Friday, 15 June 2007

The Horror of Gaza

Madness has seemingly descended upon the thin sliver of land bequeathed to the Palestinian people; that is little more than a ghetto for the 1.4 million or so residents.

The conditions in the Gaza Strip are bad enough; it is little more than a glorified refugee camp with poor infrastructure and high levels of child mortality and other far-reaching health implications. The last thing it needs is a senseless and brutal conflict between Palestine’s two political forces, which will frankly have massive consequences across the region.

After a terse and tense 3-month joint government between Fatah and Hamas, the status quo has collapsed into a bloodbath, with some 100 people dead already. The result is that once again Palestinian politics takes a step backwards, backwards to guns, violence and the creeping infringement of a fundamentalist Islamic government, close to the borders of Israel.

I have mixed feelings on the matter, on one hand I have respect for Hamas as a genuine political organisation that has the backing of large swathes of the Palestinian population; backing that stems in a frustration with the more gentle and therefore negated approach of Fatah (once again we are seeing a militarisation of the Islamic faith, caused by desperation with political isolation). On the other, I see behaviours and actions that will feed a Zionist and US response that will further damage the claims of the Palestinian people to a land of their own. They are playing directly into the hands of those that wish them the greatest harm.

I can only hope that in the aftermath, Palestinian diplomats come to the fore rather than the war mongers, who still believe the gun and the bomb will break their repression rather than engaging with the world politick to highlight and solve their woes.

Peace be with you all this weekend.


  1. Truly awful. Imagine if BushCo had invested the level of diplomatic energy Clinton did - things might be materialy better in this troubled land.

  2. Dark and grey, an English film, the Wednesday Play
    We always watch the Queen on Christmas Day
    Won't you stay?

    Though your eyes see shipwrecked sailors you're still dry
    The outlook's fine though Wales might have some rain
    Saved again.

    Let's skip the news boy (I'll make some tea)
    The Arabs and the Jews boy (too much for me)
    They get me confused boy (puts me off to sleep)
    And the thing I hate - Oh Lord!
    Is staying up late, to watch some debate, on some nation's fate.

    Hypnotised by Batman, Tarzan, still surprised!
    You've won the West in time to be our guest
    Name your prize!

    Drop of wine, a glass of beer dear what's the time?
    The grime on the Tyne is mine all mine all mine
    Five past nine.

    Blood on the rooftops - Venice in the Spring
    Streets of San Francisco - a word from Peking
    The trouble was started - by a young Errol Flynn
    Better in my day - Oh Lord!
    For when we got bored, we'd have a world war, happy but poor

    So let's skip the news boy (I'll go make that tea)
    Blood on the rooftops (too much for me)
    When old Mother Goose stops - they're out for 23
    Then the rain at Lords stopped play
    Seems Helen of Troy has found a new face again.

  3. I want to write about this but I have no idea how to start. The land rightfully belongs to the Palestinians and they are occupied by the Israelis. Just because the map changed doesn't mean the will of the people did. I've made the analogy before: what if a world court decided to give the American Indians California, or give Texas back to Mexico? Would Americans stand for that? No. Then why should the Palestinians?


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