i’m feeling numb today. this may partly be due to the weather. the sky had a strange haze to it all day. i couldn’t see the sea or the sky. it had an odd brown color and there was an intense wind blowing all day. of course, this didn’t stop the israeli terrorist forces (itf) from terrorizing people with their sonic boom shaking those of us living and working below. it’s like a mini earthquake and one of the sonic booms occurred in the middle of my drama class today. it shook the building–my students unfazed–and it shook my train of thought.
but that’s not really why i’m numb. i’m feeling numb because of the silence in this world that can allow the the suffering to continue in gaza. and it is not just the world. it’s here, too. there are no solidarity marches or any other sort of political activities indicating nabulsi solidarity with gaza. apathy, exhaustion is contagious. it’s a disease and it’s spreading far too quickly. i spoke with a friend tonight in gaza. she told me about the lack of fuel, and now the lack of bread. she told me about the itf invasions, one of which occurred 6 km away from where she is. she said that she thinks they are provocations because they are swift, quick 20-30 minute invasions of death and destruction. but unlike here she said there is solidarity among the people in spite of the political difference the media likes to exploit. she said that among the youth this level of political commitment is particularly strong. even some of the students who have received scholarships to study abroad have remarked to her that if they could get out they wouldn’t leave now. they see this as the least sort of sacrifice they can make as they watch mothers burying their children, families going with out bread. it’s amazing to think that such a desire for sacrifice and commitment can continue in gaza even though people in gaza have every reason to be exhausted far more than anyone here in the west bank.
a report that electronic intifada posted today from the palestinian centre for human rights on the crisis in gaza is particularly disturbing. the closure is now having an effect on bakeries and hospitals:
Three out of five mills operating in the Gaza Strip have stopped operation, and the remaining two are expected to join them by tomorrow due to the lack of wheat. There is also a shortage in drinking water, especially in high buildings due to repeated cutting of electricity.
In a grave development, several bakeries have stopped working due to the lack of fuel, cooking gas, electricity and flour. Developments at this level can be summed up in the following:
* There are 72 bakeries in the Gaza Strip: 47 that produce Syrian bread; 10 that produce Iraqi bread, and 15 that produce other kinds of bread and pastries. 29 bakeries that produce Syrian bread have completely stopped operation, while eight bakeries have been working in a lower capacity.
* Nineteen bakeries of Syrian bread, which is the most consumable kind of bread in the Gaza Strip, use cooking gas, eight others use electrical power, and the remaining four others use diesel.
* Seventeen bakeries that depend on cooking gas have stopped working due to the lack of cooking gas and eight bakeries that depend on electrical power have been working partially due to the repeated cutting of electricity.
* The population of Gaza City (approximately 570,000 people) depend on the bread produced by four bakeries that depend on diesel for operation.
* Ten out of 15 bakeries that depend on cooking gas for operation in the central and southern Gaza Strip have completely stopped operation, and the remaining five are expected to join them by Saturday, 22 November 2008, if the shortage in cooking gas continues.
* The last amount of cooking gas provided to bakeries in the Gaza Strip on 4 November 2008 was only 40 tons, which can hardly allow them to operate for one week.
Health conditions: Lives of patients are endangered
Health facilities have been facing a serious crisis due to the shortage in electrical and fuel supplies, which has in effect limited their ability to provide medical services to patients. Additionally, at least 45 kinds of medicines have been lacking in the Gaza Strip. Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip is a clear example of the impacts of shortages in electricity and fuel supplies on medical services provided to patients. According to sources of the hospital, several electricity generators need maintenance, which cannot be performed due to the lack of spare parts, whose entry has been banned by IOF. According to those sources:
* The main electricity generator, which generates 900 kilovolt amperes needs maintenance and IOF refuse to allow the entry of spare parts for it, although the ICRC intervened with IOF to allow the main keypad which is required for its maintenance.
* Prince Nayef Center for Carcinoma and the Magnetic resonance imaging machine have been stopped due to the lack of high voltage electricity.
* The hospital suffers from a shortage in cooking gas which is used in disinfection and in preparing food for patients.
* There are serious concerns that some vital medical equipments in hospital in the Gaza Strip, including artificial breathing sets in intensive care units, may stop working. Pasteurization machines may also stop working due to the lack of electricity and fuel.
Dr. Hussein Ashour, head of the Al Shifa medical center in Gaza, one of the biggest medical centers in the Gaza Strip, stated that main facilities at the center stopped functioning due to the lack of fundamental equipment and tools.
A fighter affiliated with the Al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas, was killed early on Thursday in Gaza City by the shrapnel of a missile fired from an Israeli tank.
