Amira, Security Cannot Trump Human Rights - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Dutch
    • 23.03.06 | 03:02 (IST)

    Amira, Many thanks for your great concern for the plight of the Palestinian people. Security cannot trump Human Rights. Thus it was cruel for the Defense miniter to close the Karni Crossing for prolong periods of time and throw the region into a Humanitarian crisis. The Palestinian people must be free to move as they wish and have access to markets and essential services. However, the bottom line remains Israel must end their 39 year old illegal occupation in the Palestinian territories and withdraw and to the internationally recognized 1967 Green Line as noted in UNSC 242. Indeed, Israel's brutal and illegal military occupation repels the world and our heart and minds are one with the Palestinian people in their struggling to be free of Israel's dominance. As the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson noted in 1844: "It is a doctrine alike of the oldest and of the newest philosophy, that man is one, and that you cannot injure any member, without a sympathetic injury to all the members." In addition, as Desmond Tutu said: " Have they forgotten the collective punishment..in their own history so soon?....Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people". But the real tragedy of the Palestinian people was pointed out by Lord Bertrand Russell at an international conference on Palestine in 1970: "The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was 'given' by a foreign power to another people for a creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless". With every new conflict their numbers increase...." Now after five years of a belligerent military conflict and occupation the Palestinian people are devastated and their economy is near collapse. Dr. Derek Summerfield writing in the British Journal of Medicine in October, 2004 notes the deteriorating humanitarian situation the Palestinian people are forced to endure under occupation: "Last year a UN rapportaur concluded that Gaza and the West bank were 'on the brink of a humanitarian castrophe'.The World Bank estimates that that 60% of the population are subsisting at poverty (under $2 dollars a day), a tripling in only three years. Half a million people are now completely dependent upon food aid, and Amnesty Int'l has expressed concern that the Israeli army has been hampering distribution in Gaza. Over half the households are eating only one meal a day, A study by John Hopkins Uuniversity and Al Quds universities found that 20% of the children under the age of 5 years old were anemic, 9,3% were acutely malnourished, and a further 13,2% were chronically malnourished. This doctor I met on a professional visit ... pointed to a rising prevalence of anemia in pregnant women and low birth weights." (His full report can be read at http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/329/7471/924) Dr. Alice Rothchild who led a Jewish-American medical delegation to Gaza last summer confirms Dr. Sommrfield's observation and concerns. "We witnessed the devastating consequences for the civilian population of years of Israeli operations. The checkpoints, closures and the severe restriction on movement and economic activity have contributed to rising unemployment, poverty accompanied by usually high rates of infant mortality, acute and chronic malnutrition and inadequate outpatient and hospital services". Her report can be read at http://www.vopj.org/conflict22.htm Thus I feel it was unconscionable for the Defense Minister to close the Karni Crossing for prolong periods and throw the region into a humanitarian crisis. I join the world in condemning his actions and demand that all crossings be kept opened and clear. Thank you, Dutch

    from the article: Strangled in Gaza
    First published 00:00 22.03.06 | Last updated 00:00 22.03.06
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