The sky is blue, the sun is shining this morning in Gaza, and it seems from our house that everything has returned to normal. Can’t believe normalcy follows the terror from last night.
My Palestinian family and I were up until very late (after 3 AM) because there were bomb blasts in every direction every few minutes. I was trying to tweet and post on Facebook as much as I could because I think Americans and Westerners want to know about what’s going on here, and their media is failing them.
An interactive map of Gaza will help friends and family visualize this small territory under assault. I’m currently living in the north in Gaza City near the university.
I’m not a professional journalist and won’t be traveling to the sites of the attacks and won’t be taking photos of victims. I’m sitting at home and watching and listening and waiting and hoping that everyone I have met in Gaza over the past 7 weeks are safe. They are not abstractions to me.
I suspect if the Israeli soldiers (forget Netanyahu, he is hopeless) could meet and drink coffee with some of the Palestinians in Gaza their own age, they would find this assault on Gaza is not antiseptic. They are destroying lives of people who have the same dreams the IDF soldiers have.
Last night was particularly terrifying for me, an American who has never lived or visited a war zone.
The bomb blasts were louder, they were closer than on previous nights. They shook the building I’m living in. And they continued one after the other without a break. I suspect my neighborhood near the university did not witness the same intensity of attacks as other parts of Gaza City, but it did get very close to home. Two blasts hit a building in the next block and the blast sent a ball of red-orange flames up into the sky that reached our windows.
==== more blasts just now, further away, ambulance sirens ====
Israel and the US have designated Hamas a terror organization but as I sit in Gaza and listen to the indiscriminate bombing, I wonder who is terrorizing whom. Some examples:
President Obama authorizes drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan killing innocent bystanders, including women and children. Is President Obama a terrorist? Are the soldiers sitting in Nevada or Utah working the controls terrorists?
Netanyahu’s drones, F-16s and bombs strike Gaza indiscriminately. Don’t believe those media reports that claim these attacks are targeted with precision. They are not. As of this morning, there are 20 casualties in Gaza, including 8 children, a pregnant woman, and 2 elderly men and more than 235 injured. Is Netanyahu a terrorist?
I can hear some family and friends already responding — “but what about the families in southern Israel who have lived under the threat of rockets from Gaza militants? Aren’t the militants terrorists?”
Of course, anyone who must live under the threat of death and destruction will feel terror. And I will not fall into the trap of trying to size up who are the biggest terrorists to roam the Middle East. (I dreamed of castration last night, so maybe I’m a terrorist too.)
The western media is notorious for its spinning of the narrative so that western audiences see black and white but not the truth. If westerners don’t understand the Occupation, the history of the Occupati0n, the responsibilities of the Occupying power under international law, and the impact that 60+ years of Occupati0n has had on Palestinians, then they can’t possibly understand the terror of the current assault on Gaza.
Most of the internationals and NGO workers have left Gaza this week to safer ground. 1.6 million Palestinians cannot leave, and many would not leave despite Israel’s desire to force them out.
Israel’s military might is unparalleled in the region, thanks to the $3 BILLION that American taxpayers send annually. To call this assault on Gaza a “war” is a gross exaggeration. Even though I’m hearing that Palestinian rockets have hit as far away as Tel Aviv (and possibly Jerusalem this morning?), there is no comparison between the capacity of the two sides to wage a war. Stop kidding yourselves. If Israel wants a war, then someone needs to arm the Palestinians accordingly.
The electricity will go off shortly. I’m going to post this and will follow-up later.