Thursday, October 1, 2009

End Aid to Gaza

"The humanitarian situation here in Gaza continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate for the ordinary poor citizens," John Ging told the press a few days ago.

I used to live just a few minutes walk from where John Ging works. I saw his Toyota 4Runner riddled with bullets after an assassination attempt in March of 2007. I can understand his drive to speak out on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza, I can understand his passion to try and increase UNRWA's funding to feed more people across the Gaza Strip... but sometimes I wonder if he should just get out of Gaza. UNRWA should close their offices, stop the food distribution, stop rebuilding homes that the Israeli F16s bombed, stop running schools for thousands of children under siege, stop running summer camps for children with PTSD syndrome from ongoing incursions, aerial extra-judicial assassinations, sonic booms, bombings and an illegal
embargo on travel in and out of Gaza. Actually along with UNRWA, Care International, World Vision and Oxfam should leave, the ICRC and Dfid, USAID and the EU should stop funding projects and just get out. Just get out. Out of the prison in which their staff serve as wardons- maybe well-intentioned at times, philanthropic, empathetic- but wardons non-the-less. For Gaza is a prison and if you are not part of the Israeli administration running the siege on Gaza, but you are feeding those that go hungry day in and day out, that are psychological tormented by the rat-like conditions they live due to that siege, then you are serving their ends.

If we would all get out then it would not be so easy to turn down a report that calls on Israel to be tried for war crimes of which the military onslaught in January was no exception- for it goes on day after day after. In the Gaza Strip crimes against humanity are a daily occurance and by feeding workers and their families that are made jobless and dignity-less we are serving the occupation and its goals.

Ariel Sharon said it so succinctly in May 2003,
"Today there are 1.8 million Palestinians fed by international organizations," addressing his cabinet he asked, "[w]ould you like to take this upon yourselves? Where will we get the money?"

The Zionist project created the closed enclave that is called the Gaza Strip, through their violent attacks on villages across Palestine trippling the inhabitants of that area within a matter of weeks. Thus, according to international law they alone ought to take responsibility to provide for the people living in these occupied spaces. Instead, we not only stand by and sanction them as they incarcerate and torment the very ones they drove out of their homes just over 60 years ago... but we subsidize theie actions.

Meanwhile, the EU states and the usa are "searching for consensus."

I will miss you Per Bjorklund

On Tuesday I awoke to this disturbing text message,

“Swedish Journalist & Blogger Per Bjorklund is now being held aside in a room @ Cairo Airport. Officer says his 'name is on the computer.” Legal assistance and media coverage are requested.”

I first met Per in 2007 when we were both covering a Mahalla Al-Kobra workers strike in Egypt. But it was the barbaric Israeli military onslaught on the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and the following January that brought us into more consistent contact. Our protest brought us together in a march on Gaza- I was attending, he was covering the march as a journalist- that ended in my kidnapping by Egyptian state security. My release four days later revealed the Egyptian state network’s buckling under international pressure. Three weeks ago Travis Randall was deported from Egypt- who also attended the ToGaza march in February-, on Tuesday Per was deported. The Egyptian state has something to hide and these criminal acts disrupting the lives of those that stand up for the people who state agents oppress is a further crack in the deemed edifice of what is called the ‘state.’

I will miss you Per, thank you for giving of your time and strength for people around here.