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Home arrow Blog arrow January 2008 arrow January 22, 2008

January 22, 2008
WAWA Blog January 22, 2007: GAZA! GAZA! GAZA! And U2! UPDATED 9AM, Jan. 21, 2008: MLK DAY!


"History will be our judge, but what is written is up to us. Who we are, who we've been, what we want to be remembered for. We can't say our generation didn't know how to do it. We can't say our generation couldn't afford to do it. And we can't say our generation didn't have reason to do it. It's up to us. We can choose to shift the responsibility, or… we can choose to shift the paradigm [Bono]....I'm wide awake, I'm wide awake, I AM WIDE AWAKE! I'm not sleeping - oh, no, no!!!" -Bono/U2




The rest is excerpted from an email from Dorothy/New Profile in Israel and Mayzim Q in USA, which includes a plea from Guess Who?

UPDATED 9 AM MLK DAY-scroll to the end and see RED

I hope you dear American Taxpayer won't sleep until you DO SOMETHING too!




Dear Friends,

 What a sad moment!  What a horrible thing Israel is doing to Gaza.  And the world turns a blind eye!

 I have scanned the major newspapers in England and the US, as well as Reuters and CNN for reports on Gaza.  But apart from the Israeli press, nothing current is available, that is, to what is happening at this very moment.  The lights are out. Gazans are having a candle-light march to protest the closing down of electricity, and fearing their fate.

I don’t understand why the media neglects so juicy a story.  It is clear now why the Israeli military (with the collaboration of the government) has avoided a major incursion!  And why the government has refused to build shelters for the qassamed people in Sderot, telling them instead to bolster their courage, and learn to endure!  Of course, now it’s clear.  There is no need for IOF incursions.  There is a devilish plan instead.  Let the people in Gaza starve to death.  Let infants in incubators die as their cribs turn cold.  Much cheaper getting rid of Palestinians by a slow and painful genocide than risking IOF soldiers’ lives and equipment!  And if you kill them all, there will be no more qassams.  I would not bet on the qassams ending, however.  There will be others to take up the cause, even if Israel kills every last Gazan.

Below are a few tidbits from the Israeli press and human rights organizations, and from Mohammed, a Gazan who is living the tragedy encompassing his people.  Read, and cry and hang your heads in shame.  How can I sit in my nice warm comfortable home, when Gazans are suffering so horribly?

One last item closes this message on this ignominious day, not about Gaza, but a news item that reveals the true character of Israel’s leaders: Israeli Knesset members demand liquidating Nasrallah!  A bunch of gangsters who know no law and order!  Liquidation/assassination is the name of the game.  And they call Israel a democratic country.  Hell no!  Mafia better describes its nature.

Dorothy


Background from today’s editorial in Ha’aretz

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/946124.html


“Fifty years have gone by since Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan eulogized Roi Rotberg of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, who was murdered by Palestinian infiltrators. The eulogy is still relevant. ‘How can we complain about Gaza's hatred toward us?" said Dayan. "For eight years, they have been sitting in refugee camps while right in front of them we are turning the land and villages of their forefathers into our home.’”

”Since then, not much has been done to diminish the hatred. While the settlements of the northern Negev became the pride of Israeli agriculture, Gazans grew poorer. For 30 years, Israel settled large areas in the Gaza Strip, its hothouses and religious colleges further deepening the despair of the refugee camp residents. The disengagement did not help the people living in Gaza, who meanwhile elected Hamas to make their lives even more miserable. “


Fuel availability in the MoH hospitals, access of patients and passage of drugs shipments
 

Subject: Current Situation
Fuel availability

Today Gaza has received 154 megawatt out of the needed 240 megawatt (the need in the winter time):

   1. The local power plant produced 30 megawatt out of the 55 megawatt
   2.  the Israeli company provided Gaza with 107 out of the 120 megawatt that usually provides; and
   3. The Egyptian provided the 17 megawatt that usually provides.

The Gaza power plant declared that the plant will stop functioning today by 4:00 pm as there is no fuel supply...Hospital generator consumption is at 40 -50 lit/hour. The available fuel will be depleted within few days as the daily electricity cuts is 12 hours.

 Gaza European hospital in Khan Younis has declared the emergency status at the hospital. All the departments have stopped working except the intensive care unit and the operation room. The hospital is accepting only urgent cases.

Aqsa Martyrs hospital in the Mid zone will work for only 4 hours per day to decreased starting tomorrow.

Shifa hospital has three generators that feed three different parts. The fuel availability in one tank is 200 liters. The generator will stop functioning within hours. This generator feeds the laundry room, oxygen extractor, pharmacy and the oncology department.

The hospital will declare the emergency status by tomorrow due the continuous consumption of the available fuel.

