All about ideas…

Israel blockades UN food shipments to Gaza

with 3 comments

All afternoon I’ve been playing around with the idea of writing about this latest story in the Washington Post.

Again, I’m having trouble with it. You see, I just don’t like the idea of children going hungry. I don’t care who’s children they are. Children are children, and they should never have to pay a price for opposing adults’ politics.

The United Nations said Friday that it had closed its food-distribution program because it cannot resupply its warehouses and that 750,000 Palestinians who depend on U.N. aid will have to wait until Israel lets more food enter the strip.
European Union External Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner called on Israel to reopen the crossings in keeping with international law requiring that civilians have access to essential services, such as electricity and clean water.

“I am profoundly concerned about the consequences for the Gazan population of the complete closure of all Gaza crossings for deliveries of fuel and basic humanitarian assistance,” she told the Reuters news agency.

She said 20 European members of parliament were also denied entry into Gaza this week.

The Israeli blockade has disrupted a U.N. program that feeds about half of Gaza’s 1.4 million residents. Food distributed by the body’s Relief and Works Agency includes flour, oil, rice, sugar and canned meat, and is meant to provide 60 percent of daily caloric needs.

“Many of these families have been subsisting on this ration for years, and they are living hand-to-mouth,” Ging said. “This is a disastrous situation, and it’s getting worse and worse. Even during the cease-fire we were prohibited from building up our reserves, which could have prevented the current crisis.”
“Instead of blaming Israel, they should be blaming Hamas,” Lerner said. “We hope the Palestinians will stop firing rockets and we can get the crossings opened again.”
Palestinian parliament member Jamal al-Khodari said that 80 percent of Gazans live below the poverty line and that the average per capita income is $2 a day.

“This is an illegal collective punishment, he said. “There is a shortage of medicines in the hospitals, and the cutting of electricity is further pushing the situation deeper toward a crisis.”

Ahmed Abu Hamda, a Palestinian journalist in Gaza, said the Israeli closure was the main talk of Palestinians at Friday prayer in the mosques.

“People just feel hopeless; we don’t see any solution to this situation,” he said in a telephone interview. “They say, ‘What the hell is going on here? I just want to live.’ ”

I most definitely understand how Israel feels. God only knows, if someone were lobbing bombs into my home and my neighborhood, threatening the lives of my children and my neighbors, I’d be really upset and angry too.

Yet, when I think of the poor, hungry Palestinian children, my heart bleeds for them. They’re not responsible for this mess. Why should they suffer?

Oftentimes, when I think about the Palestinian children I think about the Jewish ghettos at the beginning of WWII. There’s so much similarity that it hurts to think about it.

To borrow the words of some other famous person: what we have here is a failure to communicate.

Hamas must understand that Israel is not going anywhere. It’s here to stay. The world has decreed it.

What Israel must understand is that the Palestinians also are there to stay. The world has decreed it.

So, if the two conflicting factions are ever to end the killing of innocent children, both sides must agree to a compromise. Children should never go hungry or be slaughtered because of some adult’s ideological viewpoint. They didn’t create the mess and they shouldn’t be the ones to suffer because of it.


Written by Valerie Curl

November 15, 2008 at 4:11 AM

3 Responses

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  1. The difference between the Palestinian children and the Jewish ghettos prior to WWII is that the Jewish ghettos didn’t constantly fire missiles at the Nazi’s, they didn’t break into Nazi homes and murder Nazi children in their sleep, they didn’t bomb buses and restaurants full of Nazi children. Palestinians do all of that to Israel, they have done all of that to Israel since Israel was recognized as a sovereign nation. While it is true that the children are innocent, they are not paying the price for “opposing adults” actions, they are paying the price for their own parents’ actions.


    November 15, 2008 at 4:33 AM

  2. We probably could have a long and intense argument about this subject. But I won’t do that because both sides have truth on their sides. But that said, neither is absolutely correct either. Both sides continue to make mistakes and see each other as an absolute enemy rather than choosing to see each other as human beings worthy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    The more Israel punishes the Palestinians, the more angry the Palestinians become and the more they agree with Hamas to violently resist Israel.

    The more the Palestinians resort to violence, the more Israel resists with whatever means are at hand.

    It’s a vicious cycle, not unlike Northern Ireland for nearly 300 years. Death upon hundreds of deaths upon thousands of deaths upon millions of deaths. All for the sake of what? Land? Politics?

    Nevertheless, when you see children suffering from deliberate blockades such as existed in the Jewish Ghettos, how can your heart not be affected? Are the lives of innocent children so meaningless? It’s not their fault that their parents disagree over territories and politics. Yet, they are the ones paying the price.

    Valerie Curl

    November 15, 2008 at 5:15 AM

  3. I will agree that the children are the ones paying for the decisions of the adults around them. The problem is that you can’t change the way the adults think, if the adults on one side insist on being driven by hate, the children will suffer, we can’t change that. On the other side of the issue is the Israeli children that are being killed and maimed by the acts of Palestinian hatred. If they aren’t protected by whatever means are necessary now, how long will they have to suffer?
    In a perfect world the suffering would end, but we don’t have a perfect world because we don’t have perfect people. And because we don’t have perfect people we think with emotions rather than considering the facts. Israel’s tactics seem heavy-handed when looked at through the prism of emotion, but lack of those tactics would have led to the eradication of Israel when it was first a its recognition as a sovereign state.


    November 15, 2008 at 5:49 AM

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