Arrow-right Camera

Opinion

Sun., Aug. 10, 2014

Equal rights in Gaza

Stephen Berde (July 19) says, “If Hamas fighters lay down their arms, there would be peace. If Israelis were to lay down their arms, there would be death, instantly, for thousands of Jews, and the end of Israel.”

Such a profound misreading of this struggle.

Rockets from Gaza are the result not of hatred but of 47 years of military occupation and a seven-year siege that keeps this civilian population – over 50 percent children – captive, fenced in, can’t get in or out, subject to the blockade that blocks food, medical and building supplies.

Israeli health officials calculated the minimum number of calories needed to avoid starvation and allowed truckloads of only that amount into Gaza. Ten percent of children under 5 have stunted growth due to prolonged exposure to malnutrition. Anemia affects 60 percent of schoolchildren.

This blockade must end in order to achieve any semblance of peace, and then work must begin to bring justice.

Unfortunately, the discovery some years ago of large gas fields in international Palestinian waters all but ensure that Israel will never give Palestine control of its own water or land.

A fair resolution would not mean “the end of Israel,” but rather equal rights for all there. What American stands against equal rights?

Marianne Torres

Spokane