From Gaza, with Love

Friday, June 22, 2007

my oped in the Austin statement paper -USA

Palestinians Must Have Hope to Move Forward
by Mona El-Farra / June 21st, 2007

As a physician from Gaza, I have treated far too many Palestinians wounded by Israeli troops. Now a day has come that I thought I would never see.

Throughout our 59-year struggle to obtain our freedom, we Palestinians debated strategy and tactics. Political factions competed for popular support. But never would I have believed that we would turn guns against each other. What brought us to this point?

In 2006, Hamas won free and fair elections on a platform that promised clean and efficient government. But Israel and the West meddled with our democratically elected choice by imposing devastating economic sanctions. How would Americans feel if a foreign power expressed its dissatisfaction with your elected government in this way? Our economy and our livelihoods have been destroyed, reducing many of us to poverty.

At last, we exploded with a desperation born of decades of oppression, lack of opportunity and loss of hope. We brutalized each other over the crumbs of power. The shame is ours — but the responsibility is shared between reckless Palestinians and external powers that turned the screws on our people.

Israel might have removed its soldiers and settlers from Gaza in September 2005, but it still controls Gaza from the sea, air and land. The borders are mostly closed according to the whim of Israel, transforming Gaza into an enormous open-air prison for its 1.4 million people, half of whom are children. Too many of these youngsters suffer from the stifling effects of violence and hunger. Their future is dangerously circumscribed by the chaos and uncertainty that envelops us.

To thrive, Palestinians need access to the sea and to commerce. Most importantly, our people must be imbued with a sense of hope.

Sanctions imposed after the election of Hamas made hard lives harder, but we must not forget that even under the “moderate” leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas we did not control trade in and out of Gaza.

“There is a seeming reflex,” United Nations peace envoy Alvaro de Soto said in a report, “in any given situation where the UN is to take a position, to ask first how Israel or Washington will react rather than what is the right position to take.”

Washington’s bias toward Israel is significantly responsible for the appalling situation in which we find ourselves.

Yes, we Palestinians must accept blame for our perilous situation. However, Palestinian Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr has correctly declared, “If you have two brothers, put them in a cage and deprive them of basic and essential needs for life, they will fight.” The fact that we would sink to this level is perhaps the surest sign of the terrible damage meted out to us over the years by dispossession and occupation.

When one is in a hole, it is imperative to stop digging. If we are to win our freedom, surely it will not be done with one brother digging the grave of another. The violence, therefore, must stop. That is our first responsibility as Palestinians and we must meet it immediately. And the United States and the international community must end the sanctions that deprive us of our basic needs and our hope for a better future.

The Israeli leadership brandishes our plight as evidence that we cannot govern ourselves nor be trusted as “peace partners.” White South Africans similarly claimed that black South Africans were incapable of self-governance. In the last years of apartheid, more than 250 blacks were killed in black-on-black violence each month. Yet decency and equality eventually prevailed in South Africa. Apartheid was vanquished and the world learned that black-on-black violence was an outgrowth of apartheid — not an indication that black South Africans were incapable of self-rule and undeserving of rights.

We, too, have the right to be free. But we must first free ourselves from fighting over the scraps of power.

Like oppressed people everywhere, we yearn for our rights. Out of this ugly period, we must promote a new vision of equality for all peoples living on this land, regardless of race or religion.

El-Farra is a physician in the Gaza Strip. She is slate to speak tonight at 7 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3208 Exposition Blvd.

Mona El-Farra is a doctor living and working in Gaza. Read other articles by Mona.
This article was posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2007 at 4:59 am and is filed under Israel/Palestine and Middle East. Send to a friend.

29 Comments:

  • Dear Mona, I would be happy to be able to discuss the matters with you. But as you have recently censored my two posts to your entries, it is simply impossible to talk or debate in such conditions. In my posts there was no hooliganism, incitement, curses or so. The only thing that might made you angry was that I wrote that Hamas was the terrorist organisation. But such statement is supported by the whole European Union, and is simply the fact. It is your right to decide whom to let and whom not on your own forum, but just think what you are doing to the freedom of debate ..... anyway - kind regards.

