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Finally. An American Jewish voice of moral clarity.

On three things the world stands: on justice, on truth, and on peace.

(h/t rbguy)

When a child goes to bed hungry, when she wakes up hungry and goes to school hungry, it is inexcusable.

Inexcusable when due to poverty - and Gaza's slums are as poor as they come. I patrolled them in full armor keeping the locals down.

Inexcusable when due to unemployment - and most of Gaza is out of work.

(yet the excuses keep coming)

But it is an inhumane, criminal travesty when the main source of a child's hunger is the Western world blocking food from getting to him.

Israel and Egypt are the ones operating the blockade - but if Western leaders seriously want to end it tomorrow, it will end tomorrow. The Western starvation of Gaza is not just a years-long outrage; it turns the West's dubious claim to moral authority into a laughingstock, and gravely undermines international trust.

Enough is enough.

FAST FOR GAZA ONCE A MONTH UNTIL THE BLOCKADE ENDS.

Originally posted to Assaf on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:10 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm on your side, but to be fair (19+ / 0-)

    there have been many voices of moral clarity for the American Jewish community decrying the occupation and blockade of Gaza.

    "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:15:17 AM PDT

  •  So the fast has already started? (6+ / 0-)

    Maybe I can turn my clock back 24 hrs or do it tomorrow since it is already 3:30 my time:)

    Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

    by borkitekt on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:26:00 AM PDT

  •  This is just great unity to show support to stop (12+ / 0-)

    the unjust and an inhumane treatment of Palestinian people. I have never been a faster but I guess it is time to start.

    ...We have many issues that bind us together than separates us!

    by ThisIsMyTime on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:29:49 AM PDT

  •  About those 10,000 rockets (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldskooldem, Kickemout

    The incredible amount of resources used in purchasing materials for them, constructing them, warehousing, concealing and deployment, and the ultimate destruction that was caused due to their existence would have easily wiped out hunger in Gaza.

    In the old equation of guns vs. butter, they clearly made their choice.

    I do not have to support that decision.

    •  I have a sneaking suspicion (17+ / 0-)

      that many of the people going without in Gaza neither helped make those 10000 rockets, or were old enough to vote Hamas into power.

      You could as easily say that any American city full of violence should be written off because it's full of criminals murdering and killing, and run by corrupt politicians like Blago.

      Collective punishment is inhumane.  (And another reason why we shouldn't support economic sanctions against anyone, whether N Korea, Cuba, Iran, or any other country with whose leadership we have problems.)

      Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:50:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  don't forget the wonders we did for Iraq. (11+ / 0-)

        The criticism of the sanctions as they persisted for several years stemmed from their immense humanitarian toll. Most research on the subject stated that the sanctions contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and other Iraqis for health-related reasons owing to disease from lack of clean water from banned manufacture and restricted import of chlorine, lack of medicine, impoverishment, and other factors.

        Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

        by borkitekt on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:55:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Those civilians who were in the rockets' range (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JNEREBEL, oldskooldem

        were also being "collectively punished" just for being close enough for the missiles to bombard them.

        I can't help those who have suffered due to the results of an election their own people voted in.  I can support those who are willing to live in peace, and have made every effort to do so.  But those who choose violence are beyond help, until they choose otherwise.

        •  Don't dodge the issue (11+ / 0-)

          I can't help those who have suffered due to the results of an election

          Of course you can. It is you - the policies you support - that are starving them. Not the elections, not the Hamas, not the rockets.

          You.

          •  Were they starving before the rocket fire? (0+ / 0-)

            From stat's I've seen released in the past, Gaza had a pretty high standard of living back in the early 2000s.  Life expectancy, per-capita GDP, infant mortality met or exceeded all of their neighboring states except Israel.  And even there, except for per-capita they did pretty well.

          •  You are very flippant with the word "starvation" (0+ / 0-)

            You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                                                                                                  --Inigo Montoya

            •  You seem flippant with other people's hunger (11+ / 0-)

              A hunger that you are causing.

              They can't have shakshuka, you know.

              •  Oh no (0+ / 0-)

                It's just I take mass starvation that occurs in places like Darfur, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Burma, Congo, Haiti and other places like that a little more seriously than hunger.

                Let's face it, there is also hunger in Appalachia -  Here in this richest country on earth. Some would argue here that it is a result of government policy. However, hunger is not starvation.

                •  I've seen published reports (9+ / 0-)

                  that quantify the malnutrition in gaza, the number of diseases and health costs of the malnutrition and yes the death caused by the lack of food.  So let's not get so callous about our dictionary definitions that we trivialize a very real problem.

