Human Rights Activists Detained as Part of Cruel Embargo
Whatever the political situation, whatever the state of their homeland, people need food when they’re hungry, medicine when they’re sick, and shelter when they’re tired or the weather turns bads. To deny people these necessities because others who share their homeland or origin have attacked you or may attack you is something the vast majority of us know to be wrong.
This is, however, exactly what the Israeli government is doing to the people of Gaza.
The latest development in the blockade of the Gaza strip is that Israel is detaining nineteen activists, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a former US congresswoman, who were attempting to bring supplies to Gaza on board a ship. This is despite the fact that Cypriot authorities inspected the ship prior to it leaving their port and found that it was carrying no weapons.
Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the move was part of Israel’s “cruel blockade of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza” in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting any form of collective punishment against “an occupied people”.
Falk, an American expert on international law, said Israel’s two-year blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza restricted vital supplies such as food, medicine and fuel to “bare subsistence levels”.
Recognizing that this sort of treatment is wrong isn’t about being “pro-Palestine” or “anti-Israel”. It isn’t about where the border on the map should be drawn or your feelings about Hamas. It is about recognizing the basic humanity of the Palestinians—women, children, and men—living in Gaza. Wherever your opinion falls regarding the rest, failure to see that people have a right to meet their basic needs is ultimately a failure of your own humanity.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Israel holds activists who tried to reach Gaza by boat (guardian.co.uk)
- Cynthia McKinney On Board Gaza Aid Boat Intercepted By Israeli Navy (huffingtonpost.com)
- Reuters: Amnesty says Israel “wantonly” destroyed Gaza (americablog.com)
- McKinney held in Israel, to be returned to U.S. (cnn.com)
- Israel intercepts boat with ex-Rep. McKinney (cnn.com)