Lights Out 'Israel's sanctions strengthen Hamas'

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3496673,00.html

As Gaza plunges into darkness due to power shortage, locals warn of impending humanitarian crisis. One resident says Israel's 'collective punishment' increases solidarity among Palestinians
Ali Waked

Wide areas in the Gaza Strip plunged into darkness Sunday evening, as a local power plant was forced to shut down its turbines after Israel stopped fuel supply into the Strip. Many Gazans now fear that a massive humanitarian crisis is imminent, despite Israel's claims that 70% of power supply is still provided by an Israeli plant.

 

Hospitals in the Strip have already announced the cancellation of all operations scheduled for the coming days. Health officials are worried that electrical medical equipment, such as dialysis machines and respirators, would collapse. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 10 minutes without electricity could lead to the death of dozens of patients.


Gaza residents are also concerned about a sanitation crisis should sewage pumps stop working. Furthermore, some sources in the Strip estimated that most factories would begin shutting down operations as of tomorrow (Monday).

 
Thousands of Gazans were set to participate in a "candle rally" Sunday evening, and take to the streets with candles in their hands in protest of the power outage. Media outlets in the Strip, especially those affiliated with Hamas, have been urging international organizations and the Arab world to intervene throughout the day.

The United National Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) recently announced that humanitarian aid has not been permitted into the Gaza Strip since the crossings have been closed.

"It (the power plant shutdown) is going to have a significant impact on the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza," said Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the UNRWA, whose aid shipments have been turned back.

Israel's sanctions 'strengthen Hamas' 

"The power outage in Gaza will not hurt Hamas, on the contrary – it will strengthen the Islamic organizations, so that even secular Palestinians, who used to support Fatah, will sympathize with Hamas," Youssef Khatib, a clerk from the Khan Younis area, told Ynet.

"Israel's collective punishment policy would not lead to results. I am not a Hamas man, but I tell my children that the blackout is the result of Israel's war against us," he added.

According to Khatib, Israel's sanctions worked to heighten solidarity among the Palestinians. "The Palestinian people unite in theses tough moments. Although the internal strife in Gaza exists, mutual help is increasing.


 Subject: I hope this is being reported in a way that won't make us ashamed later.

Dear Charlie,

No electricity, people are going hungry, no bread, and no medicine and lots of things that are missing. people are out in the streets now calling for the world to end the starvation and siege.  it might be that people's only option is to break out the borderline and go to Egypt and get food. It's scary here. no bread, no water at home where I am. I have some leftovers biscuits from two days ago. but my laptop batteries will be flat soon. I will find a new agency from those who have electricity generators to recharge my laptop and keep online, if you don't hear from me this is why. Again, I fear Israeli warplanes will bomb the people in the streets. people are in lines trying to find bread. I never seen this in all my 23 years life!


    Mohammed

"The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything."- Albert Einstein

 
http://www.rafahtoday.org/






From Mazin Q:


Yesterday in Connecticut, we had the honor to hear from the father, mother, and sister of 10-year-old Abir Aramin who was murdered by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in occupied Anata, Jerusalem, Palestine.  We also heard from Israeli refusenik Yonatan Shapira.  Abir’s father Bassam Aramin was jailed in Israel starting at age 17.  When released he and Yonatan cofounded Combatants for Peace which combined Israelis and Palestinians who now advocate nonviolence and justice. He and others continued with the group even after his daughter was murdered in front of her school and while walking with other classmates, friends, as well as her sister (who gave us a heart-wrenching account of what happened and who spoke movingly about how Palestinian Children want to live like other children). 

There is no symmetry between occupied and occupiers, oppressed and oppressors; the occupation must end and human rights restored.  This is understood by leaders of this group (http://www.combatantsforpeace.org/ ), as well as by the group that is arranging the US tour and raising money to build a garden in the name of Abir
(The Rebuilding Alliance http://www.rebuildingalliance.org/ ). 


We can only hope that this tour will bring people to act. While the killing of Children in the West Bank abated in the past few months (in order to advance the Israeli political agenda of domesticating the Palestinian Authority leaders), the situation got worse in Gaza.  92 children were murdered by the IOF since Abir's murder exactly a year ago and most were in Gaza.  Today we face a major catastrophic situation unfolding in this concentration camp otherwise known as the Gaza Strip (home to 1.5 million Palestinians, 70% of them refugees). A very short message from a resident in Gaza reminded me with the call we heard from Jerusalem during the massacres by the Crusaders or other calls in history: "Wa Mu3tasmah...". It was simply:


