Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Rescue Is Needed Now

['Civil war' appears not to be enough for the Israeli juggernaut. Neither in Iraq nor in the occupied territories.

Hamas' ascension to the leadership of the P A served as a great excuse to withhold the necessities of life for the innocent civilians in Israeli-abandonned and thoroughly despoiled Gaza and the rest of Palestine. This so-called terrorist organization, Hamas, created by Israeli military intelligence as a sectarian weapon against the secular PLO, was almost all the Zionists needed to destablize the Abbas government out of any meaningful peace talks.

But as rapproachment between the two factions contending for control of the Palestine government seemed to be at hand with the acceptance of the 'Palestinian prisoners' plan' on a two-state solution within the pre-1967 borders and its implicit recognition of 'Israel's right to exist' (the quotes are there because only the most frothing Negationists continue to ascribe to the Palestinians this refusal of Israel's right to exist [though perhaps not in its current manifestation as a militaro-fascoid, racist atomically-armed settler state], a right recognized by Anwar Sadat as early as 1978)--just as peace was on the verge of being once again discussed, and at the end of a month that saw the unrequited murders of 52 Palestinian civilians by the IDF, a band of militants, representing whomever the media and their Israeli minders say they represent, from Hamas to al Qaeda to Allah b Seeing u, kills some brave Israeli soldiers, a couple settlers (what's the dif, right?) and kidnaps a young soldier. To hear them talk, Israel has started enlisting children, like some of their African arms clients.

But all along the Israeli militarists have had their hands on literally thousands of Palestinian hostages, including women and children, in their secret (and not so secret) prisons, as well as on the water spigot for the entire region. 40 dams on the Blue Nile in Eithiopia, even more on the White Nile through Sudan and Egypt, all this water passing through the 'Peace Canals' running under the Suez that Sadat set up for his good Zionist neighbors way back when he was still breathing in and out, and, like the Jordon River water from Syria's Golan Heights, all this liquid gold is controlled by the plucky little theocracy that no one dares call aggressively rascist and openly fascist.

Well, here are a couple pieces that we got from CM/Poland, that is, from my learnèd colleague and sports maniac, John Steppling in Lodz. They make a lot of sense. If Europe is going to back up a Jewish homeland in the ME, why not a Palestinian homeland in Europe. France has a pretty good start on that. Oh, I know it's not liberty and justice for all. But when was the last time you saw that tandem in today's world that it was soaked through with the blood of innocents? --mc]


Rescue Is Needed Now

On Wednesday, Israeli war planes repeatedly bombed and utterly demolished Gaza's only power plant. About 700,000 of Gaza's 1.3 million people now have no electricity, and word is that power cannot be restored for six months.

It is not the immediate human conditions created by this strike that are monumental. Those conditions are, of course, bad enough. No lights, no refrigerators, no fans through the suffocating Gaza summer heat. No going outside for air, due to ongoing bombing and Israel's impending military assault. In the hot darkness, massive explosions shake the cities, close and far, while repeated sonic booms are doubtless wreaking the havoc they have wrought before: smashing windows, sending children screaming into the arms of terrified adults, old people collapsing with heart failure, pregnant women collapsing with spontaneous abortions. Mass terror, despair, desperate hoarding of food and water. And no radios, television, cell phones, or laptops (for the few who have them), and so no way to get news of how long this nightmare might go on.

But this time, the situation is worse than that. As food in the refrigerators spoils, the only remaining food is grains. Most people cook with gas, but with the borders sealed, soon there will be no gas. When family-kitchen propane tanks run out, there will be no cooking. No cooked lentils or beans, no humus, no bread the staples Palestinian foods, the only food for the poor. (And there is no firewood or coal in dry, overcrowded Gaza.)

And yet, even all this misery is overshadowed by a grimmer fact: no water. Gaza's public water supply is pumped by electricity. The taps, too, are dry. No sewage system. And again, word is that the electricity is out for at least six months.

The Gaza aquifer is already contaminated with sea water and sewage, due to over-pumping (partly by those now-abandoned Israeli settlements) and the grossly inadequate sewage system. To be drinkable, well water is purified through machinery run by electricity. Otherwise, the brackish water must at least be boiled before it can be consumed, but this requires electricity or gas. And people will soon have neither.

Drinking unpurified water means sickness, even cholera. If cholera breaks out, it will spread like wildfire in a population so densely packed and lacking fuel or water for sanitation. And the hospitals and clinics aren't functioning, either, because there is no electricity.

Finally, people can't leave. None of the neighboring countries have resources to absorb a million desperate and impoverished refugees: logistically and politically, the flood would entirely destabilize Egypt, for example. But Palestinians in Gaza can't seek sanctuary with their relatives in the West Bank, either, because they can't get out of Gaza to get there. They can't even go over the border into Egypt and around through Jordan, because Israel will no longer allow people with Gaza identification cards to enter the West Bank. In any case, a cordon of Palestinian police are blocking people from trying to scramble over the Egyptian border--and war refugees have tried, through a hole blown open by militants, clutching packages and children.

