The 360 square kms of the 'Strip' represent 1.5% of 'mandate'
Palestine. Another 3 million Palestinians live in the ineptly named
'West Bank', and in East Jerusalem. This represents about 11% of
Two thirds of the 1.4 million population in the Gaza Strip are refugees
and their offspring. The former had fled southwards from their homes
and land in 1948 before and during the Arab-Israeli war. The massacre
of Deir Yassin on April 4th was a central cause of the panic that drove
that mass migration, as well as overwhelming force of arms. The
refugees were given materials for building concrete shelters in 'camps'
throughout the Strip. They were cheek by jowl, and cold in winter. In
spite of UN resolution 242 and others, they have remained trapped in an
utterly oppressive environment. Since the start of the second intifada
– 'shaking loose', in September 2000, the standard of living
has dropped steadily. Unemployment has been over 50% and is rising
quickly now. 78% of the population are living under the poverty line of
less than US $ 2.1 per person per day, and 10% of children under the
age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. (1)
A study in late 2002 found that 17.5% of children aged 6–59
months suffered from chronic malnutrition 53% of women of reproductive
age and 44% of children were found to be anaemic (2
"Actions are held to be
good or bad, not on their own merits, but
to who does them. There is almost no kind of outrage - - - - torture,
imprisonment without trial, assassination, the bombing of civilians - -
which does not change its moral color when it is committed by
The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by
own side, he has remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
Palestine - the hinge of our humanity? The Middle East in Flames
3-08-06 Totnes Civic Hall
Why am I here and not making something good in my workshop?
1. Taught to be truthful, a lesson which obviously passed over most of the political class. Being truthful also means speaking out.
2. I cannot stand seeing underdogs kicked around
3. As an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon all my efforts, and those of the good people with me, were devoted to healing tissue and in relieving pain – not in blasting bodies apart.
4. The bombing of the Afghan people by B52s from 32,000ft in the Autumn of 2001 galvanised me; I have not rested since.
5. My central motivation is the love of the child. We have two happy grand-daughters, Isabel and Nel. I look into their beautiful eyes and see the two billion other children on our planet. They are all equally precious; not one should be harmed.
This letter is written and signed by Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter,
Jose Saramago, Noam Chomsky and John Berger,
it has been forwarded to major newspapers.
The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began
when Israeli forces
abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An
incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press.
The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner -
and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the
Israelis - there are
approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails
"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."