                  "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                  by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:50:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have read reports too (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JNEREBEL

                    for example that mortality rates have not change much since 2003 and according to this site:
                    http://www.indexmundi.com/...

                    Infant mortality is dropping continuously on a yearly basis. Not exactly the hallmark of mass starvation.

                    But statistics aside. After all in life there are small lies, damn lies and statistics. Tell me who wrote the report and I will tell you what the finding is before I read it.

                    However, I would like to see if you can show pictures from starving Gaza like this one from Zimbabwe:
                     title=
                    I have tried searching flickr, Google images with the words "Gaza starvation" and nothing, Nada, zilch. I probably can't search very well. You probably can do better.

                    I mean, there are children out there who really do need help, who are really starving. Yet what we hear here is a deafening silence, and  practically equating the starvation of children in other places in the world with the situation in Gaza.

                    No fasting in their honor I guess.

                    •  Your comments is callous, absurdly unscientific.. (9+ / 0-)

                      ...and bordering on repulsive. I suggest you read this:

                      Every time Gazans sit down for a meal, they face a depressing reality. The selection of foods available to them is dictated almost entirely by a harsh policy imposed by the Israeli government, which, as of late, has even refused to allow such innocuous-seeming foods as pumpkins, pasta or beans to cross the border.

                      The goal behind Israel's tight control of Gazans' dietary regime is definitely not improving their health. Rather, the government argues that allowing "luxury" foods into Gaza would only add to the popularity of Hamas' leaders, enabling them to better feed their constituency. But, in the eyes of many observers, Israel's policy of limiting foods that enter the Strip is almost tantamount to starvation, and comes dangerously close to collective punishment, both of which are not only illegal and immoral methods to use in pursuit of Israeli security, but also do little to improve that security.

                      Can the experts please explain: Why does the Health Ministry recommendation for the diet of Israeli infants and toddlers - "soft fruit such as bananas and avocado, cooked chicken and beef, and cheese cubes" - not apply to Palestinian children? These particular items are all strictly forbidden from entering Gaza, while rice and a limited selection of meat and produce are the only food items in fact allowed to enter.

                      The question is why Israel is restricting food supplies to one of the most impoverished regions in the world? Can you justify Israel's decision to deprive Gazan children of the very foods that Israel deems essential for the healthy diet of Israeli children?

                      •  Sorry but... (0+ / 0-)

                        There is an accusation that starvation occurs in Gaza.
                        All I ask is to see a single picture depicting the starvation of children in Gaza. You know, bloated bellies, skin and bones - real starvation. I mean, if it happens, what is the problem of showing a picture like we are used to see from Africa or elsewhere?

                        •  Good on you! (6+ / 0-)

                          Let's dwell on details of phrasing instead of the inarguable deprivation of people who don't have a whit of influence on their situation.

                          Stand tall, Revenge, your argument proves you a paragon among mortals.

                          Now, can we stop the hijack?

                        •  This reflects profound ignorance about starvation (9+ / 0-)

                          Bloated stomachs only result from severe protein deficiency. Accordingly, the bloated stomachs we seen on African children are a function not of a lack of calories, but a lack of protein. The African child is getting calories, but not protein.

                          Bloated stomachs will not result if one is suffering from both a caloric deficit AND a protein deficit, and this is the kind of starvation that would result from a blockade that permits minimal amounts of protein foods (fish and meats, in small amounts) but limit the caloric volume of such imports.

                          Like Dcoronata, Revenge can't even be bothered to learn the basics about the situation in Gaza or the fundamental nature of starvation. He (she) simply doesn't care.

                          •  it's not a good faith comment by Revenge (7+ / 0-)

                            it's one of the more despicable aspects of this method. The Palestinian plight doesn't matter because there are worse things in the world - but they don;t give a shit about that either.

                            It's almost as if they brought it up just to try to get Israel off the hook for her responsiblities.

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:44:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  what is the compulsion of apologists (6+ / 0-)

                      that the existence of other situations that are worse, somehow means that Gaza can't even be mentioned and that Israel's actions here are not allowed to be criticized?  

                      I mean really, go before a judge and say - well, yes, I double parked, but someone else robbed a store and that is worse - why are you complaining about me?

                      The children of Gaza REALLY do need help, that other children are in bad situations does not alter that one jot. And in Gaza, the food situation could be fixed with the stroke of a pen, whereas in Zimbabwe it would take rebuilding a destroyed agricultural industry.

                      "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                      by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:28:07 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, Gaza needs help, but Israel MUST STOP... (5+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mattman, Tonedevil, corvo, heathlander, SteveP

                        ..the blockade of food into Gaza. Israel's policy is a policy of collective punishment. It is a policy that has contributed to widespread malnutrition in Gaza. It is, quite simply, inhumane.

