Archive for middle-east

Saudi Arabia going after Hezbollah in Lebanon would be another misjudgment that adds to a dangerous and combustible moment in the Middle East. Trump Is At The Center Of The Chaos!

Posted in Middle-East Time Bomb with tags , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2017 by sheriffali

NYT “Lebanon was stunned on Nov. 4 when its prime minister, Saad Hariri, speaking from Saudi Arabia, delivered a halting resignation speech. Mr. Hariri said he left Beirut because he feared assassination. He placed the blame for his long-distance resignation on Iran and its main ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah.

 

In the days since, Saudi Arabia has accused Hezbollah of plotting against the kingdom and ordered Saudi citizens to leave Lebanon. Threats from top Saudi officials are causing new turmoil in a tiny country with complicated sectarian politics, failed power-sharing arrangements and a long history of foreign meddling.

 

Since the Arab uprisings in 2011, Lebanon has largely avoided the conflicts sweeping the Middle East. Even the war that is raging in Syria, Lebanon’s much larger neighbor, has generally left the country unscathed. That calm is now threatened as the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies set their sights on Hezbollah and its patron, Iran.

 

Why would Saudi leaders risk a new conflagration? They see a way to make common cause with Washington by targeting Hezbollah, one of Iran’s most effective allies. President Trump has consistently singled out Iran’s support for Hezbollah and other groups that Washington considers terrorist organizations.

 

 

But Saudi Arabia is already overstretched. Its war against Houthi rebels in Yemen drags on, and the diplomatic dispute with Qatar remains in a stalemate, too. If Saudi leaders think they can score an easy victory in Lebanon against Hezbollah, it will be another misjudgment that adds to a dangerous and combustible moment in the Middle East.

 

Hezbollah was part of Lebanon’s national unity government formed in late 2016 with Mr. Hariri as the prime minister. Iran and Saudi Arabia — which views itself as the protector of Lebanon’s Sunni community — blessed the power-sharing agreement.

 

Hezbollah agreed to the deal because it wanted to avoid conflict in Lebanon and to direct its energy toward the Syrian war, where it fights alongside the government of President Bashar al-Assad. As a leader with strong ties to both the Sunni Arab states and the West, Mr. Hariri provided Hezbollah with political cover as it continued to dominate Lebanon.

 

The militia’s important role in the fighting in Syria has made it more powerful than ever. But Mr. Hariri’s resignation exposes Hezbollah and its allies in the Lebanese government to harsher United States sanctions, a potential war with Israel or even an economic blockade led by Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies, similar to the one imposed on Qatar.

 

Hezbollah, which was founded in the 1980s during a civil war and an Israeli invasion, is now the country’s dominant political and military force. It is unrealistic of Saudi leaders and the Trump administration to expect that it can be supplanted by a popular Lebanese groundswell against it or removed by a foreign military force without causing catastrophic damage to Lebanon.

 

Saudi Arabia’s new ruler, King Salman, and his son and designated heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, are pursuing a far more aggressive foreign policy than previous Saudi rulers. They have been bolstered in this by Mr. Trump’s support for the kingdom in its conflict with Iran. Now that Iran’s ally, Mr. Assad, has essentially won the civil war in Syria, Saudi Arabia is looking to contain Iranian influence elsewhere. Lebanon is a tempting target.

 

The Saudis have also been emboldened by their recent outreach to Shiite factions in Iraq, especially the nationalist cleric Moktada al-Sadr, who visited the kingdom in July and met with Prince Mohammed. The Saudis are hoping to cultivate Mr. Sadr and other Shiite leaders who can be a counterweight to Iranian influence in Iraq, especially ahead of parliamentary elections next year.

 

But the Saudis won’t be able to find a Sadr in Lebanon, a political figure who can offer a serious alternative to Hezbollah and Iranian influence in the Shiite community.

 

Since the end of Lebanon’s civil war in 1990, Hezbollah has entrenched itself in the largely Shiite areas of southern Beirut and southern Lebanon. With Iranian support, it opened schools and hospitals, provided business loans and fielded candidates for parliamentary elections. It also extended its military capability, deploying thousands of missiles along the border with Israel.

 

In February 2005, Rafik Hariri, a billionaire construction tycoon and Lebanon’s former prime minister, was assassinated in a bombing in Beirut. His death deprived Lebanon of its most prominent Sunni leader — and Saudi Arabia lost its most important Lebanese ally. After Mr. Hariri’s death, his son Saad took over his father’s Saudi-based construction empire and the Sunni political mantle in Lebanon.

