An open letter for the people in Gaza – The Lancet


We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years.


On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.


We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression”. In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.


We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.


This action also terrifies those who are not directly hit, and wounds the soul, mind, and resilience of the young generation. Our condemnation and disgust are further compounded by the denial and prohibition for Gaza to receive external help and supplies to alleviate the dire circumstances.


The blockade on Gaza has tightened further since last year and this has worsened the toll on Gaza’s population. In Gaza, people suffer from hunger, thirst, pollution, shortage of medicines, electricity, and any means to get an income, not only by being bombed and shelled. Power crisis, gasoline shortage, water and food scarcity, sewage outflow and ever decreasing resources are disasters caused directly and indirectly by the siege.1


People in Gaza are resisting this aggression because they want a better and normal life and, even while crying in sorrow, pain, and terror, they reject a temporary truce that does not provide a real chance for a better future. A voice under the attacks in Gaza is that of Um Al Ramlawi who speaks for all in Gaza: “They are killing us all anyway—either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose—we must fight for our rights, or die trying.”2


Gaza has been blockaded by sea and land since 2006. Any individual of Gaza, including fishermen venturing beyond 3 nautical miles of the coast of Gaza, face being shot by the Israeli Navy. No one from Gaza can leave from the only two checkpoints, Erez or Rafah, without special permission from the Israelis and the Egyptians, which is hard to come by for many, if not impossible. People in Gaza are unable to go abroad to study, work, visit families, or do business. Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialised treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited.3 Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade.3 They have run out now. Likewise, Gaza is unable to export its produce. Agriculture has been severely impaired by the imposition of a buffer zone, and agricultural products cannot be exported due to the blockade. 80% of Gaza’s population is dependent on food rations from the UN.


Much of Gaza’s buildings and infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, 2008—09, and building materials have been blockaded so that schools, homes, and institutions cannot be properly rebuilt. Factories destroyed by bombardment have rarely been rebuilt adding unemployment to destitution.


Despite the difficult conditions, the people of Gaza and their political leaders have recently moved to resolve their conflicts “without arms and harm” through the process of reconciliation between factions, their leadership renouncing titles and positions, so that a unity government can be formed abolishing the divisive factional politics operating since 2007. This reconciliation, although accepted by many in the international community, was rejected by Israel. The present Israeli attacks stop this chance of political unity between Gaza and the West Bank and single out a part of the Palestinian society by destroying the lives of people of Gaza. Under the pretext of eliminating terrorism, Israel is trying to destroy the growing Palestinian unity. Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas whereas the truth is that the Gaza Strip is sealed by the Israelis and Egyptians.


Gaza has been bombed continuously for the past 14 days followed now by invasion on land by tanks and thousands of Israeli troops. More than 60 000 civilians from Northern Gaza were ordered to leave their homes. These internally displaced people have nowhere to go since Central and Southern Gaza are also subjected to heavy artillery bombardment. The whole of Gaza is under attack. The only shelters in Gaza are the schools of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), uncertain shelters already targeted during Cast Lead, killing many.


According to Gaza Ministry of Health and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),1 as of July 21, 149 of the 558 killed in Gaza and 1100 of the 3504 wounded are children. Those buried under the rubble are not counted yet. As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatised in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.


The massacre in Gaza spares no one, and includes the disabled and sick in hospitals, children playing on the beach or on the roof top, with a large majority of non-combatants. Hospitals, clinics, ambulances, mosques, schools, and press buildings have all been attacked, with thousands of private homes bombed, clearly directing fire to target whole families killing them within their homes, depriving families of their homes by chasing them out a few minutes before destruction. An entire area was destroyed on July 20, leaving thousands of displaced people homeless, beside wounding hundreds and killing at least 70—this is way beyond the purpose of finding tunnels. None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.


Weaponry known to cause long-term damages on health of the whole population are used; particularly non fragmentation weaponry and hard-head bombs.4, 5 We witnessed targeted weaponry used indiscriminately and on children and we constantly see that so-called intelligent weapons fail to be precise, unless they are deliberately used to destroy innocent lives.


We denounce the myth propagated by Israel that the aggression is done caring about saving civilian lives and children’s wellbeing.


Israel’s behaviour has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. Even those of us who want to go and help are unable to reach Gaza due to the blockade.


This “defensive aggression” of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity must be stopped.


Additionally, should the use of gas be further confirmed, this is unequivocally a war crime for which, before anything else, high sanctions will have to be taken immediately on Israel with cessation of any trade and collaborative agreements with Europe.


As we write, other massacres and threats to the medical personnel in emergency services and denial of entry for international humanitarian convoys are reported.6 We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated modern military machines. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1·8 million people in Gaza.


We register with dismay that only 5% of our Israeli academic colleagues signed an appeal to their government to stop the military operation against Gaza. We are tempted to conclude that with the exception of this 5%, the rest of the Israeli academics are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza. We also see the complicity of our countries in Europe and North America in this massacre and the impotence once again of the international institutions and organisations to stop this massacre.