                        The situation is bad. The policy is worse. It must end immediately.

                      •  No prob. Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

                        I am not apologizing for nothing. All I want is to see a photo of a starving child from Gaza. With all the blockade and everything is so hard to obtain?

                        I am just impressed by the many many numbers of calls here at Dkos for fasting vigils, donations, action for starving children what are unfortunate enough and live outside Gaza.

                        Wait, there isn't any. Silly me.

                        All the pathos, the rage, the energy - amazing.

                        If there were other diaries pointing out to the horror that is visited on Children everywhere (not just starvation, but rape by UN peacekeepers for example), that would be logical.

                        Yet somehow only the fate of the children of Gaza seems to be worthy of attention around here, only the Israeli actions are warranted harsh rebuke.

                        Fine, at some point you find yourself in an echo chamber.

                        •  in fact there are diaries about others (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mattman, corvo, ArtSchmart, Gracian

                          but certainly not as many as there are for the plight of the Palestinians - but that's not unreasonable since it is our money and "special relationship" that is funding and providing international cover for these acts.

                          That's why this get's moved up the dance card.

                          If you find yourself sympathetic to the plight of the children of Zimbabwe, how about not pitting them against the children of Gaza - instead, how about YOU write a diary on the topic?

                          You don;t understand what an echo chamber is by the way - read up.

                          "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                          by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:59:38 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Border (8+ / 0-)

                          from the London Times

                          "I can’t remember seeing a fruit," said Rabab, 12, who goes with her mother most mornings to scavenge. She is dressed in a tracksuit top and holed jeans, and her feet are bare.

                          AS a convoy of blue-and-white United Nations trucks loaded with food waited last night for Israeli permission to enter Gaza, Jindiya Abu Amra and her 12-year-old daughter went scrounging for the wild grass their family now lives on.

                          "We had one meal today - khobbeizeh," said Abu Amra, 43, showing the leaves of a plant that grows along the streets of Gaza. "Every day, I wake up and start looking for wood and plastic to burn for fuel and I beg. When I find nothing, we eat this grass."

                          There's a lovely picture here - I don;t have time to photobucket it.

                          "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                          by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:05:25 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And there's this (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mattman, weasel, corvo, SteveP, ArtSchmart

                            Farmers claim UK, Jordan boycotting Israeli fruit

                            Fruit growers disappointed by canceled orders from abroad, leaving produce to rot in warehouses

                            Fruit growers in Israel have reported delays and reductions in orders from abroad since the military operation in Gaza was launched, due to various boycotts against Israeli produce.
                            ...
                            Ilan Eshel, director of the Organization of Fruit Growers in Israel, said Scandinavian countries have also been canceling orders. "It's mostly Sweden, Norway, and Denmark," he said. "In Scandinavia the tendency is general, and it may come to include all of the chains."

                            it's the reverse of a blockade, and still sad. Sadder that Israel's government would allow food to rot rather than help feed civilians.

                            Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                            by borkitekt on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:35:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  but bully for those with the moral compass to (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mattman, corvo, borkitekt, ArtSchmart

                            boycott the goods.

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:47:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually (6+ / 0-)

                            They tend to send them to Palestine (at least to the West Bank) AFTER they rot.  Stories like this are fairly common in Palestinian media:

                            More than one ton of expired food was destroyed by Palestinian Authority customs agents after officials discovered the goods were not approved for sale by the health ministry.

                            Officials said most of the expired goods were dates smuggled into Palestinian cities from the Israeli settlements dotting the West Bank. Most of the goods are suspected to come from the settlements north of Bethlehem.

                          •  Disgusting. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mattman, corvo, heathlander, SteveP

                            I think i'll go through my grocery store again and see if we are importing anything from Israel.

                            I did read that Sweden was moving towards implementing a protocol for ethical standards from the countries it imports produce from, (and you'd be blown away with all the 'fair trade' we have in just the local mass consumer stores anyhow,) and I wouldn't be surprised to see Sweden moving away from importing from Israel.

                            In fact, I feel like supporting that and will be looking into it seriously soon.

                            Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                            by borkitekt on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:05:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Picture fail (0+ / 0-)

                            I mean, just because a blogger says the picture is from Gaza, doesn't make it so.
                            A little search and you found that the picture originated on November 23 2008 (before "cast lead") on the online journal russiatoday.

                            I found it here http://www.russiatoday.com/...

                            No mention of Gaza at all.
                            I saw this picture floating around other charity sites that deal with starvation around The world.

                          •  OMG, thanks for telling me (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mattman, corvo, kefauver, heathlander

                            the blockade was starving people BEFORE cast lead!!!  Whodda thunk it?