 

In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah fought a monthlong war with Israel, which ended in a draw and increased the militia’s popularity across the Muslim world. But by early 2011, Hezbollah’s standing began to wane after a United Nations tribunal indicted several of its members for Mr. Hariri’s assassination.

 

If Mr. Hariri’s killing was a first salvo of the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Lebanon, subsequent battles also did not go Riyadh’s way.

 

In May 2008, Hezbollah broke a post-civil-war vow not to turn its weapons against other Lebanese factions. At the time, Lebanon was mired in a political stalemate between a United States- and Saudi-backed government — which included Sunni, Christian and Druze parties — and Hezbollah and its allies.

 

Hezbollah was infuriated by a government decision that outlawed its underground fiber-optic communication network, which was critical to its success during its 2006 war with Israel. Hezbollah’s leaders sent hundreds of fighters into largely Sunni neighborhoods of West Beirut. They overpowered Sunni militiamen and seized the offices and media outlets of political rivals, including Mr. Hariri.

 

Hezbollah’s success so alarmed the Sunni Arab states that Saudi Arabia toyed with the idea of sending an Arab military force to intervene in Lebanon. Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister at the time, asked a visiting American diplomat whether the United States and NATO could provide equipment, logistics and “naval and air cover” to assist such an army, according to a classified American diplomatic cable disclosed by WikiLeaks. Prince Faisal warned Washington that Hezbollah’s actions would lead to an “Iranian takeover of all Lebanon.”

 

Years later, Saudi leaders organized a similar force to wage their war in Yemen, against Houthi rebels allied with Iran. A day after Mr. Hariri’s resignation, the front page of a Saudi-owned pan-Arab newspaper declared, “Hariri departs Hezbollah’s republic.” The subtext was clear: Without its most prominent Sunni leader, Lebanon is under Hezbollah’s full control — and it will be fair game in the latest battle with Iran.”

 A 1-0-8

 

 

 

President Obama – Man On Fire – Not Having To Carry Whining Democrats On His Back; Republicans And Benjamin Netanyahu Have Met Their Match!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2015 by sheriffali

Meet Drama Obama Because Mr. Cool Has Left The Building!

 

Obama is gambling that he won’t hurt his party and that in 10 years Iran will be a better member of the international community. But he can’t do worse as an oracle of the Middle East than the conservative warmongers who ravaged the region.

 

 

[Maureen Dowd NYT] Washington — IN the midst of Iran mania, the president got tossed a question about Bill Cosby.

 

Would he revoke the Medal of Freedom given to a comedian who has been accused of subverting the free will of dozens of women, and counting?

 

It was a riveting moment.

 

It has been said that Cliff Huxtable was instrumental in paving the way for Barack Obama.

 

Until the nation began watching the sterling Obamas, the sterling Huxtables were the most celebrated positive image of a wholesome, engaging, upper-middle-class black family.

 

The president may have flashed back to another White House news conference in 2009 when he forthrightly — and correctly — accused the police of acting “stupidly” in arresting his friend Skip Gates on a suspicion of breaking into his own Cambridge, Mass., home. The backlash from the police led to Obama suffering through the inane “beer summit.”

 

So when April Ryan of the American Urban Radio Networks asked about Cosby, President Obama’s lawyerly side kicked in at first. He punted, saying he did not comment on cases that could be litigated.

 

Then he looked down, pressed his lips together and unleashed a well deserved hell on Cosby. Because in the sunset of his presidency, Obama’s bolder side is rising. He’s a lame duck who doesn’t give a damn.

 

“If you give a woman — or a man, for that matter — without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape,” he said.

 

The father of two daughters reflected genuine disgust.

 

With Cosby, the Charleston, S.C., eulogy with the rendition of “Amazing Grace” and the visit with felons in federal prison in Oklahoma to speak up for that unloved constituency, and say “There but for the grace of God,” the president who once tread gingerly on race has discovered a more gingery voice.

 

And the chorus in the land finally proclaims: “That’s the man I voted for.”

 

Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to tell colleagues that one is only president from the inauguration to the first midterm. But President Obama is rewriting the book on Oval Office juice.

 

He has talked wistfully in private for years about “going Bulworth” and emulating Warren Beatty’s hilariously blunt senator in that movie. Now he’s doing it.