    By Blogger Krzysztof, at 6/22/2007 6:01 PM  

  • I only wish more people across the world could not just hear your words, but heed your words. You articulate so well.
    It is not that the world is blind to what is happening, to how the US and Israel has contrived the current situation, but is that the world chooses to be blind. That is a different thing; turning a blind eye to the reality of the situation is a crime of the highest order. Our nations are moral cowards. Some nation must surely stand out from the crowd and stand up for the rights of the Palestinian people. What nation has the moral guts to say 'no', to say 'stop', to the US and Israel? The right to self determination without outside interference is the right of every Palestinian. The outside world is largely responsible for the situation that has evolved internally; the US and Israel by their actons, many others by their inactions. Moral cowards.
    I hope and pray for Palestinians to be strong and to be one again.

    Keep up your efforts Mona, let the world hear your voice, and the voice of many Palestinians through you.
    Ed
    Ireland.

    By Blogger Ed, at 6/22/2007 11:04 PM  

  • Bismi-Allah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,

    As-Salam Alaikum:

    I recently heard Sister Dr. Mona El-Farra on the Lizz Brown radio talk show "Wake up Call". That led me to this bog which I am very delghted to have found. I have linked this blog to my own at fudaa.blogspot.com. It is also listed under "News from Africa".

    Salams,
    Abdurrahman
    Front for the Unification and Development of Africa and Arabia
    fudaa.blogspot.com

    By Blogger abdurratln, at 6/23/2007 10:28 PM  

  • Well said, Mona.

    By Blogger Amelopsis, at 6/24/2007 12:04 AM  

  • Now Israeli doctors are treating wounded Gazans! Why is it that the majority of Gazans want Israel back in Gaza?? Is it because they know that they are incapable of ruling themselves? It is like a snake devouring itself!

    By Blogger Chaya, at 6/24/2007 10:27 PM  

  • I have Jewish and Palestinian friends and we have often discussed the tragic conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. My close family includes Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus.

    Although we are always able to agree on quick and reasonable solutions to the problems there, we have spent a great deal of time trying to understand why the problems cannot be resolved by those living in the region and we always come to the same conclusion: neither side appears willing to take responsibility for their own actions.

    For example, I have rarely heard debate from the Israelis as to their role in the economic oppression of Palestinian Arabs and their willingness to take advantage of the Palestinians as a cheap labor force. Nor have I heard discussion of raising the Palestinian standard of living in an attempt to convert an enemy to a friend.

    I have also never heard Palestinians debate the intentional targeting of civilians as a legitimate means of "resistance". To most of the world, killing civilian women and children is not "resistance". Nor have I heard discussion of how the two groups might reasonably live and prosper together. In your own blog, you assail the Israelis for attacking Gaza, yet surely you know that no country would tolerate rocket attacks on civilian centers without retaliating.

    I would be most interested in hearing your views on this and welcome the opportunity to dialog with an educated person from Gaza. I hope you will consider this.

    Sincerely,
    LogicalDave

    By Blogger LogicalDave, at 6/25/2007 5:28 AM  

  • You mentioned that "Palestinians must accept blame for your perilous situation." What exactly did you mean? I have never heard *any* Palestinian introspection and would be very interested in understanding what you believe Palestinians could do to change their own situation.

    I don't know if the reason for the lack of introspection is fear of Palestinian fanatics or fear that such discussion might empower Israeli fanatics, but without some introspection from both sides, it seems unlikely that the Israelis and Palestinians will find peace.

    By Blogger LogicalDave, at 6/25/2007 3:13 PM  

  • Everyone in the Palestine conflict is seeing things through tinted lenses per say. These lenses are tinted by a history of hatred, and misconceptions. It is time that both Arab and Jew take off these tinted lenses and see eachother for who they are; human being with hopes and dreams.

    I aplaud your efforts to bring to light the human side of those living in Gaza. May people take it to heart, and learn that we all must live in peace unconditionally.

    By Blogger The Heretical Jew, at 6/25/2007 9:33 PM  

  • Everyone in the Palestine conflict is seeing things through tinted lenses per say. These lenses are tinted by a history of hatred, and misconceptions. It is time that both Arab and Jew take off these tinted lenses and see eachother for who they are; human being with hopes and dreams.

    I aplaud your efforts to bring to light the human side of those living in Gaza. May people take it to heart, and learn that we all must live in peace unconditionally.

