Actress Mia Farrow voices 'outrage' over Gaza UPDATE

You could never find a headline like the above one in mainstream American newspapers, the censorship being what it is. You would have to delve into the European or Israeli press or perhaps some off-beat internet sites in order to find out that the actress Mia Farrow (a UNICEF volunteer) went to Gaza to determine for herself the conditions under which Palestinians live, especially after Israel's invasion of the Strip late last year. 1,400 Palestinians were killed over the three week blitzkrieg, in which mostly civilians, entire families and over 300 children, were killed.

But even before this attack, Gaza was being starved while it attempted to survive a siege, mainly focused on undoing the democratic election of Hamas to head the Palestinian government. So much for democracy. When Israel-US backed Fatah forces failed to oust Hamas, intensification of the siege was the response. The Bush administration turned its head away, and although Obama later cautioned Israel to permit humanitarian aid into the Strip, what it did permit in was only a small percentage of what was needed for basic subsistence. Medical patients in need of treatment outside of Gaza were just allowed to die, now in the hundreds.

The Associated Press provided the story, albeit with the usual Israel slanted propaganda.

In Gaza, actress Mia Farrow voices 'outrage' over blockade

Mia Farrow said Thursday she was outraged by conditions for children in the Gaza Strip after a blockade that has stretched for more than two years and a large-scale Israeli offensive against Hamas last winter.

The 64-year-old American actress also criticized Gaza militants' rocket attacks on southern Israel, saying stopping them could lead to more international aid for the impoverished coastal strip. Farrow's comments came during her six-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations children's agency. She will also visit sites in the West Bank and the southern Israeli town of Sderot, a frequent target of Gaza rockets.

"All people of conscious are offended and outraged by this situation," Farrow told reporters in Gaza. "And we sincerely hope that measures will be taken to alleviate this situation as soon as possible."

In Gaza, Farrow visited a hospital, where she said doctors told her they lacked essential supplies. Gaza's 1.5 million residents have been under a strict Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas militants violently seized control of the area in June 2007. Israel says it will not lift the embargo, which has caused shortages of many basic goods, until Hamas releases kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The article contains numerous falsehoods and propaganda points. For example, it fails to mention that it was Israel that broke the ceasefire, killing six Palestinians inside Gaza, which provoked the resumption of rocket attacks. In fact, killings in Gaza as well as the West Bank by Israel forces had continued before the Egyptian brokered ceasefire. Before that Hamas had petitioned for ceasefires at least a half dozen times and underwent voluntary ceasefires twice (Jimmy Carter's interview of Meshal, the leader of Hamas, in Syria).

It also fails to mention that the US and Israel had funded and supplied weapons to Fatah in order to take Hamas down in Gaza, which failed. The impression one gets is that Hamas took over Gaza by force, rather than by defense against Fatah.

At that time, Hamas was just Israel's latest red herring for not pursuing peace. Now that Netanyahu and the right wing extremist Likud party is in power, it is quite obvious that Hamas is no longer needed. Likud is the obstacle and it does not mind saying so by continuing the colonization of the remainder of original Palestine.

So this question needs to be asked: is there any purpose for continuing the siege of Gaza?

UPDATE:

Not that life is any better or changed in the West Bank or East Jerusalem since Obama's election. Here is a recent bulletin from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:

Israeli Settlers Cut Down Palestinian Olive Trees

October 15th, 2009

This month, Palestinian farmers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank will brave Israeli army checkpoints and curfews, apartheid fences and walls, and likely attacks by Israeli settlers simply to harvest their olives trees. As we feared, Stop the Wall reports that Israeli settlers hacked down 190 olive trees this month in Deir 'Ammar, and the Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bilin report that Israeli soldiers prevented farmers from harvesting their olive trees.

For centuries, these olive trees have formed the backbone of Palestinian agriculture. Yet as this 9-minute documentary below shows, as part of its illegal military occupation, Israel has systematically uprooted these Palestinian olive trees by the thousands to clear land for illegal Israeli settlements, apartheid fences and walls, and to dispossess Palestinian farmers of their lands and livelihoods.

Since Netanyahu's election, everything in Palestine remains the same. The occupation and colonization go on. Read more here:

http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2368

Tags: Gaza, Israel, Mia Farrow, Netanyahu, Palestine (all tags)

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