 

“This is the guy I know,” David Axelrod told me. “He’s focused on big things, speaking hard truths and damning small politics, and that is why so many of us were attracted to him from the start.”

 

When CBS’s Major Garrett grandstanded in the White House press conference, asking the president why he was content “to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation” to the Americans stuck in prison in Iran, Obama gave Garrett the back of his hand.

 

“Major,” he shot back, “that’s nonsense, and you should know better.”

 

Time to dismiss the Anger Translator.

 

The president is far more energized than a couple years ago, when — thwarted by intransigent Republicans and the intractable Middle East — he acted as though he would like to quit, if it was a job you could stride away from.

 

He clearly enjoys settling into his favorite role — the man alone in the arena, disdaining the flattering rituals and back-scratching of politics, the dread drinks with Senator McConnell and stupid golf with Speaker Boehner.

 “Eight months ago, he was left for dead after the midterm elections,” Axelrod said. “But he saw it as a liberating moment, the starting buzzer on the final quarter. And he is working down his list of things undone and knocking them out one after another. For those of us who were there from the start, it’s thrilling to see.”

 

Aside from Mitch McConnell, the happiest person last November when McConnell won was Obama because he was freed from having to humor Harry Reid and Hill Democrats.

 

He passed the trade bill with help from Republicans who spent years trying to hurt him and he is now teaming with the Koch brothers, who have spent a fortune trying to kill his agenda, for a criminal justice overhaul.

 

He brushed away the contentious politics on Cuba, the Confederate flag and Iran and said it was long past time to move on.

 

A few years ago, he privately fretted that he was no longer lucky. But he got lucky with the Supreme Court on health care and gay marriage.

 

He wrote in his memoir that from the time he was young, he learned the trick of not seeming angry so he wouldn’t alarm white folks.

 

But now he seems eager to mix it up as he goes through his rhymes-with-bucket list. As Glenn Thrush put it in his “Meet ‘Drama’ Obama” piece in Politico, “Mr. Cool has left the building.”

 

Obama has always radiated the smug air that he was right and any other positions were illogical. But it is gratifying when aimed at the obnoxious Republicans and more obnoxious Bibi.

 

Republicans were never going to go for the Iran deal. Their apocalyptic statements were written well in advance and they just had to hit “Send” followed by a fund-raising appeal to Jewish donors.

 

Twitter @sheriffali

 

Twitter @hrcwhitehouse

 BARACK - MAN ON FIRE  - 1 BARACK - WHINING DEMOCRATS BARACK - BUSH CHENY PLUS CRIMES BARACK - ENEMIES FRONT AND BACK

 

 

John Boehner And Republicans Secret Mission In Their Unrelenting Scheme With Israel To Start A War With Iran Blows Up On Twitter.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2015 by sheriffali

John Boehner Isn’t In Israel, He Is In Iraq And So Is Mitch McConnell And A Delegation of Republicans. America, Don’t Let These People Start Another War, It is Your Sons And Daughters That Would Die; It Is The United States Treasury That Would Be Tapped For Trillions Of Dollars; And, These Warmongers Would Profit Out of This Tragedy, Like Dick Cheney And George Bush Did With The Illegal Iraq war.

It was all supposed to be hush-hush. The offices of Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky were only too happy to tell the world they were leading Republican delegations to Israel and into the wilds of a Middle East coming apart at the seams. But most of the itinerary was to be a secret.

 

Someone forgot to tell the governments in the region.

 

On Monday, the Jordanian Embassy in Washington posted a lovely picture on Twitter of King Abdullah II around a table with Mr. McConnell by his side. Many of the leader’s travel mates are not easily made out, but Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Thom Tillis of North Carolina andCory Gardner of Colorado were clear enough.

 

Not long after, the Jordanians posted a photo of the foreign minister sitting across from Mr. Boehner and Representatives Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, Devin Nunes of California and Mike Simpson of Idaho. They added a photo of Mr. Boehner with the king, Mr. Nunes and a smiling Queen Rania.

 

Then on Tuesday, Mr. Boehner embarked on his most perilous leg: a trip to Baghdad. The office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi helpfully announced his arrival with a news release and a photo.

 

Seeming to acknowledge that the secrets had become well known, Mr. Boehner’s office released a statement later on Tuesday detailing a meeting in Saudi Arabia and showing a photo of Mr. Boehner and Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi defense minister, sitting in ornate gold chairs.