    By Blogger The Heretical Jew, at 6/25/2007 9:33 PM  

  • As-Salam Alaikum

    Congratulations Moana we love your blog and encourage you to continue speaking out.May God protect you and bless your work.

    By Blogger John & Anthea Mullis, at 6/26/2007 2:16 PM  

  • As-Salam Alaikum

    Congratulations Moana we love your blog and encourage you to continue speaking out.May God protect you and bless your work.

    By Blogger John & Anthea Mullis, at 6/26/2007 2:16 PM  

  • What does not seem to be acknowledged is how far back this conflict goes. In the Old Testament, or the Torah, Israel is constantly pitted against other nations. Because it is God's chosen nation, surrounding nations have come up against it for thousands of years. We all say we don't understand how things could have progressed so, or why we can't find a solution. Look to the scriptures--this kind of warring has been prophesied. We can't understand all of God's ways, and we don't understand His plan.

    I admire your devotion to peace and resolution, and I can see why you're angry. You're brave to be living where you are, but if you look back through the scriptures, through documented history, you'll see that these problems are rooted too deeply to be constantly blaming Israel and the West.

    By Blogger Danielle Bennett, at 6/28/2007 4:24 PM  

  • Dear Mona,
    by coincidence I found your blog. Politically we might be on different sides, but we both know and appreciate the value of human life. Things are not well in Gaza - children suffer, teenagers do not have the chance to study and to learn a job, adults don't find a job. There is nothing left to lose. So why don't try another approach. I know that this will not happen, due to power struggles, big egos and hate, however: One sentence from the leaders of Fatah and Hamas can change the whole situation. "We accept the state Israel as it is and will never again attack it and/or it's citizens." Throw all guys on a pile and burn them. Make sure journalists are sending these pictures allover the world. Use the media to broadcast every day the message "we are no longer fighting - we have no weapons". You will see how quickly the world will help Gaza, by putting pressure on Israel and by helping financially. In East Germany we saw how a cruel, evil system got swept away by peaceful people. It's brave to do it, and there will be some sacrifices to be made - but you guys digg yourself deeper into a terrible situation day by day. Accept the fate - Israel will not go away and you will not win by blowing up restaurants in Israel. Israel has better access to more sophisticated weapons and they are not afraid to use them. Look at Portugal - the carnation revolution cost three lives and blew away 50 years of oppressive dictatorship.
    Try it - there is nothing left to lose.
    Regards,
    Chris

    By Blogger Christian, at 6/28/2007 6:19 PM  

  • I could not agree more with everything the doctor writes. It is all true and it all has helped bring us to where we are today. But these are things that 'we' (Israelis, Americans, worldwide Jewry) need to own up to. We need to look in the mirror and hold ourselves accountable for the things we did, and did not do, that have contributed to the current disaster. But that's half the story.

    I also believe we need to stop putting all the blame in the other one's shoes. I am so often disappointed that there are far too few voices on both sides who are willing now to stop the finger pointing, unless it's pointing to one's own mistakes. There are enough mistakes on all sides to go around.

    We need voices on all sides who honestly are ready to say, "Yes, this is my part in this mess. And since we must share responsibility for the current mess, let's focus our energy to move forward together, to share the responsibility of solving this mess."

    By Blogger lennybruce, at 6/29/2007 12:26 PM  

  • Hi Mona,
    I had a terrible typo in my comment... I wanted to say "Throw all guns on a pile and burn them" and I wrote "Throw all guys on a pile and burn them" - which is a terrible difference... Is it possible for you to edit my comment... Otherwise I think people might misunderstand me totally.
    Thanks for your help and please have a safe and peaceful weekend,
    Christian

    By Blogger Christian, at 6/29/2007 8:27 PM  

  • I want first to say to Krzysztof, that you should address the writer as "Dr. El-Farra" (not "Mona"). She addresses the brutality of Hamas' behavior within the substance of her editorial. Engage her on those specific points, rather than behaving as though they have not been raised. You seem to only see the message, "Israel is bad; Israel is bad" within the essay. There is an inherent complexity here; join us in embracing and wrestling with it.

