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by Patrick le Hyaric

Never forget Gaza!

N’oublions pas Gaza!

Translated Sunday 17 January 2010, by Alison Billington and reviewed by Henry Crapo

How can the heads of state of the principle countries of this world continue to close their eyes so often to the tragedy which the children, and indeed all the inhabitants of Gaza, are living through one year after the unjustified, Israeli war-like attack? It was slaughter, and not a single sanction was taken against the army or the Israeli power. Yet, an important report from the South-African judge Richard Goldstone described the Israeli military offensive as a ‘war crime’ even as a ‘crime against humanity’.

Since then the big states and the European Union have done nothing. Neither demanded explanations, nor demanded redress on the part of those who never cease delighting in trotting our words such as ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’. The Palestinians of Gaza are still locked up behind walls and this intolerable blockade. They still cannot rebuild their demolished houses, public services, civil infrastructures because it is forbidden to bring in building materials. Nearly a quarter of the population still sleeps on the streets. Over 80% of the people have less than three dollars a day to live on. Moreoever, the population still awaits the thousands of dollars in aid promised at the time of the Sharm el-Sheikh conference. This hard-hearted world diplomacy breeds a little more despair and hardship over there, day by day. How can we believe that this population can tolerate continuing to survive in this way without revolting ?

Assistance to peace, security and justice in the region should not only be in the form of a clear condemnation of the attitude of the Israeli power but in new, international political acts to enforce the creation of a State for the Palestinian people so that it can live in peace, harmony and co-operation beside the Israeli people. It’s urgent !

Recently, the Israeli army has committed more assassinations of several Palestinians in cold blood, in the North of the Gaza strip, by firing missiles; and three other assassinations in Nablus, in Jordan. A report from the European Union’s mission leaders is damning for the Israeli strategy in the oriental quarters of Jerusalem. The European Council’s Swedish presidency had an interesting text approved a few weeks ago. This attitude is much more positive than that of the European Union’s French presidency which was preparing to ’enhance’ the co-operation agreements with the State of Israel. But now clear political and diplomatic acts are necessary. The European Union can and must put a stop to the association agreement which links it to Israel as long as colonization goes on, as long as Palestians’ houses are being destroyed in East Jerusalem, as long as political prisoners remain in captivity, as long as all refugees have no right to return, as long as the wall of shame and those abominable check points remain standing. Obama must progress from speeches to acts.

The French authorities must act with the same energy to gain freedom for soldier Shalit and for Salah Hamouri. This area of the world will be a powder keg as long as the rights of the Palestinian people are not respected. We are pressed for time! Those who keep quiet make themselves the accomplices of a tragedy with inestimable consequences for all humanity. Justice and peace have no time to spare. Never forget Gaza!

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