[act-ma] 1/26 Saturday, noon, Protest genocidal siege of Gaza - Harvard Sq

pf soto pfsoto at mynas.com
Thu Jan 24 09:33:35 PST 2008


  Protest the genocidal siege of Gaza.


ALL OUT, Saturday, noon time;

In front of Au Bon Pain, Harvard Sq
_____________________________________________



*CNI Urges a Complete End to the Political and Economic Siege of** Gaza*
January 23, 2008
Action Alert
 
The situation in Gaza is bleak and awful.  John Ging, director of the 
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza said two days ago 
the civilian population was living in "abject misery" and had been 
stripped of their human dignity (as reported in AKI 
<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=dTPuyZizjaZ%2FJbt5fMsUnGUfJKWwF43y>). 


"People here in Gaza have been living in abject misery and hardship now 
for a long time," Ging told the Arab TV network, Al-Jazeera. "On top of 
that they are living in darkness. You have to see how miserable the 
situation is. The civilian population is under occupation. It is 
collective punishment - they are victims."

In a photo-op of humanitarianism, Israel momentarily relented and 
allowed in tanks of diesel fuel so that the generating pumps could begin 
providing electricity to Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants. But this was 
hardly enough to prevent thousands from massing at the Rafah Gate 
bordering Egypt in an attempt to get through. At first the Egyptian army 
stood them off, but today, tens of thousands - the Egyptians are 
reporting as many as 200,000 
<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=9FIEy6TEt3opOmkSXs20TYawQy1a7C%2Ba> 
- stormed through the Rafah Gate, which had been blasted down by the 
Palestinians, to purchase food, fuel and other items made scarce by the 
six-month Israeli siege.

President Mubarak said he permitted it because the Palestinians were 
starving, but he was also responding to Egyptian popular anger at the 
condition of Palestinians. Scores of protesters had already been 
arrested in Cairo and other cities for demonstrating against the siege, 
according to today's al-Jazeera 
<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=nRI%2B9%2BJTvyR7LXVVjtKm94awQy1a7C%2Ba>, 
and the Gazans' desperate situation -- living without electricity, with 
shortages in food, water, and medical supplies -- was not being lost on 
the rest of the Arab world. The Arab League condemned the Israeli 
actions.  Secretary General Amr Moussa has called it a war crime 
<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=R0cGZ0gSZCC0dbq3kfXMs4awQy1a7C%2Ba>. 
The European Union condemned the siege.

In contrast, the U.S. has said little other than they are "in touch" 
with the Israelis about the situation and "hope" that a humanitarian 
crisis will be avoided. The State Department under the Bush 
administration holds Hamas responsible for all violence in Gaza,
Amira Haas wrote in today's Haaretz 
<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=NT1d6MD58kvl4G759vlc1GUfJKWwF43y> 
that the Israelis have not learned that escalating the level of violence 
against Palestinians is not the answer to dealing with them.  It has the 
direct opposite effect. In Gaza they answer military violence with 
Qassam rockets aimed at Israeli civilians.  The cycle of violence cannot 
be broken by such tactics.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza needs to be addressed immediately by 
the United States. This is another instance in which Israel should not 
be allowed to set policy, as it did in Lebanon in 2006.  CNI urges it 
members to write their senators, congressional representatives, the 
Secretary of State, and leading presidential candidates to protest 
against the escalation of violence against the Gazans and ask for an end 
to the collective punishment of innocent people.

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