Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Gaza Freedom Flotilla -- I like Op-Eds

My previous post included a serious of links from all across the map. Here I will just include some op-ed pieces regarding the Freedom Flotilla. I really like op-ed pieces, maybe because so much of what goes through my head feels like a stormy mess of op-ed that never finds its way to a helpful or concise form. I suppose I respect people who get things down in a precise and parsimonious fashion. Here's some op-eds you should read, or at least consider reading.
  • Al Jazeera's Nichole Johnston writes about how the world focused it's attention on Gaza, and is now is again shifting its gaze away from the suffering people of Gaza.
  • Ali Abunimah also writing for Al Jazeera -- this guy is really one of my favorites -- speaks most memorably, as he did throughout the siege, about how civil society has filled the gap left vacant by world governments and politicians to address the criminal siege on the Gaza Strip. Abunimah also writes about the growing gap between, on one side, Israel and the U.S., and on the other side, the rest of the world. His last sentence is compelling: "It was the day the whole world became Gaza. And like the people of Gaza, the world is unlikely to take it lying down."
  • MJ Rosenberg writes for Media Matters, a media watchdog group. Rosenberg writes about the untruthfulness of the claims that Israeli spokespeople made -- and the U.S. media subsequently swallowed and regurgitated -- regarding the violence on the ship and the situation in Gaza at large.
  • The lovely Stephen Zunes of Foreign Policy in Focus covers Israel's violations of maritime law, the tepid response of the Obama Administration, and the conditions in Gaza as a result of the siege. On the lengthy side, but really solid.
  • A helpful Q&A posted at the consistently hopeful blog, Waging Nonviolence.
  • Ahdaf Soueif of the Guardian UK writes a courageous article calling for boycotts and sanctions to increase in their veracity as a result of Israel's continued disregard for life and international law.
  • An article on Common Dreams about the relation between the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the battle for the Congressional seat in California's 34th district. Two Jewish women are battling for the seat, one a staunch hawkish supporter of Israel, and one a supporter of human rights for all, including for Palestinian rights.

I will leave you with a reminder of the ongoing siege of Gaza.

The suffering of the people in Gaza won't recede in proportion to the media storm around the Flotilla. Gaza is the largest open-air prison in the world, where 1.5 million people are not able to enter or leave. Fishermen cannot go more than 2 miles off the coast, even though their territorial waters go nearly 20 miles off shore. If they 'test the waters,' usually the Israeli Navy shoots live ammo at them. The people of Gaza can't rebuild their homes destroyed more than 18 months ago. The ships were bringing wood, cement, and prefab homes to help in the rebuilding process.

Maybe we should all go on a self-imposed fast of these items that Israel prohibits from entering the Strip. That way whenever we feel like grabbing some peanuts, some canned peaches, or a newspaper, we will remember the people of Gaza. God have mercy on us for not remembering the people of Gaza. Our silence is complicity.

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