Photos for my Congresswoman

I’ve spent the past 3 hours reviewing Denny’s photos of Gaza. I’m feeling overwhelmed and couldn’t keep my tears back.

Denny is an American from Santa Fe, New Mexico who is currently living in Gaza. He witnessed Israel’s massive assault on Gaza this summer, and when the ceasefire was announced after 51 days of shelling and more than 2,000 dead, Denny ventured out with his camera to document some of what he saw.

He posted hundreds of photos on Facebook. I’m going to make copies of some to share with my Congresswoman on Monday.

Haven’t decided exactly which yet, but here are the “finalists”.  If any speak especially to you, please let me know.

Child in Shujaya


children in Shujaya

Chilren in Shujaya 2

Gaza destruction 2

Gaza destruction 3

Gaza destruction 4

Gaza destruction 5

Gaza destruction 6

Gaza destruction 7

Gaza destruction 8

Gaza destruction

getting water in Shujaya 2

getting water in Shujaya

Ministry of Finance

shujaya 1

shujaya 2

shujaya 3

Shujaya 4

Shujaya 5

Shujaya 6

Shujaya 7

Shujaya 8

Shujaya 9

Shujaya 10

Shujaya 11

Shujaya family

UN school




Filed under Gaza, People, Uncategorized

Crisis Response and Management in Gaza

A perfect storm is hitting the Gaza Strip.

Before Israel’s military assault this past July and August, the 1.8 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip were living under a suffocating economic, cultural and political siege that made life unbearable.

In 2012, the United Nations even warned that the Gaza Strip might be unlivable by 2020. In May 2013, UNRWA issued a response — Gaza in 2020 — to highlight the challenges UNRWA would face, the programmatic response required and estimate the resources required to meet those challenges.

No one could have anticipated Israel’s barbarism over 51 days, killing more than 2,000 Palestinians and destroying homes, businesses, hospitals, utilities and infrastructure.

The New York Times reported that “the fighting has displaced about a fourth of Gaza’s population. Nearly 60,000 people have lost their homes, and the number of people taking shelter in UNRWA schools is nearly five times as many as in 2009. The cost to Gaza’s already fragile economy will be significant: the 2009 conflict caused losses estimated at $4 billion — almost three times the size of Gaza’s annual gross domestic product.

This interactive map prepared by the New York Times  shows the location of the destruction in Gaza.

Today I received a request from a friend in Gaza for information and resources … “something that can assist in preparing materials for emergency conditions and crisis management training…even some people to communicate with in this regard in the USA or around the world”.

Where to begin? The UNDP has experience working with the Arab States in Crisis Prevention and Recovery, see here.

In the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has many resources for communities preparing for disasters as well as recovering from disasters.

Certainly, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies disaster and crisis management program is worth checking out.

The American Planning Association has a Hazards Planning Research Center and in 1998 published the “Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction” (PAS Report No. 484/484, December 1998).

Disaster Recovery Journal includes many links to sample plans, outlines and other resources.

Crisis Management in Government – list of books and articles

Many cities have disaster management programs, such as the City of Albuquerque.

Crisis Response Team Training is part of the National Organization for Victim Assistance

Georgetown University has a continuing education program called the Executive Master of Professional Studies in Emergency and Disaster Management, see here.

The Johns Hopkins Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center has online training modules.

I’m going to reach out to professionals in the morning and add to this list as I learn more. I have a hunch that the disaster we see unfolding in Gaza is of such a magnitude that even the professionals will be dumbfounded.

In addition to the emergency and disaster managers, the people in Gaza need our prayers.


Filed under Gaza, Israel

Dr. Rania Masri

I haven’t heard a better discussion about Israel’s actions in #Gaza than this 30 minute speech by Dr. Rania Masri.

I regularly post videos on my blog because I’m using my blog to compile good resources for future reference and I also want to share with others who may not be on Facebook where many of these videos are posted.


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Filed under Gaza, Israel, People, Video


Lora Lucero:

A letter from a former Israeli soldier asking the world to give Israel some “tough love” (my words).

Originally posted on Desertpeace:

I’m asking you as an Israeli–we need you to tell Israeli leaders you won’t accept racism, you won’t accept human rights violations, you won’t accept occupation and the killing of civilians.




I’m asking you as an Israeli–we need you to tell Israeli leaders you won’t accept racism, you won’t accept human rights violations, you won’t accept occupation and the killing of civilians.


Dear Steve (aka DesertPeace),

My name is Eran Efrati, I am Jewish, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, and a 7th generation Jerusalemite. 

What I’ve seen in Israel over the last few weeks is beyond anything I have witnessed in my life. 

I’ve seen terrified Palestinian children in Hebron and Halhul, sitting on the ruins of their homes.

I’ve seen mobs in the street chanting “death to Arabs” and pulling out Palestinian men from their stores to beat them as other Israelis stood idly…

View original 385 more words

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What no one wants to say about Ferguson (and Gaza)!

Some people won’t be able to get beyond the color of his skin; others won’t tolerate some of the language; and I suspect some just don’t have open minds and hearts.

But for those who care to listen deeply, this young man shares words of wisdom.

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The Doha Debates on the Right of Return for the Palestinians

The right of return for Palestinians is likely the most contentious issue in any peace negotiations.  In this 46-minute debate (broadcast on BBC World on April 14th and 15th, 2007) the four panelists argue for and against a motion to give up this right of return.

Watch it and see if the arguments change your opinion.

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Filed under People, Politics, Video

Shades of Anger – Rafeef Ziadah

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Filed under Occupation, People, Uncategorized, Video