                            The source you put, doesn't say it is not from Gaza - the page I googled - it was just the first image that came up, says it is.  Do you have some reason to think the blogger is lying?  Or, caught in your own bullshit now your are trying one of the last refuges of the desperate - as if the provenance of a picture, or even a single indisputed picture would change the reality.

                            Since you're fixated on 'cast lead' how about:

                            Red Cross find starving Children

                            This during Cast Lead.

                            Look, you're not making a good faith claim here. You're desperately trying to get Israel off the hook by citing other problems, definitions, asking for pictures, deriding sources - for something we know to be happening. Gaza children are not receiving sufficient calories, they are not receiving sufficient nutrition and all of this because Israel refuses to let more than a trickle flow into the occupied territories.

                            You callousness of the plight of Gaza children is despicable, your willingness to use other starving children as a rhetorical cudgel is beneath contempt.

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:14:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ahhhhh...starvation before cast lead. (0+ / 0-)

                            So we are talking about starvation before cast lead now?

                            Because when I put this picture up:
                             title=
                            People complained that this was before "cast lead" and that operation change everything.....

                            In the picture you see Lauren booth who came on the first protest boat that arrived in Gaza to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians.

                            You guys better decide...

                          •  a picture? that's what you've got? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo, heathlander

                            Chronic malnutrition in Gaza blamed on Israel

                            The 46-page report from the International Committee of the Red Cross – seen by The Independent – is the most authoritative yet on the impact that Israel's closure of crossings to commercial goods has had on Gazan families and their diets.

                            t chronicles the "devastating" effect of the siege that Israel imposed after Hamas seized control in June 2007 and notes that the dramatic fall in living standards has triggered a shift in diet that will damage the long-term health of those living in Gaza and has led to alarming deficiencies in iron, vitamin A and vitamin D.

                            Inside Gaza: Malnutrition and shortages

                            Journalists were also allowed in for the first time in weeks. We walked the quarter mile of no-man's-land between the Israeli and Palestinian checkpoints, past the ruins of buildings hit by Israeli airstrikes.

                            Our arrival was filmed by Gaza TV. Such is the feeling of isolation here that journalists coming in from the outside world is seen as an event in itself.

                            As we waited for our car to arrive, a bullet whined overhead. "Israeli," one of the Palestinian porters said, unconcerned at what was, apparently a regular event.

                            OPT: Signs of worsening malnutrition among children

                            UN World Health Organization (WHO) officials are concerned by the warning signs, including rising malnutrition indicators - like increased cases of stunting, wasting and underweight children - and continuing high rates of anaemia among children and pregnant women.

                            In April 2008 UNICEF estimated there were about 255,000 under-five children in Gaza, with about 26,265 at risk of malnutrition, and 657 most likely to be severely wasted.

                            Roughly two-thirds of the population - 50 percent of whom are under 18 - is deemed food insecure, according to FAO.

                            and so on.  

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:00:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yep. you know what they say (0+ / 0-)

                            A picture is worth 1000 words.

                            Show me yours and I will show you mine.

                          •  And another thing. (0+ / 0-)

                            I am not trying to get anybody off the hook. I just find it strange that with all the media attention all the screams about starvation, it is very hard to find a picture showing starving children in Gaza. Why is so hard?

                            If this happens - show it. Even Hamas TV or Al-Jazeera (that was banned by the P.A. by the way) don't show it. Yes, they talk about war crimes, Demolished houses, showing bodies, yet strangely enough - no pictures of real starvation.
                            Do you really believe that the Egyptians will allow real starvation in Gaza? Doesn't say much about the Egyptians, does it?

                            As for the red-cross article that you link to.
                            The article describes a situation that happened during the operation itself, not as a systemic daily phenomenon.

                          •  The Egyptians will do . . . (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            heathlander, SteveP

                            Do you really believe that the Egyptians will allow real starvation in Gaza? Doesn't say much about the Egyptians, does it?

                            . . . whatever the Americans and Israelis want.  Remember that Egypt receives $1.8 billion in American aid annually, the great majority of it military aid, without which Mubarak couldn't suppress his own population.  And the explicit purpose of that aid is now, and always has been, to keep Egypt friends with Israel.

                          •  and Egypt doesn't control that crossing (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo

                            Although I have to say, even though Israel is the prime offender there, Hamas' presence is particularly unuseful.  The PA people who operate the crossing aren't allowed to deal with Hamas and Hamas' Muslim Brotherhood links make them unpalatable to Mubarek since they have historically been mortal enemies.

