Monday, January 21, 2008

January 26: A day for Gaza

THIS demonstration is in Nazareth, in support of the people in the Gaza strip, against the Israeli siege and raids.

The Israeli state is cutting off food and medical supplies from reaching people in Gaza.

On Sunday 20 January, Gaza ’s only power station was forced to shut down, after Israel cut fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

By cutting electricity it is not just leaving homes and hospitals in darkness, and refrigerators not working, but stopping the working of kidney machines, and water pumps and sewage works. It is the collective punishment of an entire population, but especially its most vulnerable members. It is creating a human catastrophe.

The World Health Organisation reported two months ago that 86 essential medicines were out of stock in Gaza, and another 138 would be running out within a few months. Physicians for Human Rights in Israel has joined with Palestinian organisations in an emergency appeal for medical supplies for Gaza. Together with others it intends to deliver them, and food supplies.

The Israeli peace bloc Gush Shalom has placed the following ad in the daily Ha'aretz:

The cruel blockade of Gaza
Intensifies the hatred,
Intensifies the bloodshed.

All Israeli peace movements,
In cooperation with Gaza
Human rights activists,
Will participate on January 26
In a large convoy
To bring essential supplies
To the Gaza Strip,
Express their protest,
And demand:
Lift the blockade!

Join the convoy! Take your family with you! If you own a private car: please bring it, in order to add to the convoy! For details and registration: call urgently 03-5221732.

My friend Dani in Haifa, an Argentinian-born left-wing Israeli who sent the photograph from Nazareth, says he is co-ordinating vehicles joining the convoy from the north and Haifa.

The campaigners know their collections and the convoy will not be enough to end the problem which the Israeli government and military are creating. Their action is about solidarity, not mere charity. They are not combining to assuage their consciences, but to challenge the blockade, and the consciences of other governments and international organisations which are helping Israel get away with it.

This weekend, as the aid convoy challenges the blockade there are going to be demonstrations around the world in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Here in London demonstrators will gather in Whitehall opposite Downing Street at 4pm on Saturday, January 26, to demand that the British government helps the Palestinians of Gaza, and above all, that it puts pressure on the Israeli government to end its blockade.

There are also three early day motions before parliament, 305, 624, and 698, concerning Gaza.
Find out if your MP has signed. If he or she won't perhaps you should be urging people to choose a better MP.

Collective punishment of a civilian population is a war crime.
We can either denounce and campaign against the criminals, or we become accomplices. We cannot say "we did not know".

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At 4:10 AM, Anonymous People Power Granny said...

The siege must end. Check out my post at Readers are urged to vote in my poll, as well on this subject.


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