Monday, March 3, 2008

The Gaza Genocide

Laila El-Haddad writing from the U.S. on her blog Raising Yousuf:
We celebrated Yousuf's fourth birthday today. We ate cake. And we counted the bodies. We sang happy birthday. And my mother sobbed. We watched the fighter jets roar voraciously on our television screen, pounding street after street, then heard a train screech outside, and shuddered. Yousuf tore open his presents, and asked my mother to make a paper zanana, a drone, for him with origami; we were torn open from the inside, engulfed by a feeling of impotence and helplessness, fear and anger and grief, despondence and confusion.

"We are dying like chickens" said my husband Yassine last night as we contemplated the media's coverage of the events of the past few days.

Is it only when Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai used the word shoah to describe what will come to Gaza that some media outlets took note. Here was an Israeli government official himself invoking the Holocaust, of his people's most horrific massacre, in reference to the fate of Gaza. But it was not necessarily because Gazans may suffer the same fate that they were perturbed, but rather that this event, this phrase -- genocide or holocaust -- could be used with such seeming levity, that using such a loaded term may somehow lessen the true horror of the original act.

It is as though what has been happening in Gaza -- what continues to happen -- whether by way of the deliberate and sustained siege and blockade, or the mounting civilian death toll, is acceptable, and even encouraged. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has said that genocide "is the only appropriate way to describe what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip" after much thought and deliberation.
Read the entire article here >

Also see:
Israel threatens to unleash 'holocaust' in Gaza