Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where's the liberal media now?

George Bisharat cleverly highlights the careful silence on the Gaza Strip and also on the rights to education for Palestinians:

"No full-page advertisements in major American newspapers have publicized Israel's violations of Palestinian children's right to an education. No editors, syndicated columnists or presidents of major universities in this country have denounced this callous measure. Our politicians have demanded no remedial action. Instead, they continue, verbally and materially, to support Israel in its near-total blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians, kids and all.

Israel's trampling of Palestinian students' right to education -- the key to a lifetime of opportunity -- has rarely evoked official protest from American leaders. The Israeli army has closed Palestinian universities for years at a time. Israeli military authorities have barred Palestinian occupational therapy students from traveling from Gaza to the West Bank to obtain vital clinical training."

Amira Hass claims that "no more than 100 students have been allowed to leave since June. The Israeli authorities had agreed to allow 700 students to leave, but the remaining 600 are still waiting."

This is two years after the appraised "disengagement". An analysis of Gaza today sees "[m]ore than 75 percent of Gazans are unemployed and 80 percent are now dependent on international aid just in order to eat." Despite limited sovereignity given to the Palestinians, the suffocation thanks to the unilateral evacuation from Gaza "that Israel destroyed the houses of the settlements and only left greenhouses intact", the emergence of Hamas only gave Israel the perfect reason to squeeze their hands on the necks of the Palestinians tighter: a brutal form of collective punishment that is supported by every major Western power.

As the story unfolds, it allowed Israel to declare Gaza to be 'hostile territory', therefore giving it valid reasons for more sealed borders, cutting off electricity and actions such as the slaughtering of Palestinians without accountability. Click here for more on the situation in Gaza after the phony disengagement.

Here's the latest report from PCHR:

"IOF have imposed a strict siege on the Gaza Strip. They have closed its border crossings as a form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians.

IOF have closed Rafah International Crossing Point, even though they do not directly control it. They have prevented European observers working at the crossing point form reaching it. IOF had already closed Rafah International Crossing Point following an armed attack against an IOF military post in Kerem Shalom area, southeast of Rafah, on 25 June 2006. The crossing point had been partially reopened for short, sporadic periods to allow few numbers of Palestinian to travel through it. The crossing point has been completely closed since Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of Palestinian security forces from the crossing point. At least 6,000 Palestinians stuck in Egypt were allowed in the Gaza Strip through El-Ojah – Erez route. According to PCHR’s documentation, 19 Palestinians of those who are stuck in Egypt have died due to the deterioration in their health conditions.

IOF have also closed commercial crossings, especially al-Mentar (Karni) crossing. If this closure continues, a humanitarian crisis is likely to emerge in the Gaza Strip. IOF have also continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are prevented from traveling through this crossing. They prevented traders and patients from passing through. IOF allow very few patients to travel through the crossing, but following coordination through the ICRC. During the reporting period, Nahal Ouz crossing, east of Gaza City, which is deigned for the entry of fuels into the Gaza Strip, was opened for standard fuel for one day only."

It is disastrous and t
he slow starvation of Gazans is a very crude and draconian act by the occupier. It borders on a (manmade) humanitarian catastrophe funded by US taxpayers. But don't fret, Israel only wants to keep the Palestinians from that catastrophe so the world doesn't take notice. Just keeping them alive enough to suffer for another day.

"Once again the region needs saving from Israel."

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