“Dear all: This is going to be short, as short as possible: At least 80% of Gaza under darkness. Not only the lights but every thing related to electricity. It is expected to have hundreds or even thousands of people dead if this situation continues. What can we do with this WAR CRIME?" Bassam M. Nasser, Gaza, Palestine

Ofcourse that is still an understatement.  Already dozens have died for lack of medications.  Some are already hungry and 70% live below the poverty line thanks to the Israeli murderous siege (benignly referred to as "collective punishment").  A European colleague candidly noted in an email that Gaza now is new concentration camp “conceived as such” and “needs a new Nuremberg trial.” For those who know history they know that large scale deaths at concentration camps only occurred years after they were inhabited by thousands of inmates (communists, gypsises, homosexuals, Russians, Jews, Poles etc).  Let us not wait for this progression, let us not wait for the day when Israelis parade before mass graves in Gaza. But what indeed can we do with the continuing Nakba in Palestine (60 years of mayhem, ethnic cleansing, destruction etc.)?

Read about the mounting humanitarian crisis in Gaza:

http://www.freegaza.ps

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/BBA4E18B-E72F-4AB2-A1B4-26612DEFEAE3.htm

We think we also have 60 years of heroism, sacrifices, acts of justice, and yes also lots of acts of kindness.  That has always made the difference that  prevents total annihilation and keeps the hopes of liberation, justice, freedom alive. 

So if you are like us outraged by these and other stories you hear, then do something. 

Below is from a US Citizen [GUESS WHO?] asking fellow citizens to act but if you are not in the US, please do similar actions with your government and the media:


If you are an American TAX PAYER you are culpable in these crimes against humanity and silence is complicity!

WRITE and TELEPHONE THOSE WORKING FOR YOU IN WASHINGTON AND DEMAND THAT THIS CARNAGE END!

It is the PEACEMAKERS who are the children of God, NOT those that starve, bomb, torture and occupy others!

President George W. Bush
(202) 456-1414



White House Comment Line:
(202) 456-1111
Fax: (202) 456-2461


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
(202) 647-6575


Any Senator (202) 224-3121

Any Representative (202) 225-3121

E-Mail Congress: visit http://www.congress.org

Embassy of Israel,
3514 International Dr.,
NW, Washington, DC 20008 
(202) 364-5515




AND WRITE TO/CALL THE MEDIA AND DEMAND THEY COVER THIS HUMANITARIAN DISASTOR AND ONGOING WAR CRIMES.

 Media contacts:

http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/contact/media.asp
http://capwiz.com/adc/dbq/media

Ask Journalists to interview Palestinians; there is no shortage of those (e.g. in the US, here is a listing of many Palestinian Americans:
http://imeu.net/news/palestinian-americans.shtml



Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
http://qumsiyeh.org
http://justicewheels.org




"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.



UPDATED from emails received Jan. 21 AM

Death and Darkness in Gaza, People are dying, Help us!


A humanitarian crisis is underway as the Gaza Strip's only power plant began to shut down on Sunday, and the tiny coastal territory entered its third full day without shipments of vital food and fuel supplies due to Israel's punitive sanctions.

The Gaza Strip's power plant has completely shut down on Sunday because it no longer has the fuel needed to keep running. One of the plant's two electricity- generating turbines had already shut down by noon.

This will drastically reduce output to 25 or 30 megawatts, down from the 65 megawatts the plant produces under normal conditions. By Sunday evening the plant will shut down completely, leaving large swaths of the Gaza Strip in darkness.

Omar Kittaneh, the head of the Palestine Energy Authority in Ramallah, confirmed that by tonight, the one remaining operating turbine will be powered down, and the Gaza power plant will no longer be generating any electricity at all.

"We have asked the Israeli government to reverse its decision and to supply fuel to operate the power plant", Dr. Kittaneh said. "We have talked to the Israeli humanitarian coordination in their Ministry of Energy [National Infrastructure] . We say this is totally Israel's responsibility, and that reducing the fuel supplies until the plant had to shut down will affect not only the electrical system but the water supply, and the entire infrastructure in Gaza – everything."

After months of increasingly harsh sanctions, Israel imposed a total closure on the Strip's border crossings, even preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Israeli government says the closure is punishment for an ongoing barrage of Palestinian homemade projectiles fired from the Gaza Strip.

"Famine"

180 fuel stations have shut down after Gaza residents to buy gas for cooking.

A Palestinian economist Hasan Abu Ramadan said the current humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip will be deepened by the blockade on fuel and food supplies. He warned that Gaza Strip could go from a situation of deep poverty to all out famine, disease, and malnutrition.

Abu Ramadan said that more than 80% of the Strip's 1.5 million residents have been surviving with the help of food aid from international organizations such as UNRWA for Palestinian refugees.

