Cycle of Conflict, a special CNN program about Israel/Palestine, just simplified the history of the conflict by saying that the Arab-Israeli war began six decades ago, then jumped to 1967 when Israel captured the Gaza Strip and added that some Israelis moved there, and then jumped to 2005 when Israel removed the settlers to try and ease tensions with the Palestinians. Seriously, that was pretty much it. 1948-2005 in a few sentences.
I heard once that the majority of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees, I wish that aspect would be explained. It seems pretty important if one wanted to present the history of a conflict between two groups of people, no?
About 80% of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees from the area of land that was once Palestine and is now Israel. 750,000 were forced from their homes and forced to take refuge in camps in Gaza, the West Bank and surrounding Arab countries like Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. 60 years later, Palestinians make up the largest refugee group in the world numbering around six million, this despite UN resolution 194 passed in December 1948 that calls for the right of return of those Palestinians who wish to return to their land and homes.
Seeing images of US-backed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (who’s known for imprisoning political opponents) and US-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (whose term ended two days ago and yet he remains in office) meeting in Cairo today was quite funny. They reminded me of two grumpy old men who sit around at the mall making comments about all the “young punks” hanging out around them. No one pays any attention to them and they know it.
And we sit by meanwhile, accepting the media’s line that this is a war against Hamas. 257 children slaughtered in less than two weeks. This is a war on people, innocent people and it’s up to us to demand that it end now!
UN: 257 Palestinian children killed in Gaza
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Tiny bodies lying side by side wrapped in white burial shrouds. The cherubic face of a dead preschooler sticking up from the rubble of her home. A man cradling a wounded boy in a chaotic emergency room after Israel shelled a U.N. school.
Many people have been asking me good places to follow events in Gaza other than the mainstream press, which it seems many are upset with these days. Makes sense, 700+ Palestinians killed, 5 Israelis and they’re still trying to blame Hamas for everything and make it seem that the rockets and the fight are somewhat equal! F-16s vs homemade rockets… equal?
electronicintifada.net – the site which I am assistant editor of. We publish opeds, first-person accounts (many from people on the ground in Gaza), releases from human rights orgs, and other reports from an independent perspective about the conflict in Palestine.
angryarab.blogspot.com – blog run by Lebanese-American professor, As’ad AbuKhalil in California. He is great at exposing the bias of the western media, especially the new york times.
english.aljazeera.net – The largest and oldest Arabic satellite channel’s English news site. An alternative to sites like CNN or BBC which I DO NOT recommend.
I will keep the list brief for now. And there is a lot on those sites to read through each day.
Safa Joudeh writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 5 January 2009
For the past few days we have seen over 10 mosques, holy places of worship, bombed, frequently while people were praying inside. We have seen children being pulled out from under the rubble who looked like there was not a single bone unbroken in their small bodies. We have seen hospitals overflowing with bloody corpses and people taking their last breaths. We have seen friends on television being resuscitated at sites of Israeli air raids. We have seen entire families swept off the face of the earth in one blow, and we have seen our streets, homes, neighborhoods become unrecognizable ruins from the amount of destruction.
And yet Israel continues to blatantly and insistently affirm that the offensive is not aimed at the civilians and that it’s war against the political and military wings of Hamas. Meanwhile we, the people of Gaza, are collectively experiencing a kind of terror and violence that no human being should ever endure. One almost begins to suspect that the Israeli war forces are acting on a delusion that they have created and come to believe.
Israel has come into our homes, is fighting us in our streets and is expressing its brutality against us in full force. How are we supposed to react?
All Palestinian factions have united and are out facing the enemy, using all of their military capabilities that they collectively have. Although these capabilities are incomparable to the military strength exerted by Israel, yet it has made us more certain than ever that Palestinians will fight to the very end to protect their own. It has shown us that resistance, courage and love are an integral part of the Palestinian identity that will never change despite all the hardships we endure. It has given us a moral boost, which comes at a time when we need it most.
They are so quick to use footage from Arabic agencies or satellite channels to show speeches by Arab leaders or other images that fit their agenda, but it is impossible to find any of the great Ramattan footage of children being treated on the floors of hospitals due to a lack of beds! This is an outrage! This is not a war on Hamas, this is a war on all 1.5 million people in Gaza. Hamas is no more religioulsly fanatic than the Zionist movement, but of course there is no background of Zionism offered. They are quick to go back decades to inofrm us that Hamas was born from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, but why can’t they tell us the history of Zionism as a movement to create a Jewish state in a land inhabited by non-Jews. I would love to know what that is all about.
The Western Media is disgusting in their biased coverage. “Objectivity” is a joke.
What bravery, after bombing Gaza for a week by air with absolutely no worry of their planes being hit, Israel has entered Gaza with their troops. As they did in Lebanon, Israel seems to act before thinking. Hamas is certainly not the force that Hizballah is, but they still are a force. And if Israel wishes to “eliminate” them, it will not be quick. And we can be sure that people will resist, again, as they always have, this foreign invasion of their land. Meanwhile, the world sleeps at night telling itself that these massacres and invasions and bombings are justified to remove the “terrorists.”
While making it perfectly clear that the bombs falling on Gaza are made in the US and used by Israel, many in the Arab world and elsewhere are directing their frustration towards Egypt for its complicity in the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza. Protests have been organized outside Egyptian embassies across the region, including this one today in Beirut.
Reports about protests in Egypt are nearly impossible to find in the international media, like I bet they are impossible to find in the Egyptian press. Non state controlled papers like al-Badeel, have been targeted during the protests against the recent attacks. Journalists from the paper have been arrested in at least a couple cities around the country. Mubarak, already unpopular among Egyptians, is becoming increasingly unpopular for his continued friendship with Israel that began with his predecessor’s “peace deal” with Israel nearly three decades ago.