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:06:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So it's still Israel's fault, yes? (0+ / 0-)

                            I mean, children are running around with bloated bellies malnourished and dying in the streets and the Egyptians, PA people and Hamas (without an Israeli in sight) can not come to an agreement about moving trucks from one side of the border to the other? I mean -  playing politics with the lives of children?

                            What would Israel do in such a case? tell the Egyptians not to?

                          •  OK: (0+ / 0-)

                            So, by that logic, all four parties are responsible. You can't use that fact to excuse Israel.

                          •  Where is Israel in this story? (0+ / 0-)

                            What authority does Israel have in that crossing?

                            If tomorrow Mubarak, Hannieh and Abbas declare that they have agreed to start having shipping food through Rafah, can Israel do anything? Do you think Israel will do anything?

                            Actually Israel would have loved to return to the pre June 5th 1967 situation in which the entire Gaza strip becomes the Egyptian headache

                          •  please see my other comment below. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:31:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes: (0+ / 0-)

                            Because under treaty, Israel has the right to veto these shipments, as you have been told by other posters.

                          •  educate yourself before opening your mouth (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            capelza, corvo

                            The Palestinian Authority was allowed to permit entry via the crossing only to "Palestinian residents", that is, Palestinians who were registered in the Palestinian population registry and carried Palestinian identity cards. In cases in which Israel informed the Palestinian Authority that a person was listed as a security risk, the PA had to consult with Israeli officials and the EU monitors before allowing the person to cross.

                            Also, Israel could close the crossing down by preventing the EU monitors from getting to the crossing, given that the agreement stipulated the crossing would not be opened in the absence of the monitors. When Israel informed the monitors of a security warning that necessitated closing of the crossing, the monitors did not take their positions at the crossing and it remained closed.

                            On the few days when Israel does elect to allow the opening of the crossing, notice is given to the EU monitors only a few hours in advance. Such last-minute notification makes it impossible for people in Gaza to plan their travels, and leaves those who go abroad uncertain as to when they will be able to return to the Strip.

                            it became clear that Israel retained the power to open and close the crossing at will, and since Hamas’s takeover of the Palestinian security forces in Gaza, in June 2007, it has been almost permanently closed.

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:30:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, you are so 2007..... (0+ / 0-)

                            Agreements? suddenly everybody is a stickler for agreements that were signed with the PA government that Hamas does not recognize?

                            There are no EU monitors in the crossing since 2007. There are only Hamas people controlling the crossing on one side, the Egyptians on the other (PA personnel were sent to recalibrate gravitational measurement devices).

                            It seems that when they feel like it, the Egyptian disregard the agreements and allow trucks to go through even without <gasp> UN monitors or PA personnel. Oh No! what about the agreements????? Please, can someone stop this horrible disdain to  agreements?

                          •  excellent you recognize the agreements (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo

                            our little boy is growing up.  

                            OK, so the "crossings agreement" has been defunct more or less from the start, but not in a way that meant Israel has no control over the border and not in a way that gave Egypt control over the border.

                            Egypt is STILL not in charge of the crossing:

                            "Atiah added that a new wave of humanitarian aid and medicine will be allowed into Gaza on Saturday.   Egypt still refuses to allow the Rafah crossing to be open all the time after pressure  from the USA and Israel.  "

                            from IMEMC  Remember that Egypt is a part to the corssings agreement and is more or less abiding by it.

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:11:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Our "little boy"? (0+ / 0-)

                            2 things:

                            1. You are quoting a Palestinian representative - the Palestinian coordinator for crossings in the Palestinian Embassy in Egypt.

                            That is, someone not from the Egyptian government. It would be nice for someone from the Egyptian government itself to say this. After all, this will reduce the pressure they get from the other Arab countries that accuse them of starving Gaza.
                            Now, if the pressure is applied from the US, then Israeli pressure is only a secondary. You are actually saying that the Obama administration is knowingly responsible for the death of Gazan children from starvation.

                            1. If you want to understand why Egypt doesn't want to deal with Gaza (hint - it has nothing to do with the US or Israel, it is purely internal matter) just listen to this guy:

                          •  Whatever the Americans and Israelis want? (0+ / 0-)

                            So now you actually say that the US (i.e. the Obama administration) wants this situation to continue?

                            I mean, if this is what the Americans want....who can say no?

                          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SteveP

                            So now you actually say that the US (i.e. the Obama administration) wants this situation to continue?

                            Been saying it for quite some time, actually.

                          •  then check my other links (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo

                            to the Red Cross report on malnutrition amongst children - or I get you the UNICEF one, or I can get you the WHO one.

                            oh, and a couple of those links have pictures - not distended bellies (protein imbalance), big eyes and flies. But if it doesn;t look like your prejudged concept of a starving child, it must not be starving, right?

