26/06/2009

Gaza, the forgotten

After having shed light on the persistent blockade of the Gaza Strip, then having covered with rare perseverance the three weeks of Israeli attacks in passed December and January, the media seem to have forgotten this piece of earth, while the situation is increasingly worrisome. Despite the millions promised by foreign powers for the reconstruction of the Palestinian territory, the Israeli blockade was not lifted and materials for reconstruction as well as staple foods found only rarely access to the Gaza Strip.

In order to attract the world’s attention on the situation of the Gazans, but also to penetrate the coastal blockade imposed by the Israeli navy, the Free Gaza movement is planning to send two ships laden with fifteen tons of cement and three tons of medicines for the needs of the population of the Strip. The departure from Cyprus was scheduled for Thursday 25 June, but the authorities of Nicosia refuse the permission to leave the harbor. The Israeli authorities informed by members of the Free Gaza movement of their intentions, warned they will not let the boats reach their destination. Meanwhile, the United States warned the « Hope Fleet  » that the territory was still considered a conflict zone by the Israelis.

So what happens behind the official statements calling on Israel to lift the blockade? The world appears to be less concerned about the situation in the Gaza Strip than before the massacre perpetrated by the Israeli army a few months ago. Such a silence can only strengthen the Israeli conviction to have pursued the right strategy. Is this what the world wanted to send as a message? To support the Free Gaza operation for governments is to meet once a degree of consistency between their words and deeds. Today, the Palestinians of Gaza and elsewhere need more than rhetoric.

Finally, an important task lies with the media. Instead of following the wishes of the audience to decide the news, it is sometimes necessary and of their responsibility to recall some forgotten information to an audience that has often a short memory. The situation in Gaza is one of these forgotten information, tomorrow the repression of the protest against the regime in Iran will be another.

Nathalie Janne d’Othée