    Secondly, it is always the oppressors who get to decide who are the terrorists, who are not, and the ultimate implications of the name-calling. This kind of conceptual prison is what leads to the state of affairs that drives people to desperate acts. Again, you may not like that this is so; but to deny it is irresponsible, and can never bring about change.

    The reason Israel has terrorism is because it has made an entire group of people angry for a very long time. People react when they are angry. It is no use to simply bemoan the fact, or to write off one's antagonists. Israel (and the U.S.) need to begin with self-accountability, as with any other dysfunctional family situation. Neither side is all good, or all bad. So get over yourself. Then you can appreciate the facts in a new light. Give Hamas a reason to cease their violence. Reward works better than punishment. Old lessons, but still true.

    By Blogger myniche, at 6/30/2007 12:53 AM  

  • And let me correct an ommission in my last comment:

    This is a very good weblog and the voice of Dr El-Farra is a much needed one. I hope I one day get a chance ot hear her speak.

    To 'From Gaza With Love' I say 'to Gaza with love'.

    By Blogger lennybruce, at 6/30/2007 6:01 PM  

  • Dear Mona,

    I believe you are on the right track when you talk about freedom in the context of human rights.

    If you compare the current state of affairs with Apartheid regime in South Africa, then wouldn't the solution to it be a one state solution where the rights of all are respected?

    And have you read the book "The one state solution"?

    And did you know that the people who are most opposed to this kind of peace taking root in the middle east are not Jewish Zionists but Christian Zionist?

    If you are wondering why gentiles in America and Britain hate you so much, look no further than a strange strain of fanaticism which claims that: there will be no peace till Jesus Returns, at which point the non-Christians will convert or be destroyed.

    The idea of a United States of Israel-Palestine appears to be the only viable solution to the current crisis. How do palestinians in Gaza feel about that?

    Isn't that what they are asking for when they talk about the right of return?

    By Blogger paradigm, at 7/02/2007 11:13 PM  

  • MyNiche: You appear to be trying to justify the intentional targeting and killing of innocents with your statement: "People react when they are angry." I hope this is not your intent. Surely such action by Jew, Muslim, or Christian is terrorism and is inexcusable.

    You can blame Israel for decades of oppression, economic enslavement, and expansionism. The Israelis must reflect on these, take responsibility, and reverse course.

    The Palestinians must similarly reflect on and take responsibility for terrorism and intolerance. Indians and South Africans achieved independence over brutal occupiers without blowing up buses and planes and buildings.

    The Israelis and Palestinians must consider how much further they will follow leaders who care more about radical ideology than the well-being of their people.

    By Blogger LogicalDave, at 7/03/2007 7:12 AM  

  • Mona, Mona, Mona.
    YOU WROTE: "Throughout our 59-year struggle to obtain our freedom..."

    BECKY: This is your historical context and it is wrong. In 1948, the Arab Palestinians were offered their own country, their own self-rule, and all the freedom they wanted. Instead,they joined with neighboring Arab leaders to launch a genocidal war against the Jews. They lost.

    It was not about "freedom" then and its not about freedom now.

    The Gazans have had all the freedom they want since Sept. 2005. What did they do on their FIRST DAY of freedom???? They burnt down 24 synagogues in one day and shot rockets over the fence. Since then, they have done absolutely nothing that could count towards improving the Palestinian infrastructure, improving relationships with foreign capitalists who could invest in Gaza, or building housing for homeless Gazans.

    Claiming the struggle is for "freedom" is just another one of those buzzwords designed to dupe western and American readers. Israel and the Jews have offered the Palestinians an independent state 13 times starting in 1937. Each time it was turned down by Arab leaders because the basis of the conflict is Arab intransigence---refusal to accept any Jewish nation, no matter how small, anywhere in the Mideast. This despite the fact that Jews have lived in the region continuously for 3,500 years. Despite the fact that Israel is located on the site of their ancient kingdom. Despite the fact that the early Zionists BOUGHT land and moved in and created a nation with sweat equity. Despite UN resolution 181 that the whole world authorized. Despite the fact that Israel welcomed all Arab residents to become Israeli citizens. Despite that both the Jewish Bible and the Koran state that Israel was given to the Jewish people by God.

