Genesis 11:5

The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. Genesis 11:5

When We Die As Martyrs

The world is distracted. We're trying to rebuild Japan, and halt foreign intervention in Libya

Airstrikes on Libya 21 March 2011
Meanwhile, Israel launched airstrikes over Gaza this week, injuring at least 17 Palestinians, and killing 8, including children. Why are the Palestinians ignored? Why does no one hear their cries? Understandably, Palestinians asked for international protection citing the rise in attacks by Israeli settlers. And what has been done? To add insult to injury, Sara Palin visited the Promised Land this week, proclaimed her deep connection to the story of the Jewish nation and love for Israel, and pledged to carry around an Israeli flag in the US when she returns. Danny Dannon is quoted saying that "[Palin] didn’t go into diplomatic issues, but I can clearly say from the questions she asked in relation to our conflict here with the Muslims in these holy sites that she knows that we are right and that the Muslims are just claiming things for provocation and they’re not right,” Danon said.

When We Die as Martyrs (with English subtitles)

During Palestine Solidarity Week at the University, I attended a lecture by Belkis Wille on Gaza and the Occupied territories. Based on her experience in Gaza and fact-finding on the ground, Wille provided us the following introduction into the current and worsening situation in Gaza. 

 Today, only 5-10 percent of the water in Gaza’s portion of the coastal aquifer is drinkable. This number is quickly getting smaller. No fishing is allowed. Fishermen used to be able to fish up to 39 km from the coast, but it has been reduced to 11km. At this point, Israeli soldiers are now firing at boats 5.5km from the coast. Fishermen have been captured, stripped and forced to swim to their boats, even arrested and taken to Israeli prisons. There are documented cases of Israelis dumping sewage onto the Palestinian fishing boats.

In May 2009 Israeli air force planes dropped leaflets stating that the Israeli-imposed security ‘buffer zone’ along the inside of the walls and fences surrounding Gaza was being unilaterally expanded to 300 metres. Between a quarter and a third of Gaza’s agricultural land now lies within this no-go area, which in reality extends anywhere between one to two kilometres into Gaza. As a consequence, many farmers have lost their livelihood. On January 10th 2011 a 65 year old farmer who was working his land was shot and killed.

In 2009 4 children were arrested and one killed because they were playing with stray dogs in the buffer zone. The body of the child was found 1 km from the border fence. Thousands of children are currently working and dying in the smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, trying to raise money for their families, trying to bring food and water to their families in Gaza. 

Testimony of Palestinian Child (with English subtitles)

During the 2009 military offensive, Israel destroyed 18 schools, (including eight government schools, two private schools and eight kindergartens) and at least 280 schools were damaged. Six of the destroyed government schools were in North Gaza alone, affecting almost 9,000 students who had to relocate to other schools. There is a general ban on building materials entering Gaza. Israel is letting in for the first time a small supply of construction materials but only for UN and international organizations’ projects. This still leaves tends of thousands living in temporary shelters.

Blockade restrictions have caused long delays in or denial of entry of basic educational supplies such as textbooks and paper. In the first semester of the 2007-2008 school year, only 20% of sixth graders in Gaza passed standardised exams in Math, Science, English and Arabic. During the 2008–2009 academic year 14,000 students (or 6.76%) of students in all UNRWA schools in Gaza failed all subjects of the standardized tests. Of those students who failed their examinations, 1,900 underwent a comprehensive health assessment during the months of September and October as part of UNRWA’s Schools of Excellence and Summer Learning program. The most common health issues identified were malnutrition and anaemia.

In January of this year an innocent 66 year old Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli soldiers while sleeping. His wife was praying in the bedroom when the soldiers entered. Her husband was shot over ten times.

I have to admit that I am still learning about the situation in Palestine and the plight of Palestinians. But with every bit of knowledge I gain, my prayer for the freedom of Palestinians grows more desperate. In addition to other links that I have provided here, perhaps you can find a way to advocate for Palestinians at Palestine Solidarity Campaign. I'm treading water here, seeking a way to effectively oppose the genocide of Palestinians. Humanity cannot afford such a loss.


  1. thank you for inviting me to read your blog. You offer profound comments.