It is with outrage and great sorrow that I write yet another letter to the editor about a massacre in Gaza. 2008, 2010, 2014, and, now 2018, are only the more recent reoccurrences of the Nakba (disaster or catastrophe in Arabic) that started the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants of Palestine.
In the original Nakba of 70 years ago, more than 750,000 Palestinians became refugees when they were expelled from their homes and when more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed. Gaza, home to more than two million Palestinians, and the most densely populated place on earth, has long been recognized as the world’s largest outdoor prison. Surrounded on three sides by Israel and the other side by Egypt, Gazan’s have been held captive since 2006, with no way to leave. And now, yet again, to be massacred, while the world watches without intervening, is beyond my imagination. In the last six weeks, of the tens of thousands of Palestinian protesters, more than 100 unarmed civilians were slaughtered, and more than 13,000 were wounded, while protesting for their basic human rights. Only one Israeli soldier was slightly wounded.
Unarmed Palestinians were shot at with live ammunition like fish in a barrel. Once again, Israel uses disproportionate force. Once again, with self-righteousness, Israel claims self-defense. Once again, our government cheers and celebrates and blocks votes of condemnation in the UN Security Council. How can we sit idly by? Where is our sense of outrage? Where is our responsibility for what our tax dollars and policies make possible? When do we say this is not who we are? When do we say, not in our name...and mean it?