Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In Hope of Peace in The Gaza Strip

by Rose Crockett Davis
June 27, 2009

I recently returned from The Gaza Strip on June 7th, 2009. I was allowed to
enter the heavily guarded Egyptian Rafah border crossing into Gaza as part of
a 66-person International Delegation organized by Code Pink—an active U.S.
based anti-war group, by the invitation of the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency of Gaza. We went as witnesses to the horrors of the slaughter which
left 1400 Palestinians dead and 6000 injured at the hands of the Israeli
military this past December and January. With an arsenal of American made
bombs, the Israeli military first struck by air 300 times, bombing mosques,
schools, hospitals, government and UN buildings, homes, and infrastructure,
and then engaged in a ground attack.

One of our main focuses was to promote peace in this war-torn coastal region
in the middle of the Sinai Desert, one of the most densely populated areas on
earth. Our delegation included men and women, ranging in ages from 20 to
70, consisting of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, etc. Most in the group
were journalists, photojournalists, reporters, relief workers, and one political
scientist. We were all there in solidarity with the people of Gaza. We focused
on the children, as 55 % of the 1.5 million population are under 18 years old,
the leaders of the future. Some of us helped set up 3 pink playgrounds, and
gave the children some toys, small gestures, mostly symbolic, to show them
we care. We all had the opportunity to meet with directors of hospitals,
schools, libraries, universities, and organizations including The Palestine Save
The Children’s Foundation, The Palestine Right to Life Foundation, The
Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, Jabalia Rehabilitation Society, Palestine
Center for Human Rights, the list goes on and on. Because of the two year
Siege and Blockade imposed by the Israeli government, resulting in having no
private or government funding coming in, every agency and organization is in
dire need of aid.

Every Gazan’s life is in peril. Because of the blockade, the once thriving port of
entry for goods, is closed off. The Israeli government has only been allowing
30% of the food and supplies needed for survival to enter Gaza. Last week it
was lowered to 20%. The farmers are not allowed to farm on the most fertile
land close to the northern border with Israel. The fishermen are not allowed
to fish freely in the Mediterranean Sea. No building supplies are allowed to
enter, resulting in no reconstruction. Most of their goods must be smuggled
through tunnels along the Egyptian border.

Envision the state of having nowhere to hide, with no safe place to go, being
trapped with no way out. This is what is playing out in The Gaza Strip with the
closing of it’s borders two years ago—these people live in the largest prison on

The war torn area and people of Gaza need to heal. They can forgive, but they
will never forget. Each citizen has been traumatized by the massacre of what
the Gazans call "The Last War." They will never forget the 500 innocent
children who were slaughtered. The surviving children, along with many
adults suffer from malnutrition, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,
and various physical illnesses. All of them know intimately what the carnage
of war can do.

At the heart of the Israel/Palestine conflict lies the question of land and who
rules it, deepened by the tragedies of the Holocaust and of the dispossession
and occupation of Palestine. The UN’s partition of the land in 1947, in an
effort to resolve the conflict, did not result in a lasting settlement. The land
dispute has increasingly been focused on Israel’s occupation of the territories
of the West Bank, Gaza strip and East Jerusalem. The war of 1967 was fought
over the disputed land. The Oslo Accords in 1993 and the Road Map of 2003
failed to reach a land agreement between the parties or to bring Israeli
withdrawal. Since 2002, the Israeli government has been building a wall that
winds deep into Palestinian territory, and is increasing its settlement
expansion. The International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel’s barriers
violate international law. The unequal struggle over the land of Palestine
continues, causing a barrier to a peaceful solution. Disputed land. It reminds
me of what happened with the colonization of the Americas and the
continuing effects it has had on the Indian Nations. They believe they belong
to the Earth, the Earth does not belong to them. If we all could come to the
universal truth that we are all citizens of the Earth and need to be stewards of
the Earth, if we could think as one, and act as one, we would be able to settle
all of these land disputes, and we would have a perfect peace.

Please write, fax or call your Senators and Congressmen and tell them to stop
the U.S. funding of the assaults made by the Israeli government toward the
people of Palestine.


Blogger Alex said...

The human rights are badly violated in Palestine by Israel and to most depression, the whole world is taking their eye off it. These are only common web hosting sites providing news to the world about the so inhuman violence of Israel. I just feel regretted to be a member of such a society. We, the Americans, claim to be the most civilized and cultured people with respect to human rights but are just silent on this sheer stupidity.

July 1, 2009 at 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When people demonize one another and throw up walls, even out of some fear, a wound is opened and left bleeding. On a large enough scale, it results in Gaza. On a smaller scale, it leaves families and friends torn apart, and hearts broken. In both cases communication and reconciliation remains the only pathway to the healing of humanity.

July 17, 2009 at 2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Davis'statement that if everyone thought "as one" (meaning "as me") that perfect peace would exist is simply simple minded, and a bit egocentric. There are at least two sides in the Israel/Palestine conflict. It is worthwhile to note that Israel withstood over 300 rocket attacks and issued many warnings before launching this latest attack. Certainly the grief is deeply unfortunate, but the cause must be shared. Davis' tendency has often been to demonize and "write off" those with whom she disagreed. Such action is universally at the root of most violent human conflicts. As the Zen Master might point out, it is often those who complain most loudly about a particular sin who are those most in commission of it. Palestine reaps its own karma, as does Israel.

August 4, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is porn the only winner during credit crunch?


January 19, 2010 at 2:03 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home