“Jews and Arabs refuse to act as enemies!” yelled Jaffa activists late Tuesday afternoon at Ajami Park, corner Yefet and Dr. Erlich streets. They demanded immediate ceasefire and total withdrawal of the blockade. “After two years of the siege, in which Israel controls land, sea and air and defines the amounts of food, medicine, electricity and gas that can enter the Gaza Strip, the government has opted for a military operation that has killed over 500 and injured thousands. The Israeli government is trying to persuade us that the offense is actually a defensive operation to protect the citizens of the south and a reaction to Hamas’ aggression – but the facts show us otherwise: the situation in the south of Israel is the result of Israel’s policy towards Gaza and the inhumane conditions in which live all of its residents,” echoed Fadi Shbeita, Hani Amoury and Einat Podjarny.
Following the demonstration in Jaffa last week, the police and security services have summoned and arrested dozens of Arab local activists and public figures. Some have even been taken from their homes under police escort among them Municipal Council’s Representative Omar Siksik. These individuals were investigated on unfounded trumped-up suspicions, such as the incitement of terror and the non-recognition of the state. “The sole purpose of these charges was to create an atmosphere of fear and political terror among the Arab Jaffa public. The harrowing parallels of such actions with oppressive regimes throughout history are apparent for all to see, and to us, are deeply disturbing,” said the three Jaffa activists.
Author of several books, including contributing for seven years to the New York Times, Chris Hedges recounts in “Lost in the Rubble” his meeting with Nizar Rayan, who Israelis killed in a targeted assassination on Thursday.
California State University politics professor Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil does not point a finger to just one party. This author of several books on the Mid-east including The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power said: “This is probably the first open war on the Palestinian people launched with the direct participation and cooperation between Israel and Arab regimes. The turmoil in Arab countries from North Africa to the Gulf may destabilize those same regimes that the US has been trying to shore up against the wishes of their people.”
Uri Avnery, founder of Gush-Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc recently wrote the piece “How Israel is Multiplying Hamas by a Thousand: Molten Lead in Gaza,” said: “The ceasefire did not collapse, because there was no real ceasefire to start with. The main requirement for any ceasefire in the Gaza Strip must be the opening of the border crossings. There can be no life in Gaza without a steady flow of supplies. But the crossings were not opened, except for a few hours now and again. The blockade on land, on sea and in the air against a million and a half human beings is an act of war, as much as any dropping of bombs or launching of rockets. It paralyzes life in the Gaza Strip, eliminating most sources of employment, pushing hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation, stopping most hospitals from functioning,
disrupting the supply of electricity and water.”
Avnery further added; “It was the Israeli government which set up Hamas to start with. When I once asked a former Shin-Bet chief, Yaakov Peri, about it, he answered enigmatically: ‘We did not create it, but we did not hinder its creation.’ … [Mahmoud] Abbas was not allowed the slightest political achievement. The negotiations, under American auspices, became a joke. The most authentic Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti, was sent to prison for life.”
Before his death, the late Professor Edward Said wrote about Gaza in August 2002. He said: “Every Palestinian has become a prisoner. Gaza is surrounded by an electrified fence on three sides: imprisoned like animals, Gazans are unable to move, unable to work, unable to sell their vegetables or fruit, unable to go to school. They are exposed from the air to Israeli planes and helicopters and are gunned down like turkeys on the ground by tanks and machine guns. Impoverished and starved, Gaza is a human nightmare. Hope has been eliminated from the Palestinian vocabulary so that only raw defiance remains. Palestinians must die a slow death so that Israel can have its security, which is just around the corner but cannot be realized because of the special Israeli “insecurity.” The whole world must sympathize, while the cries of Palestinian orphans, sick old women, bereaved communities, and tortured prisoners simply go unheard and unrecorded. Doubtless, we will be told, these horrors serve a larger purpose than mere sadistic cruelty. After , “the two sides” are engaged in a “cycle of violence” that has to be stopped, sometime, somewhere. Once in a while we ought to pause and declare indignantly that there is only one side with an army and a country: the other is a stateless dispossessed population of people without rights or any present way of securing them. The language of suffering and concrete daily life has been either hijacked or so perverted as, in my opinion, to be useless except as pure fiction deployed as a screen for the purpose of more killing and painstaking torture – slowly, fastidiously, and inexorably. That is the truth of what Palestinians suffer.”