7/11/14 UPDATE: The International Solidarity Movement is asking Palestinian Solidarity activists to do the following (see their Facebook post here):
NOW: Call on the IDF Spokesperson at their twitter account (https://twitter.com/IDFSpokesperson) to stop bombing near and around El-Wafa hospital in Gaza. There are children, women, and men inside. As well three ISM volunteers (one from the USA, two from Sweden) and five other internationals (one from Spain, one from Spain-Venezuela, one from France, one from the UK, and one from Australia-New Zealand). The hospital received a call to evacuate and two “warning” rockets were fired in the early hours of this morning. Another rocket hit it one hour ago. ISMers now in the hospital have said they “can hear rockets falling close by”.
Example tweets: .@IDFSpokesperson 3 ISM volunteers 1 from the USA & 2 from Sweden are NOW in El-wafa hospital #Gaza. STOP BOMBING NEAR & AT THE HOSPITAL NOW
7/10/14 UPDATE: As of around 2 PM Eastern Time, the death toll has risen to 88 in Gaza, including at least 18 children (one report lists 23). Around 600 have reportedly been injured. Hamas has also continued to launch rockets into Israel, although no deaths have been reported. Today’s Democracy Now! featured a lot of information about the situation in Gaza, including clips from anti-war demonstrations in Tel Aviv and New York City.
According to Al Jazeera English, at least 55 Palestinians have been confirmed dead as Israeli airstrikes continue to assault Gaza. Defense for Children Palestine reports that 14 of those dead were children.
International solidarity with the Palestinian people is crucially important, and for Americans, that means condemning the American government for allowing these war crimes to continue. It’s really quite simple: the occupation must end, Palestinians must be granted the right to return, and both sides must stop targeting innocent civilians. Anything less than that just won’t cut it in stopping the violence.
Below is a journal entry from Charlie Andreasson of the International Solidarity Movement on “Politics in Gaza,” playing on the notion that war is simply politics by other means:
I wake up after a night shattered by rocket launches, airstrikes, and flyovers, to sparrows friendly twittering, seemingly unconcerned by the drones swarming overhead.
No explosions have been heard since five o’clock in the morning, almost four hours ago. The sun shines as usual, I will not have any internet access for many hours yet, and thus no access to any news; had it not been for all the drones that circulate above, and I admit that I do sometimes wish that they will fly into each other so I don ́t have the unwanted noise in my ears for a while, it could have been a day of peace.
But it is not.
People I have talked to have stated that this war cannot be compared with that of 2012. This is nowhere near as intense as the last, not yet.
According to an American analyst in Gaza, Joe Catron, the war is an extension of the Israeli government’s attempt to break the political reconciliation between Gaza and the West Bank, and to obstruct such a merger being completed in the foreseeable future. That Israel this time allows the various resistance movements in setting the agenda may be an attempt to conceal their intentions, to dissolve the political merger, and instead show the world that it only responds to rocket attacks.
Politics. This war is clearly political by military means.
People who sweep up shattered glass in their homes, brush away grout from their furniture, live in fear of what might happen to their loved ones, is nothing else but politics.
The children who recently died when they tried to prevent their home from being bombed are nothing but political victims.
The fishermen that recently had their waters halved are political losers.
The farmers are currently outside the political fray; it’s the middle of summer and therefore not growing season. There is reason to believe that the death toll would be higher if farmers had been out on their fields.
And the battle, the political one of course, is just about having Palestine united, a necessity for a future Palestinian state, or not.
My watch says it is now past 10am, sparrows are still twittering, the drones have not yet flown into each other, and at a distance I can hear some explosions.
Political ones, of course.