 

 — Jonathan Weisman [NYT]

 

Twitter @sheriffali

 ISRAEL - REPUBLICANS WANT WAR WITH IRAN

President Obama, UN Assembly And A World Gone Mad!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2014 by sheriffali

Every action has a reaction and George W Bush, Dick Cheney and the War Monger Neocons in the Bush Administration illegal invasion of Iraq, set the world on fire and it is going to take more than water to put out the flames.

 

America’s overall problems have been in the making for decades, yet Republicans, some Democrats and the uninformed, ignorant, brainwashed right-wing voters; blame President Obama for all that ails America.

 

All of the nonsense about the Media being 90% or more liberal is truly a farce. Since becoming President under difficult circumstances caused by Bush and Cheney, the assault On Obama from most of the Media, has been relentless. Obama took Office when we were in a Financial meltdown; Housing Collapse; Bank Closures; Job losses that drove the unemployment rate to 10.2%; two out of control unpaid for wars of 5.1 trillion; two unpaid tax cut for the rich totaling 1.2 trillion dollars and a collapse in the Stock Market with America’s credibility out the door, President Obama has done a good job and then some, pulling us out of the deep and unforgiving waters Bush threw us into.

 

As for the Middle East Gone mad, no amount of American Boots on the ground in the Middle East is going to fix what is wrong in the Arab World, and unless or until the Arabs find a Political solution for their problems, all we can really do, is to stop the madness as best as we can, but, there isn’t any military solution to rectify religious and ethnic problems.

 

We have firsthand knowledge of being in Iraq for eight years with thousands of lives lost; tens of thousands injured; Military Suicides at a rate of 22 per day; hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed at a cost of 1.7 trillion dollars, and of course, there are those like McCain and Graham beating the War Drum to send other people’s children to get killed in the middle of madness.

 

So long as President Obama keep his word and do not reinvade Iraq with tens of thousands of troops, his decision that he recently implemented would not solve the problems, but it may buy the Arabs time to readjust.

 

Twitter @sheriffali

BARACK OBAMA - UN SEP 24 14

David Cameron you need to stop talking tough and assist the United States against these egregious machinations. Until now, President Obama [USA] is the only one bombing the evil ISIS.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2014 by sheriffali

ISIS Executed David Cawthorne Haines, British Aid Worker

 

He is seen kneeling on a bare hill in a landscape that appears identical to the one where two American journalists — James Foley and Steven J. Sotloff — were killed by the group in back-to-back-executions in the past month, according to the footage and a transcript released by SITE Intelligence, which tracks the terrorist group.

 

In the moments before his death, Mr. Haines, 44, as the two other journalists did before him, reads a script in which he blames his country’s leaders for his killing. Addressing Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, he says, “You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as your predecessor Tony Blair did, following a trend among our British prime ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans.” [NYT]

 

 

Twitter @sheriffali

BARACK OBAMA - DAVID CAMERON - ISIS

President Obama on the world – “No Victors No Vanquished”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2014 by sheriffali

 

President Obama’s interview with New York Times Reporter Thomas L. Friedman should be promoted in the field of Political Science. Mr. Obama proved once more that he is an intelligent, prudent and superbly articulate person. From the inception of the interview with President Obama’s remark “No Victor No Vanquished,” speak volumes of the depth of Mr. Obama’s thinking.

 

Irrespective of whether or not you are Republican, Democrat or Independent; whether or not you like or dislike Obama, if you can set aside your differences with the President and be openly objective, much can be learned from this remarkable interview by one of New York Times most amazing writers.

 

President Obama’s thinking about world affairs is self evident that it matters not to him about his critics and perhaps, just how downright mean spirited some are towards him. It is crystal clear to me at least, Mr. Obama doesn’t look at just today or tomorrow, he sees far and wide beyond the great horizons that are yet to come with resplendency, and that if people could learn a simple lesson; “in this life, we must learn to care and help each other; ‘change the unacceptable and accept the unchangeable;’ and that we should see this life that we have been so blessed to part of as an opportunity to do good and not see victors or vanquished, the world can be a better place for all.  

 

 

Quote New York Times:

 

“President Obama’s hair is definitely grayer these days, and no doubt trying to manage foreign policy in a world of increasing disorder accounts for at least half of those gray hairs. (The Tea Party can claim the other half.) But having had a chance to spend an hour touring the horizon with him in the White House Map Room late Friday afternoon, it’s clear that the president has a take on the world, born of many lessons over the last six years, and he has feisty answers for all his foreign policy critics.

