Monday, June 22, 2009

Two years of Gaza siege

As the siege of Gaza drags into its second year, and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip remain unable to rebuild after the devastation caused by the Israeli military's December-January assault, creative civil society responses to the siege continue to multiply. Take for example this video, released by Gisha, the Israeli legal center for freedom of movement, which illustrates the reality of what two years of closure means for the people of the Gaza Strip. (You might have seen the video that Gisha released during "Operation Cast Lead," entitled "Closed Zone.") Gisha has also published a report entitled "Two Years of Gaza Closure by the Numbers," which includes such shocking figures as 28,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip without running water and only 25% of goods allowed to enter Gaza relative to demand. A recent article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz highlighted the cyncical politics behind some of these figures; click here to read the article. In response to these horrendous conditions, US Campaigns member groups and allies have been working on a variety of strategies and tactics for breaking the siege. US Campaign member group CODEPINK has organzied delegations to Gaza and creative protests. The Seattle Palestine Solidarity Committee has organized a response to a letter written by ten state Attorneys General that expressed support for "Operation Cast Lead." US Campaign allies at the Free Gaza Movement have continued to break the siege from the sea. And here at the US Campaign we continue to work to hold Israel accountable by challenging U.S. military aid and promoting boycott and divestment of Caterpillar and Motorola, two of the companies that made the devastation of Gaza possible. Let's keep up the pressure to end the siege of Gaza and ensure equal rights and freedom from occupation for all!