International condemnation

Most international actors in the region believe there already is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator, the Undersecretary- general for humanitarian affairs John Holmes, who said at a press conference at UNHQ in New York on Friday that "This kind of action against the people in Gaza cannot be justified, even by those rocket attacks".

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed particular concern, in a statement issued later on Friday through his spokesperson, about the "decision by Israel to close the crossing points in between Gaza and Israel used for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Such action cuts off the population from much-needed fuel supplies used to pump water and generate electricity to homes and hospitals".

The UN Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied territories, John Dugard, also issued a much sharper statement on Friday, saying that Israel must have foreseen the loss of life and injury to many nearby civilians when it targeted the Ministry of Interior building in Gaza City.

This, and the killings of other Palestinians during the week, plus the closures, "raise very serious questions about Israel's respect for international law and its Commitment to the peace process", Dugard said. He said it violates the strict prohibition on collective punishment contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention, and one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law: that military action must distinguish between military targets and civilian targets.

Source:
Maan

http://www.freegaza.ps
freegaza.ps@ gmail.com



--
Popular Committee Against Siege(PCAS),
PCAS Manager,
Sam AK
Gaza - Palestine
Mob:00972598873055
Freegaza.ps@ gmail.com
http://www.freegaza.ps





Date: 21 January 2008
Time: 09:30 GMT
 
PCHR Calls On the International Community
to Prevent a Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza
 
At approximately 20:00 on Sunday, January 20th, the Gaza Strip power plant ran out of fuel and shut down, plunging the Gaza Strip into darkness. The closure of the Gaza power plant, in addition to Israel's continuing tightened siege of the Gaza Strip, will have a catastrophic effect on the 1.5 million residents of Gaza, who are already suffering chronic shortages of fuel, medicine and some basic food stuffs. The Director of Gaza's main Shiffa hospital describes the current situation as "Potentially disastrous."
 
Israel is manufacturing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip that is seriously deteriorating every aspect of civilian life. To date, fourty five patients have died as a direct result of Israeli Occupying Force (IOF) closure and siege of the Gaza Strip. According to the Director of Shiffa Hospital, Dr Hassan Khalaf, patient's lives continue to be at stake, including the lives of 30 premature babies in Shiffa Hospital, who will die immediately if there is a power cut at the hospital. Gaza's second major hospital, the European Hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, has now suspended all major surgical operations.
Meanwhile, all borders from Gaza to the outside world remain sealed to Palestinians.
 
The Gaza Strip requires 230-250 megawatts of electricity a day to operate at full capacity. On Friday, January 18th, and again on Sunday, January 20th, the IOF prevented a vital daily delivery of fuel from passing through the Nahal Oz Crossing, including industrial diesel used to fuel the power plant. The power plant is now completely closed. This closure of Gaza's only power plant has drastically reduced electricity output across the Gaza Strip by 65 megawatts. Civilians across Gaza city and the central Gaza Strip are totally dependent on the power plant. The closure of the power plant will severely impact on civilian lives across the Gaza Strip. In addition to the dangerous shortage of electricity that threatens the lives of critically
 
 
ill patients in all of Gaza's' hospitals, chronic shortages of petrol and diesel and gas for domestic use have led to panic buying before gas stations in Gaza are forced to close completely. Civilians are also suffering widespread shortages of bread, due to lack of electricity to power the ovens at bakeries across Gaza.
 
PCHR condemns the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that is being manufactured by the IOF as collective punishment to the entire population of the Gaza Strip, and calls upon the International Community to put immediate pressure on the Government of Israel to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. The Centre appeals to the international community to act upon their legal and moral responsibilities to ensure the basic human rights of the citizens of the Gaza Strip are protected.
 
The Centre reiterates that Palestinian civilians are protected from collective punishment under international human rights law, and international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
 
PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfil their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention, to ensure Israel's respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practised by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.
 
 
 
 
Public Document

For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza , Gaza Strip, on
+972 8 2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail: ,
http://www.pchrgaza.org




ACTION ALERT WASHINGTON REPORT on MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS

Contact:

When U.S. government offices are closed, and the media is not paying attention, during special holidays—in this case Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday—Israel often takes full advantage to attack the people whose land it surrounds and occupies. Call your local news desk or the telephone numbers below. Don’t let Israel continue to get away with war crimes.
WRITE OR TELEPHONE THOSE WORKING FOR YOU IN WASHINGTON AND DEMAND THAT THIS CARNAGE STOP—AND THAT YOUR TAX DOLLARS NO LONGER BE USED TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE:



E-Mail Congress and the White House:

    Congress: visit <www.congress.org>

    President Bush: < >

    Vice President Cheney: <vice_ >




Phone numbers are posted above

   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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