators need fuel. We have enough fuel to last a few days at most, because the borders are sealed so no fuel can get in. The shortage of power threatens the lives of patients on life-support machines and children in intensive care, as well as renal dialysis patients and others. Hundreds of operations have been postponed. The pharmacies were already nearly empty because of Israeli border closures and the cutoff of international aid. What little supplies were left have gone bad in the absence of refrigeration.

14 thoughts on “Life in Gaza

  1. I followed the link to the article “Israel vows to continue assaults” and read the article. Yes, I feel bad that an Israeli air strike wounded an 8-year-old girl but “[t]he vehicle was filled with explosives” so it was a legit. target.
    You need to ask yourself what sort of caring parent would put a child in this sort of danger. First, the danger of rolling around in a car full of explosives. Second, transporting said explosives with your child in the car when you know you are a wanted terrorist (excuse me, “militant”).
    As far as “Beyond the Pale”…WBAI and Pacifica Radio in general, are not reliable sources of information regarding Israel or the occupied territories. Both routinely lie about what is happening in Israel and the occupied territories. Many of WBAI’s producers and hosts engage in rhetoric that can only be termed anti-Semitic. I know this is not the case of “Beyond the Pale,” it is a radical Jewish show after all, but the naïveté displayed by the hosts is incredible. They were part of the chorus of useful idiots and fellow travelers who went on and on and on about “massacre in Jenin” that never happened. And has anyone ever heard Dennis Bernstein’s “Flashpoints” program on Berkeley Pacifica station KPFA? He has repeatedly claims that the IDF is using some sort of unknown chemical weapons that specifically target Arabs and do not harm Jews. These people are loons.
    I did a search of Mona El-Farra’s blog for the word “terrorism”. One article appeared:
    It’s pretty clear who Mona holds responsible for the violence and it ain’t the terrorists, my friends.

  2. “…He is one soldier who was captured in a military operation. Today, several hundred Palestinian children and women are locked in Israeli prisons. They deserve their freedom no less than he does. Their families mourn their absence no less than his family does. So while Gazans endure Israel’s rainstorm, most want the soldier held — not harmed — until the women and children are released.”
    A military operation.
    So how should a military operation by a hostile power be responded to?
    Take it out of context, using the language of our doctor: a hostile government sanctions its military to kidnap another nation’s soldier.
    How should that be responded to?
    War is terrible, and I think israel got its point across: We are still stronger and just as f*cking mean and viciious as you are.
    But belittling the kidnapping as some sort of harmless surgical procedure when in her own parlance it is an expression of armed hostility is a joke. And its also sort of Oppression Olympics: why are her people more valuable than ours? Or vice versa?
    Which is a ridiculous argument.

  3. WEVS1–You first claim that Beyond the Pale isn’t credible and then say it is. Pick one.
    But then secondly, if you are going to blast alternative, independent media and not corporate media, then I have to say our idea of “loons” and uncredible sources are very very very different.
    And third, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Mona talking about Israel inflicting collective punishment and state terrorism–in fact, it’s on point. In fact, internationally, almost all would agree and have stated such. Israel has been in violation of international law, and continues to be, and what is going on in Gaza is an atrocity.

  4. parsing ol’ king cole:
    …Israel inflicting collective punishment and state terrorism
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    A militia sponsored by the duly elected Hamas governmnet, representing the majority of Palestinian citizens – spent SIX MONTHS tunneling into sovereign Israeli territory in a premeditated attack.
    That is an act of war. It has been answered by war – one of the tools by which sovereign nations defend their citizens.
    It’s not “collective punishment” – any more than the Allied invasion of Germany was “collective punishment”.
    And in the context of Palestinian targeting of innocent Israelis, the very phrase “state terror” is bitterly ironic.
    The only way to get to these phrases – and to have sympathy for the Moaning Monas of Pali proaganda – is if you cram the reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict into the PC template of Colonial White Oppressor vs. Noble Native Savage.
    The only part of that template that is valid in this case – is the “Savage” part.
    GUESS WHAT? This is not an exercise in PC political navel-gazing. It’s a real live geopolitical conflict. The Israelis are – finally, after a decade of broken promises and bloody terror – holding the Palis accountable for their warlike actions.
    And here in the real world – unlike the abstract la-la-land of left-wing ideology – it doesn’t matter that the Palis have been awarded the Gold Star of Victimhood. They still are responsible for their actions.

  5. So is anyone willing to talk about the other issues brought up in this op-ed, or is it now easy enough for you to talk around it. The area has no electricity, no water–the food is rotten, the hospitals are barely making it on generators that only run for 3 hours at a time. I know many people don’t comment who visit this site, but for those who apparently have decided to respond on this thread, can you deal with that? or is that just navel gazing to you?