                            You ARE trying to get people off the hook.  The Gaza situation is highlighted because we are paying to have the situation be hat it is.

                            Why does Egypt have to feed Israel's occupied territory?  And if you had ANY information at all you would know that Israel controls access to the Rafah crossing as well - so there is no way Egypt could get large stores of food into Gaza there without Israeli approval.

                            But I see you'll wait for the movie.

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:04:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Hamas diverted food aid so yes (0+ / 0-)

            they contribute in that respect.

            Don't even have to mention rockets.

            "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

            by JNEREBEL on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:23:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  They were, by individual criminals, not a state. (7+ / 0-)

          George W Bush 'won' the presidency of the United States in 2000 with 50.5 million votes.  Less than 1/6 of the populace voted him into power.

          He then launched a war of aggression on another sovereign state that posed no threat to the US, in which millions of rounds of ammo and many thousands of rockets, mortars, and other ordinance were expended, killing many thousands of Iraqis directly, and leaving hundreds of thousands to die of collateral issues such as disease and starvation.

          Given that you believe the blockade of Gaza is justified based on 10000 rocket attacks by the 40000 votes cast for Hamas out of a population of over 400000 (1 in 10) of those living in Gaza, do you then also believe the nations of the world should be blockading all of America, to punish the entire 350 million or so of us because 1/6 (a far greater mandate than Hamas had) of the populace voted George Bush into office?

          Put up or shut up.  Either you feel that the policy is reasonable if applied universally, or you do not.

          Which is it?

          Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:34:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You need to ad a zero to the Hamas (9+ / 0-)

            vote total. While a agree on your critical comment regarding the evil of collective punishment, your numbers regarding the Hamas victory at the polls are seriously wrong. Of the 990,873 votes cast for al of the political parties Hamas won 440,409 according to the data in Wikipedia.

            The remainder of the votes were cast for Fatah and nine other parties. This may also be a good place to point out that Hamas won the election that was held in all of Palestine and not only in Gaza as many in the corporate media imply.

            America and Israel immediately sent arms and money to the loosing party --showing the entire world that they had zero respect for the results of free and independent elections in the Mideast.

            War is costly. Peace is priceless!

            by frostbite on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:28:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whoops, I cringe to admit (5+ / 0-)

              I grabbed the numbers too fast and misread.  Here are the more carefully collected numbers.

              According to the Wiki, in 2006, there were only 409000 inhabitants of Gaza.  Amazingly, of the voters in Gaza, something like 75% turned out, which is pretty amazing.  So 44% of the 75% who voted voted for Hamas.  That's 33% of the total voting population.  Given that 38% of the population is under 15, that leaves roughly 62% of the population of presumed voting age, which gets us twice the values I posited - 20% of the population voted Hamas into power, not 10%.

              Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

              by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:08:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  by that logic Bibi is totally screwed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mattman

                his numbers don't even come close to that.

                "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:12:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What logic? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mattman, corvo

                  I didn't use any logic, just basic math.

                  It's a back of the envelope calculation, admittedly, since I don't know what the voting age is, and I imagine it doesn't line up perfectly with the demographic breakout I was able to find, but I'm willing to bet it's in the ballpark.

                  I'm still impressed that Gaza could get a 75% voter turnout, and wish the US could match that level of interest in politics.

                  Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                  by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:16:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  the logic that (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mattman

                    these % of population numbers are somehow a reliable way to measure electoral legitimacy.

                    The uS could achieve that, just round us up into cantons and blockade us - I expect we'd get a fair turnout.

                    "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                    by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:18:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not sure exactly how you mean 'electoral (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mattman

                      legitimacy'.

                      What I was suggesting was that it's not realistic to blame masses of people for the actions of the few, especially if the masses did nothing to put the few in power.

                      I didn't vote for Bush (I specifically voted against him), I protested against the 'Iraq War' from day 1, and yet I should be held accountable for what Bush did in Iraq?

                      The idea is ludicrous, and that's what Dcoronata is proposing in suggesting that all of Gaza deserves to be punished for the actions of Hamas.

                      If, by some magic, he could only punish those who voted for Hamas, those who wanted Hamas, then he might have some sort of legitimate argument.

                      But the logic of punishing all of Gaza for the actions and desires of a minority demands that, logically, you would likewise have to punish all of America for the actions and desires of a minority as well.  It is obviously not logical that those who opposed the war crimes committed by Bush should be punished for his crimes, so the notion of collective punishment falls apart as being illogical.

                      Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                      by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:48:12 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Whoops again about Gaza (0+ / 0-)

                In the last Palestinian election all qualified voters in the occupied territories were allowed to vote. This included everyone in Gaza city with the 409,000 population, but it also included everyone in the Gaza strip which has a population of about 1.5 million human beings. But again, Hamas won the election in all of Palestine, including the West Bank.

