Michael Riordon

the view from where I live

Gaza: back to normal

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If the truce holds, life in Gaza goes back to normal.  (For the 104 civilians killed, one third of them children, it’s too late.)

In Gaza, for the survivors a return to normal means:

Israel continues to impose its suffocating, illegal siege on 1.6 million Palestinians in what UN officials have called “the world’s largest prison.”  For a compact, stark account of the siege, read Sara Roy in The Boston Globe, ‘Where’s our humanity for Gaza?’  Sara Roy is senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.  

Israel continues to shoot at Palestinian farmers trying to work their land, and at Palestinian fishers trying to fish in Palestinian waters.

Fresh water in Gaza continues to disappear, and becomes increasingly undrinkable because Israel prevents access to the materials needed to repair and operate the water purification plant which it bombed.

Reconstruction after each Israeli assault depends on materials which Israel blocks from entry through the checkpoints, the prison gates.  Similarly the medical supplies to repair human damages.

And so on, in every sphere of life.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to prop up Israel unconditionally with billions of taxpayer dollars, while the US economy fails most of its own population.  Current regimes in Canada, Britain, Australia and most of Europe continue to grant Israel carte blanche to do as it wishes.

At the same time, BDS – the international movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions – continues to grow, as the most effective way for the rest of us to challenge these crimes.

Author: Michael Riordon

Canadian writer and documentary-maker Michael Riordon writes/ directs/produces books and articles, audio, video and film documentaries, plays for radio and stage. A primary goal of his work is to recover voices and stories of people who have been silenced or marginalized, written out of the official version: First Nations (aboriginal) youth, Mozambican farmers, inmates in Canadian prisons, traditional healers in Fiji, queer folk across Canada, Guatemalan labour activists. Michael also leads courses, workshops and seminars for community organizations, trade unions, schools, colleges and universities.

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