 

Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished. The United States is not going to be the air force of Iraqi Shiites or any other faction. Despite Western sanctions, he cautioned, President Vladimir Putin of Russia “could invade” Ukraine at any time, and, if he does, “trying to find our way back to a cooperative functioning relationship with Russia during the remainder of my term will be much more difficult.” Intervening in Libya to prevent a massacre was the right thing to do, Obama argued, but doing it without sufficient follow-up on the ground to manage Libya’s transition to more democratic politics is probably his biggest foreign policy regret.”

 

Twitter @sheriffali

 

New York Times Link – Full Print and Full Video 59 minutes http://nyti.ms/1vnTGVb

PRESIDENT OBAMA - NYT - THOMAS L FRIEDMAN 08-08-14

US Congress August 01, 2014: Author and Journalist Laila El-Haddad told Congress: “I woke up this morning and learned that my Tax Dollars killed eight of my family members in Gaza. They were given an eight-second warning.”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2014 by sheriffali

 

  1. El-Farra is the aunt of author and journalistLaila El-Haddad, who testified about the massacre during a Congressional briefingFriday on US complicity in Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, which at the time of publication had claimed nearly 1,700 lives there.

 

An Israeli airstrike on Khan Younis in southern Gaza massacred nine members of the El-Farra family, including five children, early Friday morning.

 

The El-Farra family are relatives of physician Dr. Mona El-Farra, who has been frequentlyupdating The Electronic Intifada on the ever worsening situation there.

 

 

“The house was hit with a rocket, and the whole neighborhood started leaving, running in the street,” she told The Electronic Intifada in an interview on Saturday. “Another rocket, or missile, struck the children and the women who were running outside of the house.”

 

The full interview can be listened to via the player at the top of this page and the full transcript is published below.

 

  1. El-Farra works at thePalestine Red Crescent Societyand is the director of Gaza projects at the Middle East Children’s AllianceShe has been working around the clock treating patients — even after receiving Friday’s devastating news — and she and her colleagues receive hundreds of people needing treatment every day as medical supplies continue to run low or are completely depleted.

 

 

Last week, Dr. El-Farra warned that the situation in Gaza was going to worsen dramatically because of the dwindling availability of water, electricity, basic medications and medical supplies.

 

Decimation

 

The deadly airstrike in Khan Younis happened just three hours before a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire was supposed to begin. Reports indicate that Israel broke the ceasefire just under two hours after it was to be implemented Friday morning. Israel then began heavily bombing Rafah, in the southernmost region of Gaza, killing at least 110 people and decimating entire neighborhood blocks.

 

 

According to Mohammed Omer reporting for Al Jazeera English, “At least 1,680 Palestinians have been killed and 8,500 others hurt in Gaza since Israel’s military offensive began” on 7 July.

 

 

“On Friday, an Israeli tank shell struck an ambulance in Rafah, killing three medical crew members: Yousef Elshiekh Eid, Yousef Darabeh, and Atef Alzamli. Meanwhile, the city’s only hospital, Abu Yousef Al Najjar, has been under constant Israeli artillery shelling, forcing doctors to evacuate their patients and the dead bodies,” he added.

 

On Saturday, Israeli warplanes bombed the Islamic University of Gaza in Gaza City as well as the Imam Shafi mosque. Al Jazeera English reported that “glass from broken windows and notebooks belonging to some of the thousands of students” enrolled at the school were scattered around the premises. No casualties were announced.

 

 

Israeli daily Haaretz reported that according to the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF, by Saturday morning at least 296 children had been killed in the Gaza Strip since the operation began — approximately one third of the fatalities. UNICEF says that of these 296 children, 187 are boys and 109 are girls, with at least 203 of the victims under the age of 12.

 

“Just cannot cope”

 

Meanwhile, Gaza’s ministry of health stated in a press release on Saturday that it has made an emergency appeal to hospitals outside of Gaza to take fifty urgent cases as facilities remain “overloaded, and just cannot cope with the huge numebr of casualities resulting from the latest continuous Israeli bombardment, this time in the Rafah governate.”

 

The statement adds:

 

Rafah’s Al Najjar Hospital, filled to its capacity of 108 beds, had to be evacuated yesterday, leaving only two small hospitals operational to cope with the Rafah population of 350,000 people, and the hundreds and hundreds of injured: the Kuwaiti Hospital with 20 beds, and the Emirati Maternity Hospital with 50 beds.