                I think it's much more to the point to say that Hamas won more than 44% of all the votes. They also won a majority of all constituency seat. Seventy-four out of 132. Sadly, many of these election winners were then kidnapped by the Israelis.

                Using your logic with numbers, in America we could say that Obama won less than 15% of the vote of the total population. We could skip the fact that he won by a landslide if we wanted to give these numbers a negative spin.

                Importantly Hamas is considered a valid resistance to the occupation entity with the a majority of all Palestinians. They are not considered a terrorist organization in most of non-Western world.

                War is costly. Peace is priceless!

                by frostbite on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:34:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not up on the nuances of Gaza vs 'the Gaza Strip' vs whatever else, I was just pulling numbers from wiki and mangling them.

                  And I agree that Obama, just like Bush, won by a very small amount of the populace voting for him.  We're a pretty darned apathetic country when it comes to voting.

                  I'm not trying to upplay/downplay Hamas' political victory, just trying to point out that a lot of people in any country spend all their time worrying about day to day life, and don't 'get into' politics, even though it does affect them enormously.  And of course, in any country, a large chunk of the population is generally too young to vote, anyway.

                  So to hold an entire group, including infants and toddlers, responsible for the choices of some segment of the populace, simply makes no sense to me, no matter where it happens.

                  Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                  by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:52:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Correction per frostbite. 1 in 5, not 1 in 10 (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattman, corvo, borkitekt, ThisIsMyTime

            voted Hamas in.  See numbers in other comment.

            Thanks for the factcheck, frostbite.

            Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

            by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:09:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  nonsense (5+ / 0-)

      the cost of 10,000 qassams wouldn't even dent the ongoing hunger situation.

      If you seriously believe that, I would suggest you do a little research as to what those numbers are instead relying on whatever bozo source you get these talking points from. Otherwise, you're just a garden variety idiot.

      "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

      by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:42:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dude (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, SteveP

      All you need to make a rocket is some fuel, a steel tube and some explosives.  It's hardly expensive.  A kid could do it (in fact, I bet teenagers are often the ones building them).

      "If you can't lower heaven, raise hell!" - Mother Jones

      by al ajnabee on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:16:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  according to the Jewish Policy center (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, al ajnabee

        here (hint, not real fond of Hamas)

        a Qassam costs about $400 to make - meaning that these mythical 10,000 rockets would cost 4 million dollars, which might feed Gaza for a couple of days.

        Not that I am saying that wouldn't be a better expenditure than rockets of course, but to pretend that the cost of the rockets is a butter or bread proposition is just another misinformed soundbite talking point generated by people who count on the intellectual laziness of their parrots like dcoronata.

        "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:27:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and by feed I mean (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, al ajnabee

          whatever $1.33 per person per day (or .44 per meal) might buy...and that for two days.

          "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:35:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey, .44 will get you a fallafel sandwich (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, SteveP

            (at least across the border in Jordan)

            "If you can't lower heaven, raise hell!" - Mother Jones

            by al ajnabee on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:55:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  With some of us fasting (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SteveP, al ajnabee, Ezekial 23 20

              and some of us looking forward to lunch, you probably shouldn't mention falafel . . .

              •  hmmm....tahini....n/t (0+ / 0-)

                "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:09:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  oh, stop it!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SteveP
                  •  see Corvo if you take (0+ / 0-)

                    Broadway north from Washington Heights and Inwood (the northern most neihbourhoods in Manhattan) acroos to the Bronx, after about half a mile past van Cortlandt park (passing under the Henry Hudson Highway just as it turns into the Westchester), there's a factory that makes fresh Pita (the Daily Pita) and they have a little shop - you can grab a fresh warm pita that is overstuffed with great falafel (not too greasy), green stuff and dripping with Tahini.  Or a little babagenoush, a little cucumber and dill in yoghurt...mmmmm.

                    Or just a couple of blocks east is what's left of an Irish neighbourhood that has great carvery lunch and some nice stout.

                    =)

                    "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                    by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:27:19 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, the thought of Irish food (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SteveP

                      did banish the appetite a bit. :-)

                      •  I don't know whether you've been to Dublin recent (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        arielle, corvo

                        But Irish cuisine is kicking ass! Local Irish Salmon is amongst the finest you'll find in the world.

                        However - Irish pub food is...I am reminded of the Guardian food critic who said that a "full English breakfast" was not a meal, it was a threat.

                        "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                        by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:35:56 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Every cuisine is capable of redemption, (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SteveP

                          I suppose, but the folks in the British Isles have a hell of a lot of work to do in that regard.

