Robert Fisk: Crammed into the most overpopulated few square miles in the whole world are a dispossessed people who have been living in refuse and sewage and, for the past six months, in hunger and darkness, and who have been sanctioned by us, the West. Gaza was always an insurrectionary place. It took two years for Ariel Sharon’s bloody “pacification”, starting in 1971, to be completed, and Gaza is not going to be tamed now.
He quotes Edward Said: “It’s a horrifyingly sad place because of the desperation and misery of the way people live. I was unprepared for camps that are much worse than anything I saw in South Africa.”
Amira Hass Reports: ““Seventy policemen were killed there, not all Hamas members,” said S., who opposes Hamas. “And even those who supported Hamas were young men looking for a job, a salary. They wanted to live. And therefore, they died. Seventy in one blow. This assault is not against Hamas. It’s against all of us, the entire nation. And no Palestinian will consent to having his people and his homeland destroyed in this way.”
Peace Now has an interesting Q&A: “Israel could release its counter-productive economic chokehold on the Gaza Strip the moment the current military operation ends. This would reflect recognition that economic warfare has never altered Palestinian attitudes toward Israel, while the current blockade constitutes collective punishment with severe humanitarian consequences. Israel could declare that henceforth, if Hamas attacks Israelis, the IDF will punish the Hamas leadership, not the population-at-large.”
The Church Speaks: Immediate attention should focus on vital humanitarian assistance to the suffocating people of Gaza. In March of this year, I spent a day in Gaza visiting religious and community leaders and the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Since that visit, the situation, which was already devastating, has only worsened, with supplies of food, fuel, power, and medical supplies either cut off or indefinitely delayed. Our hospital must now try to treat the wounded under the most impossible circumstances.