i think comparing these two photographs, 61 years apart, of palestinian refugees is important. it is important to reflect on the meaning of the constant state of refugeedom that palestinians are subjected to because of zionist terrorism and their american, and often european and arab, allies. i think it is important because while we must still keep the focus on gaza, so as not to let israeli terrorist war criminals off the hook, we must remember, always, the root of the problem: ethnic cleansing and expulsion and the right of return of those who were forcibly removed from their land.
this is something that these american congressmen who are touring palestine this week may get, but won’t say. they will make it about gaza, and even then they will be impotent like the rest of american politicians. they will continue to submit to the israeli terrorist lobby. congressman brian baird and keith ellison toured gaza and some of the west bank this past week and here are some of their comments:
“The amount of physical destruction and the depth of human suffering here is staggering” said Baird, “Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, schools completely leveled, fundamental water, sewer, and electricity facilities hit and relief agencies heavily damaged. The personal stories of children being killed in their homes or schools, entire families wiped out, and relief workers prevented from evacuating the wounded are heart wrenching – what went on here, and what is continuing to go on, is shocking and troubling beyond words.”
Inquiring about the status of relief efforts, the Congressmen learned that some aid material has been allowed in since the intensity of the attacks lessened a month ago, but much is still being blocked by the Israeli defense forces. Examples of aid that has been banned by the Israeli Government include: lentils, macaroni, tomato paste, lentils and other food. Basic building materials, generator fuel and parts to repair damaged water treatment equipment have also been kept out.
“If this had happened in our own country, there would be national outrage and an appeal for urgent assistance. We are glad that the Obama administration acted quickly to send much needed funding for this effort but the arbitrary and unreasonable Israeli limitations on food and repair essentials is unacceptable and indefensible. People, innocent children, women and non-combatants, are going without water, food and sanitation, while the things they so desperately need are sitting in trucks at the border, being denied permission to go in” said Baird and Ellison.
The Congressmen’s concerns about treatment of Palestinians were not limited to Gaza. They also visited Palestinian hospitals that treat patients from East Jerusalem and the West Bank. There they met with doctors, nurses and hospital directors who described how official Israeli policies and restricted border checkpoints make it exceedingly difficult and expensive for patients, nurses, medical technicians, and other essential personnel to reach the hospital to receive or provide care.
“It’s hard for anyone in our country to imagine how it must feel to have a sick child who needs urgent care or is receiving chemotherapy or dialysis, then be forced to take a needlessly lengthy route, walk rather than drive, and wait in lines as long as two hours simply to get to the hospital. As a health care professional myself, I found this profoundly troubling, no, actually it’s beyond that, it is outrageous,” said Baird.
Responding to this and other issues the Congressman emphasized that fundamental changes and solutions are needed beyond the immediate challenges in Gaza.
they may talk a good game, sort of, but they won’t do anything. and they are full of s*&$ when they suggest that the u.s. cares about palestinians in gaza or anywhere else. governments that are complicit in the bombing of other countries and do nothing to get at the root cause of the problem, but just want to throw money at it when it is over are part of the problem, not the solution. they said nothing about the american weapons that supply the israeli terrorist machine (see photos below) for instance.
and what of war crimes? where is the discussion of that? perhaps it is too close to home because the obama administration is working its hardest to make sure bush’s regime of occupation and murder in the region go on unabated. just as obama himself is a new president with a new look and feel doing the same old f*&($ up s&*# as the bush administration, one of its first acts is to change the name of the notorious abu ghraib prison in iraq:
It has been handed over to the Iraqis and renamed Baghdad Central Prison.
The site has been extensively renovated, with upgraded facilities and amenities, including a hospital, rest rooms and visiting rooms.
Work is continuing on the prison, which will eventually be the city’s main jail, holding about 12,000 inmates.
Initially, only one of its four sections will be used.
