Wednesday, June 20, 2007

1.4 Million

There are, it seems, 1.4 million expendable people living in Gaza. 1.4 million people who have for decades lived in unimaginable hardship and overcrowding, constantly in fear for their lives, invaded and attacked regularly by the often brutal IDF. 1.4 million people who have for the most part borne their suffering with stoicism and occasional flashes of hope. 1.4 million people who have, mostly, remained united in suffering and in common cause against the vile occupation which has held them in this state of ghetto-like purgatory, and who have remained mostly unviolent against its perpetrators (though obviously not all of them). 1.4 million people who since the Palestinian elections have found themselves attacked by the West (through sanctions) for daring to elect the wrong people. 1.4 million people who no longer only have to fear Israeli bullets and cluster bombs, but now have to fear starvation and disease, just for participating in a democracy (which is what we say we want them to do all the time). 1.4 million people who, if all of that weren’t enough now find themselves in the midst of a civil war, as finally the pressure builds up enough to shatter the unity. 1.4 million people who, as a result of that civil war, look likely to find themselves living in some kind of fundamentalist Islamic statelet. 1.4 million people who because of that are now threatened with being cut off even more, and left to fend for themselves in what increasingly looks like an utter hell hole – no food, little water, no money, no fuel, before long no electricity.

What have these 1.4 million people done to deserve this?

(Though, oddly, it now seems – if Condoleeza Rice’s speech the other day is to be believed – that in fact we can find a way to deliver aid and supplies to the ordinary people of Gaza through the UNRWA while bypassing Hamas. Now if we can do that when Hamas are in total control, why the fuck couldn’t we do it before? Is it maybe, because we were hoping to provoke this war and make this happen? Is there any politician anywhere in the Western world who gives even the slightest shit about the lives of innocent Arab civilians?)

Meanwhile, a better expressed article than I could muster from Jonathan Freedland in today's Guardian and another good one in Ha'aretz.

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