 

Rafah is still under attack, and the injured must now be transported to either the European Gaza Hospital, almost impossible as it is directly through the line of fire, or the Al Naser Hospital in Khan Younis, which is also dangerous to access. An ambulance taking patients from Rafah to Al Naser Hospital yesterday was attacked by Israeli military, killing the driver and his assistant, and one occupant.

 

 Other casualties of the Israeli assault on Rafah are the 50-60 patients in the area with kidney failure – with the Al Najjar hospital closed, there are now no dialysis facilities. Twenty-four patients a day were receiving dialysis at Al Najjar, and they must now seek treatment elsewhere in Gaza – currently an impossibility.

 

And the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, also released a statement on Saturday denouncing Israel’s assaults on hospitals, clinics and paramedics and warned of a “rapidly unfolding” health disaster across Gaza.

 

 

UNRWA states:

 

 

One third of hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics and 29 Palestinian Red Crescent and Ministry of Health ambulances have been damaged in the fighting. At least five medical staff have been killed in the line of duty and tens have been injured. At least 40% of medical staff are unable to get to their places of work such as clinics and hospitals due to widespread violence and at least half of all public health primary care clinics are closed.

 

 Transcript: Dr. Mona El-Farra

 

Nora Barrows-Friedman: A few days ago, when we last spoke, you warned that things were going to get much worse in Gaza, especially in terms of health the ability of hospitals to function. And just yesterday, on Friday, nine members of your family were killed by Israeli bombs in Khan Younis, including five children. We are so sorry to hear this news. Tell us a little about what happened on Friday.

 

 

  1. Mona El-Farra:It was five o’clock in the morning, just three hours before the intended announcement of the humanitarian ceasefire. The house was hit with a rocket, and the whole neighborhood started leaving, running in the street. Another rocket, or missile, struck the children and the women who were running outside of the house, and I heard the news — I really felt very bad. I know my family are not different from any other families but it is difficult to know that your cousins and their kids were murdered by the Israelis.

 

 

I telephoned one of my cousins, to see what’s happening, and he told me the story. He was very devastated and in a state of shock. He said “we are going now to bury the dead.” That’s it, that’s what happened.

 

 Then, later, we saw that there was going to be a ceasefire. I went to the Red Crescent to continue, because I couldn’t go to Khan Younis — it was too dangerous, even though there was an intended ceasefire, I didn’t trust that. I went to the Red Crescent around 8:30, to learn later on that the ceasefire had collapsed and did not function. And again, it was very, very bad because the whole preparation — including my staff, and the people in Gaza were looking for some [time] to go out, to shop, to see friends and relatives, just to feel that there are some hours without shelling.

 

Some of my colleagues told me they didn’t sleep since one o’clock the previous night, they were waiting to learn that there was a ceasefire, because the attack against Gaza on services are non-stop. Thousands of explosions hit Gaza cities and towns and refugee camps and it is — Gaza is very small, crowded, and most of the casualities, most of those killed and injured are civilians, women and children.

 

 But even with a unilateral ceasefire, it means there is no political achievement. After all this bloodshed, what we need is a civil movement. We need protection guarantees that this will never, ever happen again.

 

No matter how I describe to you the situation in the ground — maybe I will not be able to describe it because it is simply disastrous. And I don’t like to keep saying “war crimes,” I don’t like to keep staying inside and all this, I just want one simple word — humanity. It has failed with greatness in Gaza, while the governments in the world are silent.

 

I appreciate the movements of the people in the streets everywhere — Europe, United States, every part of the world. But I tell you that the governments has left their humanity. And still, I believe that we will come out of this maybe weak, maybe wounded, because it’s a much heavy burden physically and psychologically, but we’ll be able to continue, because we’re not a case of charity for the world. We have our rights as Palestinian people. And one day justice will prevail — I have strong faith in that.

 

 I believe in love and peace. I believe that justice will prevail. Peace will prevail. I appeal to the world to hear from Gaza that despite the pain, Gaza’s people showed great, real steadfastness and solidarity with each other. Steadfastness and resilience. And despite the minimum resources, all of us will help each other, try to comfort each other despite the lack of resources, the poverty and the dire situation. [Nora Barrows-Friedman]

 

Twitter @sheriffali

 

 

 

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/israeli-airstrike-massacres-family-prominent-physician-and-author

LAILA EL-HADDAD AUTHOR FAMILY KILLED AUGUST 01 2014