Gaza: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

By Julie Webb-Pullman

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Trapped between the Zionist colonial – nay, genocidal – project on one side, and the Mediterranean on the other, the people of Gaza have literally only one option – to resist.

Illegally blockaded for 11 years, illegally occupied for 70, illegally assaulted militarily three times in the past 10, there is little left in Gaza but sheer human determination.

Determination to return to the lands stolen from under their feet in 1948 by the Zionist project, aided and abetted by the British, and by the fledgling United Nations – in breach of Article 2 of its own Charter.

Determination to end a criminal blockade that has destroyed any semblance of a functioning economy, destroyed any prospects of employment for 80% of its youth, destroyed maintenance let alone advancement of medicine, technology, agriculture, fisheries, industry, and manufacturing.

Determination to survive despite three brutal military offensives that destroyed most infrastructure – power plant, water wells, sewage treatment stations, factories, roads, hospitals and clinics (yes, Israel bombs hospitals full of patients), and schools (yes, Israel bombs schools full of refugees as well as schools full of children) – and despite the founding of an International Criminal Court to “end impunity” for such crimes.

No family in Gaza has been left unscathed: every family has lost loved ones to Israeli bars, bullets, bombs or barbarity. Some families have been entirely erased from the face of the earth. All Gaza’s families want the same thing: to live in dignity and prosperity in their own land.

They have tried literally everything.

Even peaceful demonstrations in their own country are met with live fire from across the fence, chemical weapons launched from sovereignty-breaching drones– and facile mealy-mouthed reprimands from the international bodies charged with upholding human rights and international law on whom they should be able to rely – but cannot, as history has so severely taught them.

This 70 year lesson has not been lost, even if almost everything else has been.

Today Gazans understand only too well what their options are.

So, too, must a world that has played a large part in cornering this cat. What transpires in Gaza today will be the logical – if completely avoidable – outcome of a century of imperialism and impunity.

And it will not end until they do.

As Fidel Castro said at his trial on 16 October 1953, almost exactly 65 years ago: “It is not with blood that you can pay for the lives of those who died for the wellbeing of a people; the happiness of that people is the only deserving price that can be paid for them. Moreover, my comrades are not forgotten nor dead; they live today more than ever and their murderers will see in terror how from their heroic corpses the victorious specter of their ideas rise.”

You will see them at the fence today.