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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


No Tears for the Children of Gaza

Have the Israelis Collectively Lost Conscience ?

There was a time, forty plus years ago, when I was 100% pro-Israeli. My position had nothing to do with religion. Rightly or wrongly, in those days I considered the Israelis as underdogs and supported their struggle for a home land.

Now I see them as brutal, tyrannical aggressors in denying Palestinians their rights to live free from restrictions and conditions that demean the human spirit.

The Israelis continue to remain oblivious to world opinion. One reason for their intransigence is the unqualified backing they receive from the United States. Is the Obama administration going to take a different direction? It is too early to tell what, if anything, George Mitchell will be able to achieve. Nothing will change until America recognizes that Palestinians have legitimate reasons for their grievances.

Washington Post Jan 26, 2009
In the Gaza Strip, where half the population is under the age of 16, the young bear some of the war's deepest scars. At least 280 children were killed, nearly as many as the number who died in Gaza during the entire second intifada, or uprising, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights. More than 1,000 others were wounded.

Even the children who escaped physical injury face the psychological consequences of having lived under near-constant bombardment for 22 days and nights. A week into a fragile cease-fire, mental health experts, human rights advocates and parents say they worry that this generation of Palestinian children will suffer the effects of the war for decades to come.

"For the Children"

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
are valleys and pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light

Gary Snyder,
Turtle Island (New Directions Paperback 1974)

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