Mu’awiya Hassanein, the head of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, told Ma’an that 21-year-old Mohammad Abd Ash-Shaqour Al-Ara’ir died when an Israeli tank fired a missile toward him.
there are also long term risks of malnutrition as a result of this blockade, consequences that may not be readily visible, but that are nevertheless part of the zionist state’s slow genocidal policy in gaza:
The Gaza Strip’s de facto Ministry of Agriculture warned on Thursday that the ongoing Israeli blockade could cause “a real food disaster” as the absence of feed and fuel starves farm animals, according to a statement.
The ministry’s assistant undersecretary, Ibrahim Al-Qidrah, wrote in a statement received by Ma’an that “owners of such farms will sustain heavy losses if natural gas and feed are not shipped into Gaza.”
Al-Qidrah also noted that newly hatched chicks “cannot survive cold weather,” predicting that poultry farms would be the first to go as fuel runs dry. Warming uses 150 tons of natural gas per month, aside from basic caring and feeding on the farms.
Owners of incubators and poultry farms were forced to euthanize hundreds of thousands of chicks faced with the ongoing fuel and feed depletion since Israel’s near-total closure of the Gaza Strip, which is now entering its 17th day.
“Another two million eggs will be destroyed if the situation continues,” the agriculture minister warned.
He said that “such depletion will cause shortages in white meat available at local markets,” adding that the increased demand would raise prices, as well.
Red meat has also become scarce since the Israeli blockade began over two weeks ago.
maybe it is all of this that makes me feel numb. paralyzed. because i can’t do anything. because even those who are in a position to do something cannot do anything.
or maybe it is that this world is so callous and cold that in the midst of all this itf inflicting this tremendous suffering on the people of gaza, one of the most notorious war criminals who hails from the zionist state, shimon peres, was knighted in london:
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed an honorary knighthood on Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday. Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was escorted into Buckingham Palace by the Queen’s Guard and the Household Cavalry.
The Queen stepped towards Peres and shook his hand before appointing him Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) – the United Kingdom’s sixth highest honor. As Peres is not a subject of the Commonwealth, he did not kneel upon receiving the honor and may not employ the title ‘sir.’
or maybe it is that as people continue the preparation for the world conference against racism, also known as durban 2, the zionist state laid bare its true colors showing the world that it is a bit hypocritical for a racist state to participate in a conference against racism (you need to read between the lines to understand this subtext):
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced Wednesday that Israel has made a final decision to boycott the United Nations “Durban II” conference on human rights this spring, fearing it would be used once again as a forum for anti-Israeli sentiment.
The World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, to be held in Geneva in April, is a follow-up to a 2001 summit in Durban, South Africa on the same issues.
“The documents prepared for the conference indicate that it is turning once again into an anti-Israeli tribunal, singling out and delegitimizing the State of Israel,” Livni told Jewish-American leaders at the UJC General Assembly in Jerusalem.
“The conference has nothing to do with fighting racism,” she said. “In view of this situation, I decided that Israel will not participate and will not legitimize the Durban II conference.”
The foreign minister also called on the international community “not to participate in a conference which seeks to legitimize hatred and extremism under the banner of a fight against racism.”
case in point on the zionist state, by definition, is a racist state. why do you think it is my american readers out there that you see nothing or read nothing about what is happening in gaza? why do you think it is that the zionist regime works so hard to keep reporters from entering? it is because they do not want you to see what is going on. they do not want to be found out.
Leaders of the world’s biggest media organizations filed a protest with Israel’s prime minister Wednesday criticizing the government’s decision to ban journalists from entering the Gaza Strip for the last two weeks.
The protest was the latest in a chorus of international criticism of Israel’s Gaza closure, tightened after a five-month truce began unraveling about two weeks ago in a flurry of Israeli airstrikes against militants and Palestinian rocket barrages targeting Israeli towns.
Those signing the letter included Associated Press Chief Executive and President Tom Curley, Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, ABC News President David Westin, BBC News Director Helen Boaden and other top executives from CNN, the Canadian TV network CTV, the German broadcaster ZDF, and the French news service Agence France Presse.
“We are gravely concerned about the prolonged and unprecedented denial of access to the Gaza Strip for the international media,” they wrote in the letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
“We would welcome an assurance that access to Gaza for international journalists will be restored immediately in the spirit of Israel’s long-standing commitment to a free press,” reads the letter.
but there seem to be a few lone voices in the world out there demanding some significant outcry on the world stage today:
AUSTRALIA has switched its position to vote against Israel on two resolutions at the United Nations, ending the Howard government’s unswerving alignment with the United States and raising concern from the Jewish community.
Maguire, in a news conference Thursday, said that it’s time for the international community to take action against Israel. She claimed Israel should be punished for ignoring a series of United Nations resolutions over the years.
of course no leaders in the united states speak out with such forcefulness. gross human rights violations are gross human rights violations. when will the world wake up and get over it’s ridiculous fear of being called anti-semitic? everyone is ready to jump on the bandwagon to punish countries who violate international law when the people in those countries are predominantly brown folks. but when they are jewish. silence. one day this hypocrisy will be revealed for what it is. but how many more people in gaza will have to suffer until then.