  6. I never wrote that anything on WBAI in particular or Pacifica in general is credible. I know better. I listened to that nonsense for years and still do on occasion when I want to hear the views of the loony-left.
    What I wrote is that Beyond the Pale is not an anti-Semitic program, unlike so many programs on WBAI (Afrikaleidescope, Taking Aim, etc. etc. etc.). So, to repeat for you: anti-Semitic no; looney, yes.
    Re: sources, “alternative” media is just as bad, if not worse, than corporate media. In fact, the sorts of argumentation one hears on Pacifica is not much different than FOX News, besides the ideological orientation of the repspective pundits. In both cases, it can be entertaining but it is not accurrate news.
    The point regarding the search of the word terrorism on her blog was to see if she had any sort of balance in her reporting. If she had some posts decrying Palestinian terrorism and others Israeli state violence, that would display a sense of balance. In Mona’s case we get one article discussing Israeli “state terrorism” while she ignores the terrorism of her peers. Not much balance there.
    Cole writes:
    “The area has no electricity, no water–the food is rotten, the hospitals are barely making it on generators that only run for 3 hours at a time. I know many people don’t comment who visit this site, but for those who apparently have decided to respond on this thread, can you deal with that?”
    Yo Cole, I don’t mean to be glib but war sucks. When the Palestinians and the Islamists want to quit waging war against Israel and the Jewish people we can begin to think about living in peace. Until then, all the olive branches in the world will not solve this conflict. Totalitarians need to be defeated militarily.

  7. “The area has no electricity, no water–the food is rotten, the hospitals are barely making it on generators that only run for 3 hours at a time. I know many people don’t comment who visit this site, but for those who apparently have decided to respond on this thread, can you deal with that? or is that just navel gazing to you?”
    It is very bad. But the Strip is a mess. There are rockets coming from the North, weapons being smuggled in through the South, Al-Qaeda possibly taking root, and the place is a center of Hamas, the “militant” version. Right now the Palestinians seem intent on proving that Disengagement was a bad idea.

  8. Everyone keeps saying that the kidnapping is an act of war. But Gaza is not a soverign country – it is occupied territory. still, because Israel controls the borders and the sky. Thus, what Israel is doing, essentially, is the same as the US bombing the marshall Islands, or hunting down native peoples in the Okla. Territory in the 19thc. The acts of “war” should be aimed at the terrorist organizaitons.
    BTW- the meaner stronger thing has not failed to malfunction since we tried it for the first time in 1988.

  9. Cole, regarding the lack of running water, electricity in Gaza: why should the Gaza be any different than any other Arab dominated country – they are all shitholes (except Kuwait and Dubai, which demonstrate that huge income with a small population is a formula impossible even for the Arabs to mess up).

  10. dirrigible, you should be ashamed–seriously. that’s just blatantly f**cked up, racist, and not ok.
    michael–i don’t think it’s palestinians who are showing that disengagement was a bad idea–rather, i think it’s israel wiping out any infrastructural government to have to negotiate with.

  11. The direction of this comments discussion is almost as heartbreaking as the report from Gaza that sparked it. Reports of thousands of people living without electricity, water, or medical care–and what is the prime response here? The conversation descends into who is to blame, what news sources are credible or more inline with one person or another’s political views, who is more justified in military action, who is called a terrorist.
    Why can’t we be brave enough to all take responsibility?–to understand that while responsibility for such widespread suffering of civilians is not solely ours, we share it, we share it as long as we have voices and resources to help alleviate it. It is much easier to argue about who is to blame for creating this situation, than to look inward and ask ourselves what we can do about it.
    I am not talking about suffering only of Jews or Muslims or Christians, of Israelis or Palestinians, I am talking about human suffering. We create a radiating diaspora of conflict when we cannot even acknowledge together the real terrible pain of this human suffering, face the immediacy and the urgency of this humanitarian crisis, and focus together on the important question: what can we do, constructively, to help?

  12. Ari, there is suffering in Dafur, in Tibet, in Mexico – I feel no more responsible for the suffering in Gaza than I do in those places. Of course as a human being I hate human suffering, but unlike the poor starving Mexican peasant, the Gazan resident can do something about his pain – he can kick out Hamas, he can decide his primary goal isn’t the destruction/death of Israel, and work to make his life better. The UN and the EU provide more support per capita to Gaza than to any other place on earth, but instead of using those funds as the catalyst to a better life they are used to kidnap/murder Jews and fire weapons into Israel. So do I feel bad for the Gazans? Yes, but for being so evil as to create ongoing generations of kids who’s goal in life is not betterment, but the death of Jews

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