For two months I have been unable sit down at my desk to blog about Gaza and my history with the issue of Israel/Palestine. I’ve relied on posting the many outstanding interviews I’ve seen on Democracy Now during this time. I’ve also donated today to our local treasure, KPFA listener- sponsored radio which has also been outstanding in its coverage, including the Bay Area protests and national protests (especially of Jewish peace activists) of the unfolding ethnic cleansing/genocide of the Palestinian people. Today, the U.S. Administration circumvented Congress to send tank shells to Israel because they are running out! Yesterday, the U.S. was the lone member of the United Nations security council to vote against a cease fire FOR THE THIRD TIME. I’ve copied my Facebook post here and hope to continue with my commentary in the coming days. I just needed a little more courage and heart.
JENNIE ORVINO FACEBOOK FEED 12-10-23: My local newspaper has published today the letter I wrote three weeks ago, which I titled “Israeli Occupation” and which the editor titled “Cease-fire in Gaza.” The Palestinian death toll quoted in my letter as 12,000 has increased to 17,700 (more than half children), and nearly 50,000 injured.
The rest of the 1.5 million internally displaced (their neighborhoods totally destroyed) are in danger of dying from severe wounds and infection with no sanitation, medical supplies including anesthetic, and with many medical personnel among the dead. With Israel cutting off food, water, electricity, and internet communications and then closing all Gaza’s borders, you might say the IDF is bombing and shooting fish in a barrel. I have copied my letter to the Press Democrat below putting in brackets what was edited out. I expect it will show up at pressdemocrat.com in a couple of days.
History did not begin on October 7 when Israel began its air strikes on Gaza, [an enclave the size of Portland, Oregon, but with four times the number of people]. This land, under siege for 16 years, and also the West Bank (where settlers have killed hundreds of Palestinians [living there in just the last six weeks] is occupied by Israel. [The word seldom seen in mainstream media is “Occupation.”]
Israel controls Gaza borders, has total control of shipments of food aid and medical supplies, can turn off the electricity that runs water pumps, sewage plants, bakeries, life support systems. [It is not letting in fuel that powers generators and can turn off Internet and other communications in Gaza by flipping a switch.] Without regard for where hostages might be, or giving in to any demands for prisoner exchanges, Israel has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, half of them children, [and is now conducting a ground operation against a hospital which holds so many dead bodies they can’t be buried.]
Do [the] Palestinians have an air force, American-made munitions, tanks, bulldozers? Has any Israeli high rise been reduced to rubble? Even to call this a “war” is not quite accurate because in a war, one side can negotiate terms for surrender.
Cease Fire. Make a hostage deal. And hope the U.S. will stop enabling war crimes or it/we too are complicit and guilty.