The Violence in Gaza Affects Everybody

January 12, 2009

We have eight more days of Bush and Condi, and Israel seems to be
making the most of it. In the two weeks since the fighting started,
more than 800 Palestinian civilians -- including over 200 children --
have been killed. Think of how much more damage they can do in eight

The US abstained from a unanimous UN resolution
to halt the violence in Gaza immediately, citing the weak excuse that
they were waiting for the outcome of Egyptian mediation. This is no
real surprise, but I'm appealing to the "American" part of "Asian
American" when I address you Hyphen blog readers: does our government's
non-response to this atrocity really represent YOU? Do you want YOUR
tax dollars and human capital enabling this war?

Israel has barred the international media from entering Gaza,
so we've been seeing really bizarre news stories citing reports from
the Israeli military, and "alleging" the hell out of claims by exiled
Hamas leaders. Interestingly, the only international media there --
because they were there since before the fighting began -- is Al
Jazeera. Always ready to jump on opportunities, Al Jazeera has responded to its lack of access to American tv screens by building out its English language website and YouTube channel, and even creating a "war on Gaza" Twitter feed.

would encourage everyone to check out Al Jazeera's coverage of this
war, because the only "fair and balanced" coverage we're going to get
will be cobbled together by ourselves. Balance out the
media-blackout-tainted US coverage with the Arab point of view on the
ground. Remember what you've heard. Brace yourselves. Get prepared. We
have an opportunity opening up in eight days.

If you want to get started early, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, organized by the folks at Tikkun Magazine, is collecting signatures and donations
to run full page ads in major media calling for Obama to support an
immediate cease fire and take steps to end the violence permanently. Or
you can simply contact your Senators, Representatives, and leave messages for our next president that you want strong words, and stronger actions, to stop this violence.




Thank you for posting - I've written about how I think this is very much an issue that Asian Americans should be more conscious and active around. Our radical emcees like Geo, Kiwi, and Koba have all been very on top of this, and many members of the South Asian community are quite concerned on a lot of levels.
Claire, thanks for posting this. I see this as totally relevant to Asian Americans, and was going to post something on this myself. This is relevant to everyone, period. My partner, child and I went to the SF peace in Gaza rally last weekend (though we didn't get to march -- had to feed and put T down for a nap). Thanks again for posting on this topic.
Many thanks for posting this!
You may want to get your facts straight. The usage of WP in civillian areas does not run in contradiction to the 1980 CCCW, as it is being used against military targets. You failed to mention, in fact, that Hamas is in violation of international law on several fronts. According to international law on warfare, the use of civilian structures during combat is forbidden, and turns the structures into legitimate military targets. In Article 58 of its Protocol relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, the Geneva Convention says those in control of territory must "endeavor to remove the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control from the vicinity of military objectives; Avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas; Take the other necessary precautions to protect the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control against the dangers resulting from military operations."Hamas, like their Hezbollah counterparts, place innocent civillians in the line of fire, and even employ hardened launch points for offensive weapons in schoolyards and hospital rooftops.Lastly, WP is the best smoking agent available, as it scatters infra-red signatures and sightings used in shoulder-fired missle systems and small arms barrel mounted sighting systems. There are no effective alternatives to its use in urban combat. Note that Israel urged civillians to vacate these areas via a widespread leaflet drop campaign. Hamas "police" blocked the outbound roads.By the way, I could not find any archived articles condemming Hamas for the more than 5,000 Katusha rockets fired at Israeli civillians over the past 3 years. Please let me know where I can find them.