From Gaza, with Love

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Emergency for Gaza -contact MECA IMMEDIATELY

Dr.Mona El-Farra is flying to Cairo on Saturday to oversee the transportation from Egypt to Gaza of 5 tonnes
of essential medical relief . The consignment was to be taken by boats of the Free Gaza campaign, which can take
up to one tonne per boat. But after an Israeli gunboat rammed and damaged one such relief boat in international waters
earlier this week alternative means had to be found. The World Health Organisation is helping to organise this emergency relief.

The consignment is taking anaesthetic, orthopaedic surgery equipment for adults and children, pain killers as well as milk powder
and general medication. These will be distributed through the Red Crescent Society to hospitals and medical centres. The consignment
is funded by Middle East Children’s Alliance and by a variety of organisations in US, Europe and Britain, including the Liverpool
Friends of Palestine.

Once the emergency is over, Dr.El-Farra hopes to continue a project to introduce water purification into Gaza schools,
to provide drinking water for children. This has the support of Middle East Children's Alliance but has had to be suspended
due to the Israeli bombing of Gaza.
if you like to help please contact


  • Hello Mona

    I am 70 years old and male, I have no specialist skills: All I can offer is myself

    By Blogger agedpoet, at 1/01/2009 1:40 PM  

  • I’ve decided that it's time to systematically refute the “disproportionate reaction” argument once and for all and build the case for Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. I hope that you would find my arguments convincing enough.

    1. Let’s first understand the context - Israel left the Gaza Strip in August 2005 and does not constitute an occupying force in that area. There is currently only one Israeli soldier in Gaza – his name is Gilad Shalit. He was kidnapped by Hamas from Israel’s territory in 2006 and since then no one has heard from him.

    2. Gaza Strip since the summer of 2005 is a non-state region taken hostage by a militant radical Islamist group. Since Hamas ultimately fights for the destruction of Israel (take a look at its Charta to verify), Israel should not negotiate with Hamas, and it is in fact obligated to refrain from any contact with the organization. That includes closing the crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel. While this would be justified, Israel continues to provide services and resources to the Palestinians in Gaza despite the fact that it is being ruled by a hostile entity.

    2. Hamas has fired more than 6,000 rockets on Israeli civilians in the last 3 years, while having no official excuse like “fighting the Israeli occupation”, which has ended in 2005. Israel, unlike what many Israeli spokesmen like to say, does not have the right to defend its citizens from those rockets – it must defend its citizens from any external threat on their lives and their daily routine. Again, it is not a right- it’s a duty.

    3. After establishing that Israel must act against Hamas – let’s review the conditions of the latter’s actions: Hamas is not an official state’s army, but an internationally recognized terror organization. Its people are civilians in Gaza, operating within a civilian population. The rockets are held in storage within civilian private and public places, and are often launched from these areas directly at Israeli communities.

    4. If Israel is to attack Hamas, as an act of self defense, it becomes clear that there will be civilian casualties on the Palestinian side. They are clearly, however, not the target. Not only that the Israeli army does not aim at attacking civilians, it also invests milliards of dollars in developing and purchasing technologies that will minimize civilian collateral damage and will allow an accurate hit on military-terrorist targets. In fact, the Israeli army makes more efforts to refrain from civilian casualties than any other army in the world, and that is why Palestinian civilian casualties in Israeli military actions have constituted so far less than 5% of the total number of casualties.

    5. A common accusation that comes even from those who do understand all the above is that Israel attacks the Palestinian terrorists “disproportionately”. For instance, in the current war against Hamas it is given that Israel has killed more than 300 Palestinians, while only 4 Israelis died from Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. Here I would like to make three points:

    5. 1. Proportionality is not measured by the outcome but rather by the intention. Every single rocket Hamas fires on Israel is meant to cause civilian casualties. However, Israeli air and ground attacks against Hamas are meant to cause as less damage as possible to civilians, and as much damage as possible to the terrorists. The optimal result for Israel would be 100% Palestinian militant casualties, while Hamas’ optimal result is 100% Israeli civilian casualties.

    5. 2. 6,000 rockets Hamas fired on Israelis can result in dozens of thousands of Israeli civilian casualties. This is not the case not because Hamas doesn’t want to target so many Israelis – but simply because Israel protects the potential victims. People in the city of Sderot, near the border with Gaza, which is being attacked by Hamas for almost 8 years now, are sitting in shelters and protected areas when Hamas fires rockets on the city. They go to school with protection from rockets, play in secured playgrounds, and receive a 15 seconds alarm before a rocket is about to explode. This point should be as clear as possible – there were “only” 4 dead Israelis from Hamas’ rockets in recent days because all the people who live in the range of the rockets (around half million people now) sit in shelters and are protected when Rockets are being launched.

