SOS: Palestine - the Holy Land - Is Under Siege
SOS Please – Palestine - the Holy Land - Is Under Siege
By Genevieve Cora Fraser
She was finally able to contact him over the internet but their messages were cut short because helicopters were flying over head again. We are all dead men he later admitted to her.
The time is NOW, the place is GAZA, i.e. Occupied Palestine.
“He said the whole place
is crazy and there is death and blood all around. They seem
to half expect Israel to reinvade Gaza - not just keep
sitting outside shelling and flying over,” she said.
“They are hunting men like animals there. It is a heartbreaking thing to know about,” she wrote to me. “In some ways I almost wish I were ignorant of it all and could just go to bed and get a good nights rest.”
I wanted to get the word out and asked permission to share her discussions with the world. “You can mention he is a computer expert. Please no names,” I am told. “He lives in Gaza and is gathering English text books for a library. That is our current focus - to help Palestine and her people.”
“He also volunteers at a community center for children with
cancer. They are out of chemotherapy for the patients and
many other things like
antibiotics are also gone.”
Because Israel is attacking buildings temporary hospitals are being set up in tents. It is also too dangerous to give too many details about people and places. People are being targeted by the Israelis and by rival factions. Their lives are constantly in danger.
“There is a lot of intrigue within Palestine. Many play both sides of the conflict because of money or torture in the past.” The recent car bombing was probably ordered by a rival, she admits. “If you noticed... no one accused Israel of that killing.”
Later, they are able to communicate again.
American - How are things there? I see some news but not too much.
Palestinian - Here the situation is very difficult and hard.
American - Yes
Palestinian - There is a big closure.
American - I am just reading about EU cutting funding to Palestine and all the borders?
Palestinian - Yes
American - That is bad. No food in and no produce out to sell to get money.
Palestinian - All borders are closed. No fundraising, no economy and no way to live.
American - I guess no medicines either?
Palestinian - Nothing here.
American - Yes
Palestinian - We are just dead people. Of course, no medicines also.
American - Who gets paid now?
Palestinian - Just UNRWA employers get paid.
American - Yes
Palestinian - Governmental employees are not paid.
American - No body else is what I read. I wish things were very different in both of our nations. I see Olmert is set to have his way about the borders also Kadima party often told the Likud coalition negotiating team that Kadima plans to implement its convergence plan to uproot dozens of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria by 2008. He will be doing it before new elections here so Bush must be in agreement.
Palestinian - aha
American - Perhaps he fears waiting until we have a new president.
Palestinian - I believe there will be hardship, difficulty and no progress in the peace process.
American - I wish many things but I think you are right. Israel will take the land and water she wants and no one will stop her now.
Palestinian - Palestinians and Israelis will both suffer a lot.
American - If she can kill off Palestinians or make them leave running for their lives he will take all of the land. Yes?
Palestinian - There will be too much resistance and no one can live without water, so they will fight and do their best to live.
American - Both will suffer and both will fight. And the settlers he plans to move will be fighting also.
Palestinian - Sure.
American - Everyone wants Palestine I guess.
Palestinian - Of course, we want Palestine for us.
American - It will be a mess for years more.
Palestinian - Of course
American - And you should have Palestine - at the least you should have back to the pre 1967 borders.
Palestinian - Palestine is Palestine
American - It seems always it is Palestine who suffers and is robbed of more and more. I hate that my nation here has any part in that.
Palestinian - So giving them up to 1967 borders is too impossible to leave?
American - They now have about 1/4 of a million Jews living in the West Bank.
Palestinian - aha
American - They have built their land grab wall. How can you undo all that?
Palestinian - By Jihad we will be able to get them out.
American - I don't really think so, but I wish you well in trying.
Palestinian - By peace Israeli will not get out or leave.
American - It is as always Palestine who will starve and suffer the most and die the most. There is no way to get all Israel out of the West Bank unless other nations will stand with Palestine. Then it could be done without war.
Palestinian - I am not sure but hope so that it happens without war.
American - It is preferable.
Palestinian - ya
American - But who will stand with Palestine? Even the other Arabs and Muslims have not done that.
Palestinian - No one. No Arab nations, no EU, no America.
American - I know and they are all wrong. But how can it be changed? Who will stand with Palestine.... or if necessary fight alongside Palestine?
Palestinian - We have to convince the peoples not the nations.
American - I think you are right. The nations follow America who follows Israel.
Palestinian - Yes and to convince the people not the governments.
American - But how? Is it possible?
Palestinian - I think it's not easy but possible. Why not?
Meanwhile in the West Bank, Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of the Christian Holy Week commemorating the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was celebrated as it has been since the first centuries of Christianity. But the further tightening of travel restrictions and up-tick in Israeli assaults since the Hamas victory and Olmert’s rise to power hung over the crowd and turned the religious observance into an act of peaceful resistance.
According to Rizek Abusharr, retired director general of the Jerusalem International YMCA, “Over six thousand Palestinian Christians and tourists joined hands and walked from Bethlehem following the path that Jesus took two thousand years ago as he entered Jerusalem over the Mount of Olives. Palm and olive branches swayed with the throngs as they wound their way down the hill of Olives.”
“Armed to the hilt, Israeli soldiers, as if they are going to war swarmed on the motorcycles and on their horses to keep the ‘peace’.
A helicopter flew overhead but could not drown the singing of the people,” Abusharr stated. “Our Palestinian Muslim brothers and sisters stood by with respect and decorum greeting friends they saw among the crowds. It was truly a grand sight to behold.”
Rizek Abusharr’s family roots in Jerusalem go back 500 years. As a Palestinian Christian, Abusharr worked with the Jerusalem International YMCA from 1955–2001 and was awarded the Marthe Laube Prize for Tolerance and Democratic Values in 1996 in recognition of his pioneering work with the Jerusalem International YMCA in which Jews, Muslims and Christians share in joint activities. In 1993 the Jerusalem International YMCA was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
“Thinking about the event after it ended inside the Old City, I realized that very few Christian folk in Jerusalem stayed at home,” Abushharr observed. “The Christian population of the City has dwindled to such an extent that we number about 8000 today among a population of 750.000, yet in 1967 the number of Christians in the City numbered close to 30,000.”
“Many Christians who would have liked to join the walk from Bethlehem and Ramallah were not permitted to come. Even those who have permits could not risk being caught after seven pm in Jerusalem. (People from the occupied territories may not stay overnight in Jerusalem).”
“Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday are coming up. The prayers of all are for justice for Palestinians in their own homeland with security and tranquility,” Abusharr said.