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From Jerusalem to Gaza

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On the second day of Sabeel's 6th International Conference in Jerusalem Sabeel's Founder and Prophet, Rev. Naim Ateek firmly stated, "Israel will not survive unless it does JUSTICE! The situation is deteriorating and we must frustrate Israel's plans and action because they are not built on JUSTICE! All we are asking for is honoring International Law! Israel is afraid of International Law and this proves something is very wrong with Israel. We want Israel to live in peace and with security. The only way is honoring International Law. This is the bottom line. This is what we work and pray for."

International Law states that occupation is to be temporary and maintain the status quo. Forty years of occupation and the building of the illegal wall which does not follow the Green Line, but divides Palestinians from their families and steals their land and water is apartheid.

The final image of a Power Point presentation that was shown the evening before was a photograph of eight smiling children in Gaza. Three flashed an upright Peace sign, but the fourth's 'V' had been turned on it's side. It reminded me of the image of the Caterpillar bulldozer that was painted on the BEIT ARABIYA home/ Peace Center that I visited on Nov. 1, 2006. Upon the wall of the home is a mural donated by the North American Workers Against the USA occupation of Iraq and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The mural depicts Rachel Corrie, the American who was run over by a Caterpillar bulldozer in Gaza when she stood up to defend the home of a Physician with five children, and a pregnant Palestinian woman of ten who was also killed in Gaza. The angelic images of the two women float above a depiction of a USA made Caterpillar bulldozer tipped to one side and flanked by tanks and weapons of destruction. On both sides of the weapons of destruction are many people. A railroad track reminds the viewer that prior to 1948, Jews
and Palestinians once worked together in peaceful solidarity to build a railroad. [Read more: http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=294&Itemid=126]

Father Manuel, the parish priest at the Latin Church and school in Gaza wrote:

"Gaza cannot sleep! The people are suffering unbelievably. They are hungry, thirsty, have no electricity or clean water. They are suffering constant bombardments and sonic booms from low flying aircraft. They need food: bread and water. Children and babies are hungry...people have no money to buy food. The price of food has doubled and tripled due to the situation. We cannot drink water from the ground here as it is salty and not hygienic. People must buy water to drink. They have no income, no opportunities to get food and water from outside and no opportunities to secure money inside of Gaza. They have no hope...Without electricity children are afraid. No light at night. No oil or candles...Thirsty children are crying, afraid and desparate...Many children have been violently thrown from their beds at night from the sonic booms. Many arms and legs have been broken. These planes fly low over Gaza and then reach the speed of sound. This shakes the ground and creates shock waves like an earthquake that causes people to be thrown from their bed. I, myself weigh 120 kilos and was almost thrown from my bed due to the shock wave produced by a low flying jet that made a sonic boom...Gaza cannot sleep...the cries of hungry children, the sullen faces of broken men and women who are just sitting in their hungry emptiness with no light, no hope, no love. These actions are War Crimes!"

On Nov. 2, 2006 Aljazeera.net reported that "Israeli forces have killed two Palestinians in Gaza, including a 75-year-old civilian, in one of Israel's biggest offensives in the coastal strip in months. Relatives of the elderly man killed on Thursday in Bait Hanun said he was killed by a shot to the head when he went on to his balcony to bring his disabled son inside. Israeli troops fired from a rooftop, residents said. The Israeli army said its forces were attacking only armed groups, but declined to comment on the civilian killing."

Their deaths raised to 12 the number of Palestinians killed since the current operation which began on Nov. 1, 2006, when troops entered northern Gaza before dawn. This raid is one of the biggest since Israel's offensive in Gaza in retaliation of their captured soldier.

"About 280 Palestinians have been killed in the four-month-old Israeli offensive in Gaza."-

"By the sixth century before Christ, the conflicts in the land were already old news, and Jeremiah warned the people that all God could see was violence and destruction. Sickness and wounds were all around...For every misunderstanding, every condemning thought, every negative vibration, every tear torn from a heart, every time one grabbed and wouldn't let go, and they only did it because they did not know. The Divine is within all creation and within all women and men.

"And every tiny kindness you have ever done, every gentle word spoken, every time you held your tongue, every positive thought, every smile freely given, every helping hand that opens, helps bring in the kingdom. And the kingdom comes from above and the kingdom comes from within. IMAGINE a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men."-KEEP HOPE ALIVE, pages 53-54.
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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com, A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
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