    Despite all of these undisputed facts---you insist that it is Israel who has been denying Palestinian Arabs "freedom" and if they would only stop, and allow the Palestinians freedom, the conflict will end. Right.

    You VOTED for Hamas and now you have Hamas with all of its violence, refusal to accept or negotiate with Israel,its kidnappings, its daily rocket attacks,its cozy relations with Iran, its religious Sharia laws, and its internecine struggle with Fatah.

    With all that glorification of martrydom and "resistance" while neglecting housing, education and medical care, you now have Fatah and Hamas peforming extrajudicial executions in the street! They have plenty of money for guns, bombs, rockets, and anti-tank missiles!

    Terrorism is narrowly defined as a covert attack against civilian populations in order to frighten, intimidate, and pressure leaders into yielding to political demands. It is extortion, pure and simple.

    It is no more moral than a bank robber demanding money on threat of shooting bank employees and customers.

    While I know you all love to call Israel and the USA a "terrorist state" the truth is they don't use terrorism to achieve their goals.

    Israel uses passive and non-violent control measures like checkpoints, barriers, permits, and ID systems. Even home destruction (of which very little is happening right now) is a way to avoid taking human life.

    And the USA is ever ready to facilitate an end to the conflict that doesn't involve transfer of any Palestinian.

    Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the PFLP, the PLO, and others use terrorism to achieve their goals.

    You made your bed (voting Hamas in). Now, as you lie in it, you blame Israel. Go figure.

    By Blogger Becky Johnson, at 7/03/2007 8:41 PM  

  • Dear Becky,

    If I ask you how many sides are there to the Palestine/Israel issue, you might say two. Israelis and Palestinians.

    Wrong.

    There are three. The elephant in the room is Armageddonism. I think of Armageddonists as the brothers of Hitler.

    They used the Holocaust as an opportunity to herd Jews into Israel. They speak with two mouths.

    To each other they say, this is the in-gathering after which the second coming will take place and Jews will die or convert. Palestinians are not deserving of the land, they should just disappear. It's God's will.

    To Jews they say, we want to help you grow and prosper. We just feel so bad the Romans threw you out a thousand years ago. And we want to give you a secure place so the Holocaust will never happen again.

    My point is, you can never ignore this third side who are in it just to fulfill "God's plan".

    Armageddonists have more in common with Hitler than anything else because they believe the role of Jews in History will end. The whole world knows what Hitler did because of his belief that the role of Jews in history did ended.

    To Palestinians they say, just sit back, relax as you become dispossessed, your towns destroyed, your livelihoods deprived, your human rights denied. Eventually you will negotiate and get your fair share.


    The problem here is Armageddonists want to turn back the clock 2000 years so Israel today looks like Israel of Jesus time.

    They don't care how many bones get smashed along the way or how many heads get crushed.

    So long as we don't talk about this. We are letting them control our thinking.

    Read more on the topic on the United States of Israel-Palestine blog

    By Blogger paradigm, at 7/06/2007 11:16 PM  

  • why should any country end the sanctions on Hamas government, if Hamas is a known teror organization, which calls to the destruction of israel, do not support the solution of 2 states for 2 people and is responsible for hundreds of suicide bombers attack on civilians.

    if you have problems with "basic needs", you should take care of them yourself and not rely on other countries to supply them. if you can not supply them yourself them you must pay for them.

    By Blogger doron, at 7/08/2007 11:43 PM  

  • This despite the fact that Jews have lived in the region continuously for 3,500 years.

    Yes and they lived peacefully with the Arabs, WHO also lived continuously in the region for 3,500 years, until the Rothschilds got it into their heads that they wanted their own state.

    Israel was started by Azerbijhan Jews, who due to recent DNA studies, are found to not have ONE DROP OF ARAB BLOOD IN THEM, meaning they NEVER lived there!! They are thought to be converts. They are definitely European.

    As for the Arab Jews, they are second class citizens in Israel. They are given secondary housing and there are jobs they can't hold BY LAW!! YOUR historical and current contexts are wrong. Read the Israeli laws, they are blatantly discriminatory against people of their own faith simply because they are INDIGENOUS.

