I have been asked many times why we are making this voyage to Ashdod and Gaza.
Firstly we know that many families there live in crushing poverty. The
malnutrition rate in the children is reported to be 50% and rising. We
are taking about 55 tons of essential foodstuffs. We are also of course
taking ourselves and thus demonstrating our common humanity.
Secondly we are pointing the ship at a country which has been the
centre of conflict and bitter dispute for 55 years. This demonstrates
the bankruptcy of political institutions, both in this country and
abroad. The priority should be to bring justice and peace to the
Palestinian people and not to wreak yet more havoc in countries like Iraq.
Thirdly, we will sail a course which is almost the same as the warships
being sent by the bombers Blair and Bush. Our little ship represents
all that is opposite. We stand for justice and peace and against the
irrational and the destructive.
In the weeks following 11-9-01 and when the high altitude bombing of
the Afghan people was starting, there were bumper stickers on cars in
Florida which read "Nuke them till they glow".
Millions of people in the UK are repulsed by such violence and hatred.
Instead they would agree with the surgeon who says that "We should do our best to heal and not to harm".
What Has Moved Me To Speak And Act For The Palestinian People?
have two beautiful grandchildren – Isobel 6 and Nel who is 4. I look at
their lustrous blond hair and into their happy blue eyes. I see in them
the two billion other children in the world. They are all equally
precious. I believe that not one of them should be harmed; you believe
that too. We differ in that from most, so-called world leaders. Eternal
shame be on them.
I was brought up by a Mother who
said "share and share alike" to the four of us. My father said "do your
best"and "stand up for yourself". That
often seemed harsh to a sensitive lad. Above all, lying was a cardinal sin.
All this in my nurturing has meant that I cannot stay quiet when the underdogs are being kicked around.
I do believe Edmund Burke';s adage applies - "It is only necessary for good men to stay silent, for evil to triumph".
I qualified as a doctor in 1964.
I started repairing folk with broken skeletons and the torn flesh from
road accidents. Less often I straightened the crooked limbs of
children. Always we worked together to relieve pain and distress.
Blowing people apart should be rejected robustly by the so called
caring professions. What is happening in Falluja and in Occupied
Palestine is evil and beyond the law. I say this as a human, and
especially as a doctor and surgeon.
One has to be a sceptic to be a good
doctor; that is part of the scientific training. That quality is part
of the forensic approach, the ability to focus down and yet still weigh
the evidence, especially the words. This is the basis of good diagnosis
and I was taught and taught many others that the history was 70% the
diagnosis. An innate scepticism, combined with my medical training, has
lead me to measure everything that is handed down to me. I have looked
beneath the Western propaganda that is pumped out in favour of the
Zionist State and which demonises and marginalizes the Palestinian. I
have looked beneath, smelled the stench and I must speak out. If we do
not speak out then we are complicit. "When truth is replaced by
silence, the silence is a lie" ~ Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Soviet dissident.
"Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side."