                          •  them and American Chinese food..... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo

                            having lived in Taiwan for a bit...and having some crappy Chinese leftovers sitting in my fridge preparatory to sitting there for two weeks and getting thrown out.

                            I am reminded of the Carlin routine - with leftovers you save twice.  First, when you put the food in the fridge, hey! I'm saving money.  And the second when four weeks later you open it, see hair growing out of it and throw it away Hey!!! I'm saving my life!  

                            This is the "Is it meat?  or cake?" routine.

                            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                            by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:47:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I enjoy an English breakfast (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          corvo, SteveP

                          as long as you leave out the tomatoes, ugh.

                          But beans on toast and shrooms, yum.

                          Dammit, now I'm starting to get hungry.

                          I wasn't before, just headachy.  argh.

                          Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

                          by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:56:02 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  But the stout.... (0+ / 0-)

                        who gives a rat's when they have such good stouts and ales?

                        And scones!

                        Hell, a piece of soda bread and some Irish butter is about all I eat for a meal anyway.

                        There is a Syrian/Lebanese (their description) bakery in town that makes fabulous fresh pita, among other things.

                        I used to make my own baklava (even insisted on a kitchen countertop big enough to do it) but now that I don't hardly eat anything I don't bother.

            •  but is it good Falafel? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, al ajnabee

              that's the key....

              I think the prices in Gaza markets have raised what?  Like 80% since cast lead and they were already outrageous due to the blockade.

              "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

              by SteveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:08:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We're talking about some damn good falafel (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                arielle, corvo

                Now, an adult would need two of them to be full, but these sandwiches are absolutely amazing: everything is fresh.  You get three falafels, hummmus, tahini, fried eggplant/cauliflower/potato (magala), with tomato/cucumber/yoghurt salad (salaTa).  

                I find that this is a good way to add some realism to discussions of prices in different regions (kinda like the Economist's big mac index but better).  

                You're right that food prices have skyrocketed in Gaza, though (that's why I specified that these were Jordanian prices).  I'm sure a falafel sandwich in Gaza these days costs a fortune.  But were it not for the blockade, a dollar would go a hell of a lot further...

                "If you can't lower heaven, raise hell!" - Mother Jones

                by al ajnabee on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 02:01:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Seems a bit high (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          I bet a lot of the materials are scavenged...  But it's not out of the question and it is true that parts not scavenged for rockets could be scavenged for other purposes.  

          "If you can't lower heaven, raise hell!" - Mother Jones

          by al ajnabee on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:57:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I haven't eaten for the last 9 hrs (7+ / 0-)

    so I don't suppose another 24 will hurt me any.

    A reminder of those that do without can only help me, in fact.

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:46:54 AM PDT

  •  why is obama silent? why does obama not care? (8+ / 0-)

    This blockade would be over in a few hours if he really cared. The Israeli Occupation Forces can stop little boats of 20 or so people, it can work with Egypt to stop convoys (or limit what can come across)--- Israel would think twice stopping if Obama declared that the blockade was over and that Israel must allow not only aid, but actual material that makes it possible for the people of Gaza to provide for themselves. If they are cut off from all trade and all the material to rebuild their infrastructure, then they will be hungry and needy forever... that is NOT a peace plan.

    Frankly, with these inactions (not the nice words) from Obama, he has chosen for now to be on the side of continuing the war against Gaza.

    Perhaps he is too busy telling Israel that they should freeze the settlements while at the same time rushing Israel massive aid so that they can build up the settlements.

    "The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." Mom's Day Statement

    by Tom J on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:06:40 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary, Assaf! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weasel, corvo, Assaf, SteveP

    Tipped and Recced.

    "Trolling is a sad reality of internet life...Directly replying to the content of a trollish message is usually a waste of time"

    by Rusty Pipes on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:38:09 AM PDT

  •  Hamas will do gown and I would fast (0+ / 0-)

    until Hamas ends it reign of terrorism, thru voluntary means, or by fall from political power, as the blockade has helped with.

    "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

    by deaniac20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 11:43:00 AM PDT

  •  Update... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    borkitekt, Assaf

    Well, I'm about 6 hrs past the time I normally would have started eating today, and I've already got a nasty headache that another diarist suggests is something to do with 'burning ketones'.  Solidarity or not, I'm going to have to toss down some ibuprofen.

    Oddly, though, I haven't really gotten hungry, probably because my body has far too much stored fat it can use instead.

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:44:24 PM PDT

  •  And today, those people you cry for have decided (0+ / 0-)

    to shoot themselves in thefoot!!!!

    The people who did this are the real enemies of the Palestinian people.

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