    The Gazans have had all the freedom they want since Sept. 2005. What did they do on their FIRST DAY of freedom???? They burnt down 24 synagogues in one day

    If that's true, I think you neglected to mention that they were abandoned since the settlements, illegally constructed on the land stolen from them, in the country "given" to them, were dismantled. You also neglected to mention that ALL of the homes of the settlers were destroyed by the Israelis before they left, leaving the Gazans with MORE rubble to clean up. Funny how they destroyed the houses and swimming pools but left the synagogues. You don't find that a tad ironic or more likely calculated to give people like you, with zero critical thinking skills, ammo?

    improving relationships with foreign capitalists who could invest in Gaza, or building housing for homeless Gazans.

    Let me get this straight, unless they let foreign capitalists in to rape their country, they don't get freedom. And its hard to build houses when your electricity is constantly being bombed to bits and the borders are constantly being closed so you can't get the materials you need in to build the houses. Oh yeah, and I forgot about the lack of water thanks to the lack of electricity - kinda need that for cement.

    Israel uses passive and non-violent control measures like checkpoints, barriers, permits, and ID systems. Even home destruction (of which very little is happening right now) is a way to avoid taking human life.

    NONE OF IT SHOULD BE HAPPENING!! What RIGHT do the Israelis have to destroy anyone's house? And plenty of human life is taken with bulldozing. Many people have been bulldozed WHILE IN THEIR HOUSES!!! Yet you defend that.I'm sure G-d is smiling on you.

    Jeremiah also says that G-d was displeased with his people because they stopped following his laws, so he let their neighbors destroy them.

    Israel has coveted its neighbors goods (land), killed, stolen, and I'll bet they've done some of this on the Sabbath.....good luck with your version of reality.

    What planet do you live on?

    By Blogger Julie, at 7/14/2007 4:55 AM  

  • Becky you are spinning, turning right to wrong and wrong to right...!

    When I'm well informed, there was first a slaughter of a village by the Zionists of more than 100.000 people before that 1948 war broke out.
    And... If somebody wins a war, that does not give the right to not obey to the law of the 4th Geneva convention, or the law of all other UN resolutions!

    You talk about Freedom of the Gazans . How can you call this prison freedom?
    It's the freedom of a prison! The prisoners have a territory of 95% of the prison, but they are still occupied and have to ask for permission for almost everything.

    Well why don't the occupiers go back to their by the UN offered piece of land after the second world war? Why do they have to suffer from the wrongdoings of the Germans in a total other part of the world?

    >>Despite the fact that Israel welcomed all Arab residents to become Israeli citizens.<<

    Do you reaLly believe israel is a democracy? Just a few month ago an Arab israeli politician had to seek refuge because of being arrested.

    >>You VOTED for Hamas and now you have Hamas with all of its violence, refusal to accept or negotiate with Israel,its kidnappings, its daily rocket attacks,<<

    ...A big changing of the real truth again...!

    How about the violence of the occupier? Rockets targeted killings, children kiting killed, pregnant women refused to get birth in hospital so that mother and child die, harassments at numerous roadblocks etc.
    Haman does not refuse to negotiate with the occupier of the "Holy land"
    It offers a "hudna" and negotiations. Hamas does not want a ZIONIST state, where there are only second hand rights for the original inhabitants. They know they have at least the SAME rights as the occupiers in their own land.

    >>While I know you all love to call Israel and the USA a "terrorist state" the truth is they don't use terrorism to achieve their goals.<<

    Hoe about the neocon Abrahams? Nicaragua? Chili (Allende), Guantanamo bay, Patriottic act, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Iraq (weapons of mass destruction?)
    It's just how you spin the media who is right. The country with the most power tells who is a terrorist and who is not. That same country writes the historybooks...!

    >>And the USA is ever ready to facilitate an end to the conflict that doesn't involve transfer of any Palestinian.<<
    They have proven other ways! Just look for the many UN resolutions that were vetoed by the USA.

    >>You made your bed (voting Hamas in). Now, as you lie in it, you blame Israel. Go figure.<<
    Just rethorics!

    When you are really interested in stead of being a spinning docter, just have a look at this internet movie!


    The link is:

    http://
    video.google.nl/videoplay?docid=2208188575920011819&hl=nl


    in peace,

    Herman

    By Blogger herman, at 7/15/2007 8:43 PM  

  • Sorry, the movie was taken away from that site... BUT...
    I found another link.
    If it does not fit, please glue the parts together in the browser address.

