While the attention of the world is certainly diverted towards North Korea today due to its missile testing (was US really surprised? I don’t think so! Their reaction says it all. Japanese are the only people who seem really concerned), there is another crisis brewing in the Middle East, that has infact reached tremendous proportions. Yes, I am talking about the all-too-familiar-now Palestinian crisis, but more specifically I want to focus on what is going on in Gaza ever since the abduction of the soldier and Israel’s latest invasion and attacks against the citizens of Palestine.
I don’t know enough about the philosophy of the Hamas government (government – and not the political or military wing) to say much about it – but I do know how to recognize collective punishment when it is being metted out to ordinary civilians. Right now the Palestinian population is being collectively punished for voting a political party into government that Israel does not like and cannot learn/figure out how to live with. Ever since the new government has taken over in Palestine, not only are the peace talks in a complete state of paralysis, Israel’s efforts to prevent any flow of money into Palestine (to the point of blocking payment of taxes collected by Israel on behalf of Palestinians) is simply stifling the peole into starvation. L is in Amman these days for a conference and met a Palestinian doctor there who reports that his hospital is out of any medications and when Israel recently allowed a few UN trucks to go into Gaza with emergency supplies, there was enough medication available to last just two days. The doctor told L that he had not been paid for 5 months and people are living by sharing their food withe their neighbors. This is just crazy. Palestinians are people too, and making them suffer this way in a fight where no easy end is in sight, is simply tragic and inhuman. if the Israeli state is incapable of recognizing that in its state of political deadlocks, I hope ordinary Jewish citizens of the state will stand up and do something about the gross human rights violations taking place under the current seige. They have done so in the past and I hope they do so again.
I have my political views on the Middle East conflict and cannot expect everyone to agree with them, but I sure hope I can reach people who read this to look into this issue with a humanitarian perspective and take at least one small step towards making their voice heard. Living without pay, food, electricity, water and medications is inhuman, and Palestinians are being forced into living such sub-human lives. The issue is deliberately being kept away from mainstream media – we must all realize the current happenings are more than just about one abducted soldier – its just a pretext for teaching Palestinians what Israel is capable of in case their government doesn’t fall in line. Forget the politics, think about the people. Enough said….please help them.