There are already about 300 prisoners there to test it out and, once the prison has been officially inaugurated, that figure will rise to 3,500.
yes, americans are doing abroad what they do best at home: building prisons and locking people up inside–especially brown people. especially muslims. or what about the u.s. prison in afghanistan–which is increasing in size and maintaining bush policies of no access to family, due process, anything:
“The hope we all had in President Obama to lead us on a different path has not turned out as we’d hoped,” said Tina Monshipour Foster, a human rights attorney representing a detainee at the Bagram Airfield. “We all expected better.”
appropriately baghram is now dubbed obama’s guantanamo:
Less than a month after signing an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, President Barack Obama has quietly agreed to keep denying the right to trial to hundreds more terror suspects held at a makeshift camp in Afghanistan that human rights lawyers have dubbed “Obama’s Guantanamo”.
but in europe the responses are different. check this response from a british lawmaker and compare it to the one of the lame ass american politicians:
A visiting British parliamentary delegation on Tuesday expressed shock at seeing the enormity of destruction in the Gaza Strip and called for lifting the unjust siege and holding Israel’s leaders accountable for what they did against the Gaza people.
Head of the British delegation Richard Borden told a news conference held at the Ramattan press center in Gaza city that they came to Gaza to witness the impact of Israel’s aggression and to figure out what happened on the ground in order to know the best means to help the Palestinians in the Strip.
Borden underlined that the delegation would report about its visit to the British house of commons, and would demand the opening of crossings and an increase in aid.
The British lawmaker added that the visiting MPs would stress before the British parliament the need for holding Israel accountable for what it did in Gaza and for getting answers from it about the reasons for targeting schools and hospitals, noting that they would meet with Israeli officials to obtain these answers.
of course i don’t know what they mean by “holding israel accountable,” but i am imagining that this is related to war crimes tribunals. and there is ample evidence for this, of course. but there always is and nothing is ever done about it. though there is a civil society initiative to hold the zionist entity accountable, a petition which can be signed, which states, in part:
The EU is Israel’s biggest importer of goods, and its second biggest exporter. In 2006 the total traded between the EU and Israel amounted to 23.5 BILLION Euros.
The EU-Israel Association Agreement forms the legal basis for this relationship which gives Israel preferential trade terms with EU countries.
Article 2 of the Agreement states that these relations shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which must guide internal and international policy.
imran garda hosts and ayman mohyeldin investigates war crimes in a new al jazeera program called “focus on gaza.” the first episode is below and it is brilliant. i think ellison and baird should be made to watch it. i am hoping that future episodes deal with these american-made weapons used to destroy palestinian homes and murder palestinian people. here is the first episode–it is really well done, but i would expect nothing less from these two journalists:
but in palestine the war crimes are on going. they are daily. like when israeli terrorists shoot palestinians because they are trying to harvest their land:
or when they continue their massive ethnic cleansing project by forcibly removing palestinians from their homes:
Secretary general of the Islamic-Christian authority to support Jerusalem and holy shrines Hassan Khater said in a statement on Sunday that inhabitants of the Bustan suburb were in real danger after the Israeli municipality adopted a scheme that envisages removing the biggest section of the suburb to convert it into public parks.
He charged that the scheme falls in line with a bigger plan that aims at judaizing the vicinity of the Aqsa Mosque or the so-called “Holy Basin” area, which includes the demolition of the 88 homes in Bustan.
and in nablus, too, more houses will be demolished:
The head of Beit Furik’s local council, Abdul-Basit Haneini, told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed the neighborhood and handed warrants to the families in question, ordering them to evacuate their homes as soon as possible for demolition.
Haneini identified the families served with notices as Muhammad Nasasra, Dawood Khatatba, Abdul-Hamid Khatatba, Arafat Nasasra, and Radwan Khatatba.
He highlighted that 25 other families were served notice in the past, and that 12,000 donums of agricultural land had been confiscated from the town, leaving just 6,000 donums for the land’s indigenous owners.