    The name of the movie: occupation 101

    http://video.google.nl/videoplay?docid=8481947913401709466&q=occupation+101&total=155&start=150&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=2

    Wishing Peace to us all!

    Herman

    By Blogger herman, at 7/20/2007 12:04 AM  

  • My heart goes out to Dr. El Farra for her tragic separation from her dying mother; my prayers are with her and her family.

    Herman, Becky, I hope you and others will try to find solutions rather than fanning the flames of hatred. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this blog is that it can humanize the conflict so that others might not have to suffer as Mona now does.

    Herman: you mention a slaughter of a village of 100K by Zionists pre-1948? I just can't let that go since it is ludicrous...can you provide any credible reference to such an event? In general, it would be helpful if you tried to provide some constructive dialog rather than bringing Hiroshima into a discussion of the situation in Gaza.

    By Blogger LogicalDave, at 7/22/2007 6:01 AM  

  • @ Logicaldave

    You are right, the numbers went wrong. It was a slaughter of 100.

    See this story by Eileen Fleming.

    But what really gets my Irish up, is that so many American Christians have no clue about the Christian Exodus from the Holy Land which began in 1948 when innocent people were forced to flee from their homes for fear of their life after they learned of the barbaric terrorism perpetuated by Zionist imperialist in the massacre at Deir Yassin.
    "Early in the morning of Friday, April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate. The village lay outside of the area that the United Nations recommended be included in a future Jewish State. Deir Yassin had a peaceful reputation and was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven out some Arab militants. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and one plan, kept secret until years afterwards, called for it to be destroyed and the residents evacuated to make way for a small airfield that would supply the beleaguered Jewish residents of Jerusalem.
    By noon over 100 people, half of them women and children, had been systematically murdered. Four commandos died at the hands of resisting Palestinians using old Mausers and muskets. Twenty-five male villagers were loaded into trucks, paraded through the Zakhron Yosef quarter in Jerusalem, and then taken to a stone quarry along the road between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death. The remaining residents were driven to Arab East Jerusalem.

    Eileen Fleming, Reporter and Editor http://www.wearewideawake.org/

    By Blogger herman, at 8/01/2007 12:11 AM  

  • Dear Herman:

    NP on the 100K vs. 100 issue...I was ignorant of this event and looked it up on the Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre
    to get an unbiased view (the site you quote: wearewideawake.org is profoundly biased and I cannot consider it a reasonable source). While it seems there is controversy over the event, I have no doubt that there was much brutality from all sides during the Israeli war for independence (like most wars)...and even if there was no massacre at Deir Yassin, I am sure there were massacres elsewhere.

    I am neither an Israeli nor an Arab apologist; both groups have allowed extremists to come to power with tragic results. Most residents of the middle east: Jews, Arabs, Persians, Kurds, etc. want only peace and prosperity for themselves and their families. All of them love their spouses and children, enjoy music and dancing, feel sadness and pain, and bleed the same red blood.

    Sadly, extreme and unnatural men have come to power in the region and have driven fear and hatred into the hearts of the populations. Until Jews and Arabs throw off the chains of these fanatics, they will continue the senseless fighting and hating. I implore you to join me in helping both sides seek the humanity in the other and drive out the hatred from their own communities. Try not to cast stones but to heal wounds.

    Peace to you and yours,
    LogicalDave

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechthegreatdictator.html

    By Blogger LogicalDave, at 8/07/2007 8:41 AM  

  • hello from Ramallah. I've just read your blog from Gaza. My name is Louisa Waugh and I'm a writer based in Ramallah, where I work as the editor of the Palestine Monitor website (www.palestinemonitor.org)

    We are really interested in hearing more from Gaza as the situation is clearly critical. would you be interested in writing a short article for us about daily life in Gaza?
    You could maybe just write about the mechanics of getting around and how your friends/family and neighbours are feeling at the moment. If you are interested please email me at this address.
    I am really sorry we can't offer any payment as we have no budget for contributors, but I'd be really happy to publicise your blog, because apart from anything else I think it's excellent!

    many thanks - and hope to hear from you

    Louisa

    By Blogger Louisa, at 10/01/2007 12:24 PM  

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