I just received an e-mail from a friend who lives in Balata Camp, outside Nablus in the West Bank. He says there is not enough food, they haven't had gas for more than ten days to cook with, and that only 3-4% of students are registering for university, since no one is getting paid these days, because the PA's and many humanitarian organizations' funds have been frozen. He hasn't received his invalid pension for five months.
I am just not OK with the systematic starvation of the Palestinians, apart from the every day maiming, killing, landgrabbing, water theft, infiltration, mass imprisonment, harassment, etc. Hello, progressive America, might you want to donate some money to counter what your tax dollars are doing? Yes I know you are busy protesting the deaths of every American soldier in Iraq, and building a "progressive majority in your lifetime", and that's all fine and good. But the Palestinians are living in a state of emergency now.
Why is there not more of an outrage over the fact that the Palestinians are being punished for electing Hamas? How can people labor under the illusion that entire populations can be wrong or evil or misled? How is the rise of Islamism in Iraq, Somalia, and Palestine under Bush's tenure a mere coincidence? Did you see how skinny those kids were that were wounded and massacred on the beach in Gaza?
No, this is not a humanitarian issue. It is also not a mere tragedy. It is a consequence of US policy, if you are American, and European policy, if you are European. If you are Israeli, it goes without saying. I am not in favor of depoliticizing the plight of the Palestinians, but without food and medical treatment, your solidarity or alternatively, your hesitation to "support a terrorist organization" doesn't amount to much.
And how is Gaza not like a concentration camp? Before someone shakes with indignation and flies into a self-righteous fit about the rightful historical ownership of that term, I'm not talking Nazi extermination camp. The origin of the word as it was used to refer to the besiegement and ghetto-ization of indigenous populations in unsanitary overpopulated areas in South Africa and Latin America at the turn of the century, after some savvy colonialist realized that they would slowly die without too much interference, applies to Gaza today. Of course firing a few missiles in, once in a while, helps speed up the process, and then funding and supporting that lapdog Abbas and his Fatah thugs, and sowing unrest, doesn't hurt.