Thursday, November 06, 2008

Gaza navel-gazing

What to do about bloody Gaza? This cartoon, by Lautuff, dates from last year but things have not changed much. Even Izzy Bee is feeling the Gaza Strip squeeze, as she is stuck fast like a mollusc and prevented from moving around here on work assignment due to "security issues".
Join the club, say the Gazans. Such limitation and powerlessness is standard for 1.5 million people in this enclave who lose their freedoms due to the actions of a handful of militants. Gaza is a potentially beautiful place, mired in misery for now. If only people could look to a shared tomorrow, instead of tossing rockets and recriminations at one another. Who did what when is irrelevant. Draw a line and reboot.

As soon as Erez reopens, I'll go back to Eretz Israel...or is that ersatz Israel? So few of the intelligent and cynical folks I've met here can have any hope of doing the same or going anywhere at all.

Mrs Mary Robinson, a former UN Commissioner for Human Rights, has just revisited the Strip briefly after a gap of eight years and told the BBC about her despair at witnessing the deteriorating conditions of this overcrowded and under-employed enclave.

" I am taken aback with the terrible, trapped situation of the families.Their whole civilisation has been destroyed, I'm not exaggerating.It's almost unbelievable that the world doesn't care while this is happening." --Mary Robinson

And now, after the discovery of a new tunnel which the Israelis say was part of an apparatus designed for kidnapping IDF soldiers, troops moved into the Palestinian territory near Al Bureij camp to blow it up. Hostilities ratcheted up. Shots were fired and IDF soldiers were spotted some 300 meters inside. An IDF airstrike destroyed one house nearby. Drones hover overhead and the 5-month truce appears more fragile than ever. In the night, we heard more distant booms and sirens, and learned of more deaths, 7 in all since Tuesday night.

Interesting doublespeak here:
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed further military offensives against the Gaza Strip. "We have no intention of violating the quiet," Barak said on a tour of southern Israeli areas bordering Gaza. "But in any place where we need to thwart an action against Israeli soldiers and civilians, we will act."

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