Thursday, January 8, 2009


Before I talk about the war on Gaza, I’d like to present a little background information.

Not long ago the Palestinians were informed of the decree establishing the sealing of Gaza.
Gaza was sealed off by checkpoints and a high wall. Its construction took many months to complete. The work was carried out by the construction firm Schmidt & Münstermann. The Gaza wall was 3.5 m high, topped by glass and barbed wire.
There were already 445 deaths in Gaza. The death toll thereafter rose rapidly: in January 2009 to 898. Then the monthly figure fluctuated.
Gaza's ties with the outside world were handled by the Transferstelle, an Israeli authority that was in charge of the traffic of goods, both into and out of Gaza.
Several methods were employed to carry out the smuggling operations: through buildings that were connected with buildings on the Israeli side, across the wall, through camouflaged openings in the wall and through underground tunnels. Smuggling on a larger scale also took place at the gates. Policemen, soldiers, Palestinians, and Jews were involved, bribery was the order of the day. The tunnels were bombed mercilessly.
And despite that, without paying attention to the victims, the smuggling never stopped for a moment. When the street was still slippery with the blood that had been spilled, other [smugglers] already set out, as soon as the "candles"** had signaled that the way was clear, to carry on with the work....
Children and women were also engaged on a smaller scale, risking their lives too. Every day smugglers were caught, paying the ultimate sacrifice. According to press accounts the necessary food, smuggled into Gaza, represented 80% of all the products brought in.

You will notice that there are inaccuracies and peculiarities in the account I just read. That is because it is not an account of the condition of Gaza, it is a pastiche of accounts of conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto. I just changed a few words--I changed "ghetto" for "Gaza," German for Israeli, 1941 for 2009, and I added the phrase "the tunnels were bombed mercilessly" out of whole cloth. But the sealing of the area, the desperation, the intent of extermination, is much the same. To be fair, Israel intends to let starvation do the work entirely, rather than rushing the Palestinians off to death camps.

Does Israel intend a wider war? More on that in a moment.

You may wish to call Oregon Senator Ron Wyden at 503-326-7525, to give him your opinion. His motto is "standing up for Oregon."

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