Israel's assault on Gaza killed 1,400 people and a third were children.
Israel's war on Gaza injured over 5,300 and destroyed over 10,000 buildings and 4,000 homes.
"Operation Cast Lead" rendered nearly 72,000 innocent civilians homeless, and most all of them still endure in tents or in the ruins of what had been their homes.
The already impoverished, mostly refugee, population were assaulted with white phosphorous bombs that destroyed the infrastructure of civil society, including homes, hospitals, water wells, sewage systems, farms, police stations, the Islamic University of Gaza, the Ministry of Education, the American International School and UNRWA schools, one of which had been sheltering innocent civilians.
While world leaders and the mainstream media turn a blind eye to the ongoing misery in Gaza, internationals with compassion and conscience have converged in Cairo, motivated by love and in the pursuit of justice.
Gratitude may be the highest expression of love, but it just may be the sacrificial love in action being expressed by the thoughtful, committed activists who have converged in Cairo that could light the fire for real change and be the good to come out from the misery in Gaza.
Hundreds of activists who had already traveled on their dime and given up their time to bring some much needed humanitarian aid to the innocents in Gaza and to participate in the Gaza Freedom March have now also given up food.
Because the Egyptian government has denied over 1,300 nonviolent international activists entry into Gaza, hundreds of them began a hunger strike on December 28, 2009. Among them is Heddy Epstein, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who is part of a delegation of participants from 43 countries that committed to nonviolent march from northern Gaza to the Erez checkpoint in Israel on this New Year's Eve to demand an end to the siege on the Gaza Strip.
1939, when Heddy Epstein was 14, her parents sent her to England, but they
perished in Auschwitz in 1942. After World War II, Epstein worked as a research
analyst at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi doctors who performed medical
experiments on concentration camp inmates. After moving to America, Epstein
became an activist for peace and social justice causes.
She said, "It is important to let the besieged Gazan people know they are not alone. I want to tell the people I meet in Gaza that I am a representative of many people in my city and in other places in the US who are outraged at what the US, Israeli, and European governments are doing to the Palestinians, and that our numbers are growing."
Among those growing numbers are people of many and deep faiths, atheists and agnostics who have united to do something about the misery endured by the innocent in Gaza.
The Gaza Strip has been under an illegal siege ever since Israel closed all of Gaza's borders in June 2007 and trapped 1.5 million civilians, half of them children under 17 years old.
The United States directly supported Israel's deadly assault on the Gaza Strip, for Israel used weapons paid for and supplied by the United States during "Operation Cast Lead."
U.S. F- 16s, hellfire missiles, and ammunition used by the Israeli military devastated the Gaza Strip for 22 days, and U.S.A. corporations directly profited from "Operation Cast Lead."
Caterpillar and Motorola equipment was used by the Israeli military during its assault on the occupied Gaza Strip. American-made Caterpillar bulldozers demolished the civilian infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.
Amnesty International and the U.N. Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict/The Goldstone Report documented that Motorola components were also used in the bombs that Israel dropped. Human Rights Watch reported that shrapnel with Motorola serial numbers was found at the site of bombed civilian infrastructures in Gaza City.
The Goldstone Report thoroughly researched accounts of crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas during "Operation Cast Lead."
There will never be peace without justice and justice requires that Israel and Hamas both need to be held accountable for war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.
Humanity is the quality of being human and
Humane feelings, dispositions, and
sympathies are proven when humans do something to help relieve any in distress.
Humanity is expressed in kindness and tenderness, and both are the fruits birthed in love.
Dorothy Day, a 20th century Christian anarchist, agitator of church, state and media said, "Love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of open cities. Love is not killing."
"Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with THE TRUTH! It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13
What a wonderful world it would be, if we all loved 'the other' as we love our self, family and friends.
What a beautiful world it could be when we all "Let our Conscience Be our Guide"- Jiminy Cricket
more information contact:
Ann Wright, Egypt (19) 508-1493
Ziyaad Lunat, Egypt +20 191181340
Medea Benjamin, Egypt +20 18 956 1919
Ehab Lotayef, Egypt +20 17 638 2628
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com
Author of "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory"
Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"