Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gaza Beirut

I was on my way to South Lebanon yesterday when I heard the news of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza. I stopped to get some food on my way, and there was already 100 dead. The response of the people of South Lebanon is overwhelmingly supportive of the plight of the Gazans: the memories of 2006 are still too fresh. and what is going on in Gaza looks like a deja vu of July 2006.

This morning we heard Israeli fighter planes in the south. The radio and tv news confirmed this. The people started to get worried. In the village bakery people were discussing the situation in Gaza. I could feel the mood had shifted and people had entered "war mode".

In Beirut, young men and women held a demostration in front of the Egyptian embassy. They were protesting Egypt's continuous closure of the Rafah border. They started throwing stones and shoes at the embassy, the army intervened with shields and batons and water jets and tear gas. The demonstrators retreated to stadium nearby and slosed the road with burning tires. I saw them on my way back form the South.

There are also vigils near the UN building in the city center and in Hamra.

For the notebook, the one Mahmood Darwish talks about, in which we record Israel's crimes: The UNRWA spokesman is on tv as I speak. His name is Guiness and he just told us that 7 schoolchildren were killed by the bombing in an UNRWA school in Gaza today.


Anonymous said...

how do you recommend those of us outside the region help?

Leila said...

To help: pressure your government to pressure the Israelis. If you're American, call your representatives - Congress and Senate. My mother wnet to Capitol Hill five years ago to talk about Palestine and said that the political aides she met often understood the issues quite well. But they don't hear from enough citizens on our side of this issue. THey hear from the Zionists.

Call, write, telegram, whatever. Even if you think they aren't listening. They are listening to the quantities. They know change is coming (even in America). Mainstream Jews no longer agree slavishly iwth this butchery, and there are numerous Jewish organizations working to end the occupation. Support them, or support other groups working for peace and justice in Palestine.

Rami Zurayk said...

Thanks Leila