By: Dave Bleakney
If governments don’t want peace in the Middle East Gaza Freedom Marchers Do
Later this morning the Gaza Freedom Marchers will attempt to walk to Gaza for peace and to stop the siege. They are organizing at a level of cooperation that represents the new world of people’s assemblies. People all over the world are losing faith in their governments to seek peace and dialogue. It is becoming clearer that governments and their hidden masters do not desire peace and dialogue in the Middle East but more of the same. There is an inhuman siege on Gaza that some would like the world forget while keeping the Palestinian people in their Middle Eastern jail surrounded on all sides.
Last night, in a most vibrant and grass roots process imaginable, the people, in the absence of any official support decided to walk to Gaza to break the siege. As the lifeline to Gaza and the tunnels that keep food, water, and medicine flowing are cut off with the help of the U.S. army corps of engineers, the Gaza Freedom Marchers have grown stronger daily and will march to open the border as the state refuses buses to carry them or to open the border.
The claim of the authorities is that the closure of tunnels must be done to cut off arms. The official border crossing is closed or occasionally opened to allow token passage. An open border would permit food, people, and necessities to enter and would allow screening for undesired weapons. But this is not in the interest of those that would maintain a military solution for Gaza. There is but one army in Palestine, and it is an Israeli one, proven to be capable of using widespread lethal force on civilian populations, including massacres from bombs and chemical weapons, and pure economic strangulation. Everyday Palestinians are harassed for living. Toxic waste is dumped on Palestinian land while the theft of water and other resources, and the destruction of livelihoods and lives continue.
But massacres of innocent people no longer occur in silence. A French astrophysicist said yesterday that a colleague had his home targeted and shot up when the Israelis unleashed their firestorm on innocent people last year resulting in the death of his son. Ibrahim, far from being a “terrorist”, was a boy of ten with a lifetime ahead of him. He reported that last year the Israeli forces deliberately attacked the homes of the educated class in order to cripple Palestinian society even further. These attacks were not random acts.
Later this morning in Cairo people will march to Gaza. Undercover police and state agents are everywhere but this protest has never been about the Egyptian state. The state has now created conditions that appear to be running interference on behalf of Israeli and U.S. government objectives and therefore have created their own public crisis.
What compels people to accept the role their governments will not? Olivia Zenor, representing Euro Palestina, and blockaded at her own embassy by riot police (three rows deep twenty four hours a day), said that as a result of the terror of the Second World War we now ridicule those that remained silent. They were complicit in crimes against humanity and are labeled cowards for their unwillingness to act before it was to late. Today, those trying to prevent clear and unacceptable murder of civilian populations are stropped from acting on those important lessons of history.
Sixty one years ago and Israeli state was created. How perverse that the Palestinians and the decedents of a people who have lived in the region thousands of years are not only prevented from having the same but punished for living.
They are not alone anymore. People will do what their governments won’t.
Dave Bleakney is a national union representative of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers currently in Cairo.