In short, over a million civilians are now trapped, hunkered in their homes listening to Israeli shells, while facing the awful prospect, within days or weeks, of having to give toxic water to their children that may consign them to quick but agonizing deaths.

Europe has to open its borders to Palestinians who want to leave Gaza for our rich countries. Europeans have to pay for the voyage and resettlement here in our rich countries. We can't leave people to be fenced in to the ghetto to die there by the hundreds of thousands. Asylum seekers in Europe have been stressing this impending mass murder since the pullout from Gaza was announced. Too many Europeans demand Palestinians stay and fight 'to the last man', assume that duty as the given of the situation. The Israeli regime is openly genocidal. It's not for Europeans to force sacrifice for homeland on other people. It's not our decision to make for others. It is necessary to make demands now of our governments, and to use the impolite language which reminds us discommodiously that these kinds of crimes are not fantasies from comic books or aberrations or anachronisms but a theme in our history which repeats frequently. We can rescue Palestinians; we can afford it; we have the money and the means, it is only a question of willingness to face what is happening and to make demands of our own governments. We don't have to beg the Israelis and the White House and American taxpayers for mercy; Europeans have to make our own arrangements with Palestinians. Any European who objects on the grounds that this will only make Israel's ethnic cleansing project easier, and will put a great big smile on Zionist faces, is welcome to go and take the place of a Gaza resident who wants to get out and survive.

Dr. Mutapha Barghouthi speaking from Gaza explained that:

Israel’s destruction of Gaza’s only electrical power station has left 80 percent of Strip without electricity. A water plant was also bombed by Israel today in the southern city of Rafah.

As a result, water supplies and the sewage system have been critically affected in that they depend entirely on electricity to power water and sewage pumps.

The electricity, water and sewage systems in the Gaza Strip are now currently depending on insufficient local generators to remain partially functional, yet Israel’s closure of Gaza’s borders has meant that there is only enough fuel to last a further 4 days.

Once this fuel runs out, the population of Gaza faces a severe humanitarian disaster, exacerbated by high summer temperatures and overcrowded living conditions. Gaza will find itself without potable water and literally sinking in sewage, which would lead to a severe public health disaster.

In addition, 300,000 of Gaza’s 1.4 million inhabitants live in high-rise apartment buildings which do not have the necessary generators to pump water up, and are therefore completely without water supplies.

The dependence on generators also has negative environmental implications as they produce high levels of pollution.

Dr. Barghouthi appealed to the international community to urgently call on Israel to end its bombardment, to stop the targeting of civilian infrastructure, and to allow for immediate repairs to begin on Gaza’s electricity plant.

He also urged the international community to intervene in order to ensure the immediate supply of fuel, food, and other essential items to the Gaza Strip in order to avert an imminent humanitarian and public health catastrophe.


Cuba condemns Israeli military aggression in the Gaza Strip
Havana, June 29, 2006

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, has learnt
with great concern of Israel's large-scale military operation that
began in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of June 28, 2006 with the
mobilization of around 5,000 soldiers, hundreds of tanks and other
military hardware, during which it attacked the principal electricity
station in the area, leaving half of the territory without
electricity, indiscriminately bombarded several bridges connecting
different parts of the Strip, reoccupied important southern portions
of Palestinian territory, and detained many high-ranking figures from
the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Palestinian children, once again the victims of Israeli aggression.

Israel has used the capture of an Israeli soldier by the Palestinian
occupation resistance as an excuse to launch its barbaric aggression,
ignoring the fact that the Israeli army has killed 52 Palestinians
just in the current month of June, according to recognized
international organizations.

This inhumane and criminal aggression took place just when an
agreement had been reached among the Palestinian political forces,
which is contributing to the renewal of peace talks between the
Palestinians and Israelis, in line with the relevant resolutions of
the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.

At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of
Cuba rejects the violation of the Arab Republic of Syria's airspace
by Israeli military aircraft which, together with the barbaric
actions in the Gaza Strip, once again exposes the Middle East to a
dangerous escalation of violence that is putting international peace
and security at risk.

As in the past, Israel is acting with the arrogance and impunity
afforded it both by U.S. economic and military support and its
permanent veto on the UN Security Council.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba wishes to
express its most vigorous condemnation of the barbaric Israeli
military aggression against the Gaza Strip and calls on the
international community and peace-loving forces to mobilize in demand
of the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops from
the Gaza Strip; a cession of Israeli state terrorism; and respect for
the inalienable human rights of the Palestinian people, including the
establishment of an independent, sovereign state with its capital in
East Jerusalem, the return of refugees, and the unconditional return
of all Arab territories occupied in June 1967, as the only way of
reaching a just and lasting peace for all the people of that
convulsive region.


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