We declare no competing interests.
Supplementary appendix:
Open file
PDF (62K)
Geplaatst in Opinie | Tags: , | Een reactie plaatsen

Understanding The Permanence Of Greater Israel

Originally posted on The Dish:

Israeli air strikes on Gaza

My old sparring partner, Jeffrey Goldberg, has been busy pondering why Hamas has sent hundreds of rockets – with no fatalities – into Israel. He argues that it does this in order to kill Palestinians. It’s an arresting idea, and it helps perpetuate the notion that there are no depths to which these Islamist fanatics and war criminals will not sink.

It also helps distract from the fact that Hamas itself did not kill the three Israeli teens which was the casus belli for the latest Israeli swoop through the West Bank; that Netanyahu had called for generalized revenge in the wake of the killings, while concealing the fact that the teens had been murdered almost as soon as they had been captured; and that Israeli public hysteria, tapping into the Gilad-like trauma of captivity, then began to spawn increasingly ugly, sectarian and racist acts of revenge and brutality. It…

View original 1.184 woorden meer

Geplaatst in Uncategorized | Een reactie plaatsen

Zo kijkt een Rus naar het nieuws

Rob WijnbergDe ramp met vlucht MH17 van Malaysia Airlines brengt onze karikatuur van Rusland als kwaadaardige macht weer tot leven. Maar Russen hebben een eigen, diep-moreel narratief om de agressie van hun land aan zichzelf te rechtvaardigen. Gastcorrespondent en slavist Thalia Verkade ging op zoek naar de wortels van het Russische zelfbeeld.

Lees verder op De Correspondent.

Geplaatst in De Correspondent | Tags: , , , , | Een reactie plaatsen

The Hunted – Official Teaser Trailer 2013 [HD]

http://www.hunted-movie.com
See it now by requesting a screening in your home town athttp://www.tugg.com/titles/the-hunted
@Hunted_movie

Written and Directed by Josh Stewart.
Starring Josh Stewart, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Nikki Deloach and Skipp Sudduth

Chasing their dream of landing their own hunting show, Jake and Stevie head to the dense, secluded mountains of West Virginia. Equipped with only their bow and cameras, they have just three days to kill a monster buck big enough to grab the attention of the network…and they’ve found him. But the sun has set, and they realize they’re not alone.

Geplaatst in Film | Tags: , , , , | Een reactie plaatsen

Hunting Separatists in Eastern Ukraine: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 56)

Although Pro-Russia separatists have been largely driven out of Donetsk and Luhansk, they still control significant parts of eastern Ukraine. In this dispatch, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky goes hunting for separatists with Oleh Lyashko, a Ukrainian politician who placed third in the most recent presidential election. Ostrovsky embeds with Lyashko’s personal security forces as they successfully track down Viktor Rybalko, a pro-Russia separatist who organized the referendum in Luhansk calling for independence and allegiance with Russia. What Lyashko does is technically illegal, but he believes that the police are not doing their job and has taken it upon himself to bring order back to eastern Ukraine.

 

Geplaatst in Nieuws | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Een reactie plaatsen

Your body’s amazing reaction to water

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

Writer James Nestor explores the science of the “mammalian dive reflex,” the phenomenon by which water triggers an immediate decrease in heart rate.

In 1949, a stocky Italian air force lieutenant named Raimondo Bucher decided to try a potentially deadly stunt off the coast of Capri, Italy. Bucher would sail out to the center of the lake, take a breath and hold it, and free-dive down one hundred feet to the bottom. Waiting there would be a man in a diving suit. Bucher would hand the diver a package, then kick back up to the surface. If he completed the dive, he’d win a fifty-thousand-lira bet; if he didn’t, he would drown.

Scientists warned Bucher that, according to Boyle’s law, the dive would kill him. Formulated in the 1660s by the Anglo-Irish physicist Robert Boyle, this equation predicted the behavior of gases at various pressures, and it indicated that the pressure at a hundred…

View original 794 woorden meer

Geplaatst in TED | Tags: , , , , , | Een reactie plaatsen

Bewust en vrijwillig

De Israël-getrouwe Bill Clinton, vatte de argumenten van Israël zo samen: “Hamas heeft een strategie om Israël te dwingen hun eigen burgers te doden”.

Dit staat gelijk met stellen dat een vrouw in een strakke jurk mannen dwingt haar te verkrachten.

Niemand dwingt Israël om ongewapende burgers te doden in hun huis. Niemand dwingt hen om hospitalen te bombarderen, revalidatiecentra, waterzuiveringsstations, bakkerijen of kinderen die voetbal spelen op het strand.

Dat beslissen ze zelf. Bewust en vrijwillig.

Geplaatst in Opinie | Tags: , , , | 8 reacties