    5.3. Israel response, it can therefore be said, is indeed disproportionate. A proportionate response, if that’s Israel’s aim, would be to fire 6,000 rockets directly at civilians in Gaza. If these civilians sit in Shelters like their Israeli counterparts, there would be much less Palestinian casualties. This is of course not the case – Israel does not target civilians, since its aim is not to “get even” with the Palestinians – but to remove the threat of Hamas on Israeli civilians, a threat that has made the life of half million Israelis unbearable for such a long time.

    6. In conclusion, I would like you to ask yourself, how is it that in Israeli attacks on Hamas’ headquarters in Gaza there are civilian casualties? What are civilians doing in a place from which rockets are being fired? And why aren’t they protected by Hamas the same way that Israeli citizens are protected by Israel when rockets explode? When you understand the answer to these questions, you will understand the reason for civilian casualties in the current war.


    Comments? Questions?

    By Blogger Maor Shani, at 1/01/2009 5:29 PM  

  • Proportionality is intimately bound up with notions of the just war, and has been enshrined in treaties regulating warfare's conduct since the Hague Convention of 1907. But familiar as it is, proportionality is a slippery idea. It has two different meanings in Western theory. On the grounds for going to war, jus ad bellum, the cause must be important enough to justify force; any good that will follow must outweigh the inevitable pain and destruction. In the conduct of war, jus in bello, any action must weigh the military gain against the likely harm to civilians.

    Proportionality in jus ad bellum and jus in bello are hard to separate: indiscriminate killing will colour the view of whether a war is justified; and even proportionate actions in battle will be denounced if the war is deemed unjust. In the Israeli-Palestinian context, arguments about legality fast turn into ones about history. If the tit-for-tat starting point is Hamas's rocket attacks, then the Israelis have a right to defend themselves; if it is Israel's occupation of Palestine or the dispossession of Palestinians when Israel was born in 1948, then Palestinians can argue for a right to resist.
    Proportional or not, the killing of innocents will go on until the dispute is settled

    By Blogger agedpoet, at 1/02/2009 1:30 PM  

  • I will read more carefully what you wrote to see if I can answer your many questions.

    Just to have a quick answer, see this article here:
    There are huge barriers toward peace that Israel has never tried to remove them but made them worse.

    Key issues that have plagued the stalled "peace process" include: Israel's occupation, Israeli settlements and settlement-building, the Israeli wall, security for Israelis and Palestinians, shared sovereignty over Jerusalem, and the right of return of 3.7 million stateless Palestinian refugees.

    It's not fair to look down on Palestinians and do not consider their rights and just talk about Israelis rights. Are Israelie "more human" than Palestinians?

    By Blogger Meead, at 1/02/2009 8:51 PM  

  • To Maor:

    It is sickening to read the same old Israeli apologist rhetoric in your post. The world is not nearly as ignorant and stupid as you seem to think. This conflict goes back much further than 2005 and everyone knows it. Why can't Israel's supporters understand that everyone knows how Britain came to control Palestine in the first place (through the barrel of a gun as usual), and that we also know the first terrorists in Palestine were the Zionists themselves, who murdered, blew up and assassinated Brits and Arabs and anyone else they disagreed with - like Folke Bernadotte for example, whose "crime" was to draw up a proposal for two states - so that they could force the formation of the State of Israel. We know all about the massacre of Palestinians and the destruction of their homes by Zionists, which is what forced them to flee and become refugees. We know that they have been refugees ever since, and if anyone has the moral high ground it is them, not the Israelis. The whole of Israel is stolen land and the rightful owners are entitled to try and get it back. You can refute and argue and twist as much as you like, it doesn't change the history, and it will never put Israel in the right. When Israel admits the wrongdoing, redresses the wrongs, and starts behaving like a civilized state, you will have no need to refute anything.

    By Blogger Sandra, at 1/04/2009 5:31 PM  

  • To Meead S:

    Israelis are showing themselves to be less than human.

    Take heart, more and more people are beginning to open their eyes and see how the Palestinian people have been wronged from the very beginning. All over the world, people are on the streets protesting against what Israel is doing.

    The biggest problem is that the United States continues to fund, arm and protect Israel, and it is so difficult for ordinary people to make any impression on the powerful US. But we are trying, be sure of that.

    By Blogger Sandra, at 1/04/2009 5:48 PM  

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