The last week has been a sad one with the tension and violence increasing between Gaza and Israel. There was one difference for me this time, I was initially shocked to see it being tweeted all over Twitter. Blow by blow accounts of what was going on and a cycle started. I started following some of the key accounts on both sides following this latest round of violence. Then unfollowing because it was too intense and upsetting….then re-following. Etc. I eventually honed it down to a few, mainly, British journalists and activists. To see violence played out like this, like a ticker tape of death and destruction is both a bit surreal and can be very upsetting. Especially when you start placing yourself theoretically in their shoes wondering “what would I do?”.
Like the family of 10 that got bombed in Gaza killing most family members…or the Israeli mum of 8 children fearing for her children’s lives. If that was us, here, I would have half a chance of legging it with Little Z in our arms. But what do you do when you have more than one child? How do you protect those that mean most to you?
The statistics from the United Nations web site show the following:
• As at 22 November (15:00 hrs), an estimated 103 Palestinian civilians, including 33 children and 13 women have been killed. Over 1269 Palestinians are reportedly injured, the majority civilians.
• As at 22 November (15:00 hrs), an estimated 298 houses in Gaza have been destroyed or seriously damaged. More than 1,700 houses have sustained minor damage.
• As at 22 November (15:00 hrs), four Israeli civilians have been killed and 224 are reported injured, the vast majority civilians.
(Note: Other sources show the final stats are slightly higher than those shown above).
These are just the latest stats from the latest conflict. The stats from the 2009 are much higher, in the thousands and equally alarming.
Majority are civilians. Children, innocent women and innocent men.
How is this not important to people in “War”? People seem to think it is OK to say “Well, this is the nature of War”….really? Which means it is OK if children, and the innocent are caught up in the cross fire / that bomb / that rocket? Because it is War….and “it is more complicated than that / there are militants / it was a mistake”.
And the World leaders continue to sit by and not do very much other than use the word “condemn” quite a lot. There is ceasefire now, of course this is brilliant but for how long? This has now been going on and on and on for years, decades, and the death toll is tallying up like a ticker tape gone slightly mental. And even now, in the 21st century it is OK because “this is the nature of this situation….and the situation in the Middle East is complicated”.
So this cycle continues. The bombing….the death…the injury….rebuilding….negotiations almost brokered….negotiations breaking down….escalating tension….and back to violence.
But it is not OK to kill so many children and innocent. It is not OK for World leaders to sit by and do nothing. It is not OK to plant bombs on buses. It is not ok to fire rockets at civilian areas. It is not OK to keep a population living in the West Bank surrounded by a wall, that is at least 2 x times the height of the Berlin wall, because of self defence. The latter may not be in Gaza itself but is an atrocity all the same.
Keeping children and the innocent safe and free is the most fundamental basic human right. It is completely tragic that this does not exist.
This is the picture I was once sent in a forwarded email to show the comparison between the Berlin and the Palestinian wall. It runs 800km in the West Bank. The wall takes a variety of forms mainly either a cement structure or a wired / electric fence.
You can read more about it here.
What You Can Do..,
I originally wrote this as an angry rant just as the 8 days of rocket fires between Southern Israel and Gaza was coming to an end.
I’ve since read some brilliant things about what people like you and me can do to help put an end to some of what is going on, particularly to help the people of Palestine.
Dorky Mum has written a very detailed and excellent post about the general situation in Israel and Palestine. She calls it a David and Goliath situation which pretty much hits the nail on the head.
Did you know that since the ceasefire last week that the blockade is still in place? It is currently being negotiated. Oxfam reports the following:
Since the blockade started, a third of Gazas businesses have closed and 8 out of 10 of its population now needs aid to get by.
Oxfam currently have a petition aimed at lifting the blockade. They need 10,000 signatures. You can help by adding your signature right here.