Since we’re coming up to the first anniversary (December 27) of the start of Israel’s attack on Gaza last year, I’ve been looking up resources people can use in any activity they want to plan to mark this sad date.
December 27 is a Sunday, so events in a church setting that (a) commemorate the lives of all those lost in the fighting and (b) urge an end to the brutal siege that Israel– with US government help– continues to impose on Gaza’s 1.5 million people would be very appropriate.
One great new resource is the “Gaza Gateway” blog that was recently started by the Israeli NGO: “Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement”. If you just go to the blog’s front page you might think the items they post are a little short. But click on the heading of any post and you’ll get a bunch more info at the archived version, along with relevant hyperlinks, etc.
The November 16 post, “Who has the right to a notebook?“, gives you some very sad and thought-provoking information. It tells you that, though Israel had recently(2.5 months after the beginning of the school year) allowed basic school supplies such as notebooks into Gaza– but only those destined for use in the 221 schools that UNRWA runs in the Strip.
For the 240,199 students at the other 419 other schools in the Strip, Gaza Gateway told us,
the Israeli ban on the import of paper and other basic educational materials remains firmly in place, just as it has been for the past 29 months.
What possible interest does it serve for 240,000 young Palestinians to be denied access to the basic materials required to get a decent education? Where is any effective action from the US government– which provides so much support to Israel, at every level– that insists that Israel lift its inhumane, illegal, and quite irrational siege on Gaza?
… Well, check out other items on the GG blog. Also, as always, the photos and writing on the “In Gaza” blog are always a great reminder of the humanity, culture, and enormous decency of the vast majority of the people in Gaza– as of people, everywhere else. That blog is maintained, I believe, by a younger female solidarity activist who’s been in Gaza for quite some time now. Her stories are excellent.
Finally, two good portals for up-to-date info on Gaza are:
- The OPTs page on Reliefweb— which covers information produced from UN, NGO, and some governmental sources relating to the humanitarian crises in both Gaza and the West Bank (including occupied East Jerusalem), and the
- The website of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which is based in Gaza but also covers developments in the West Bank.
Anyway, I do urge all readers here to do what they can to find, and if necessary organize, any events they can in their own localities that can use the first anniversary of the war as a way of organizing– especially here in the United States!– for an end to those government policies that currently aid and abet Israel’s maintenance of its illegal siege of Gaza.