Professor Noam Chomsky visited Gaza in October 2012, shortly before Israel launched its massive assault and bombardment. He wrote about his impressions of Gaza in this piece published November 4, 2012.
Gazans have been selected for particularly cruel punishment. It is almost miraculous that people can sustain such an existence. How they do so was described thirty years ago in an eloquent memoir by Raja Shehadeh (The Third Way), based on his work as a lawyer engaged in the hopeless task of trying to protect elementary rights within a legal system designed to ensure failure, and his personal experience as a Samid, “a steadfast one,” who watches his home turned into a prison by brutal occupiers and can do nothing but somehow “endure.” [I’m trying to find a copy of Shehadeh’s The Third Way.]
The word “Samid” has taken on new meaning for me as I watch University graduates in Gaza looking for jobs or opportunities for graduate education abroad, and professors attempting to get books for their students, and doctors searching for alternatives to keep the kidney dialysis units running when the electricity is cut, and mothers putting food on the table by candlelight while the young children do their homework by that same candlelight. Each is an example of Samid.