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Special Peace Team to Gaza, February 27, 2009

Build Hope in the People of Gaza

Since the borders to Gaza have been closed to internationals, we (Liz and Peter) were not able to interview Fr. Manuel Musallam in person in Gaza City. For days we stood at the border, which is about six miles from his Holy Family Parish, hoping to see him again. This interview was by phone today. His voice as well as his words communicate the intensity of the pain he feels.

No one here in Gaza can think about the future. It is impossible to think about the future. They [Israelis] have decided for us not to BE.

The talk about reconstruction of Gaza is a big joke. This is not the last time Israel will destroy Gaza.

Instead of building houses, roads, farms – build HOPE in the spirits of the people in Gaza. This is what we are facing now. Give us something to hope for.

No one in Gaza is thinking of reconstruction, peace talks. Everyone here is waiting for a new war.

Everywhere people are speaking about defending Israel. Destroying Gaza is not a crime!
Words spoken are without a concept, without any meaning. Destroying, not a crime. White phosphorous bombs are not a crime. The world is trying to convince us that this is normal! Like ants being crushed.

I saw a journalist’s picture of a child sitting on a missile. The missile is bigger than the child! We must face a world that accepts this as normal! The ‘’siege’’ is the siege continuing right now. No one is saying the Palestinians have a right to be protected.

Fanatic parties in Israel are refusing the two state solution - withdraw from East Jerusalem, the settlements. They are building more settlements. They are torturing Palestinians.

When leaders speak of Gaza, we don’t want to ‘’rebuild’’ Gaza. We have lived thousands of years without roads. We were better off then than now. We don’t need new things.

A question to you: What if it was in reverse with Israel. If white phosphorous was used on them, what would be the reaction of the world? If we had rockets from Iran attacking Tel Aviv destroying half of Tel Aviv, what would be the world response? Palestinians should buy and have the right to buy sophisticated weapons to stop Israel. Between slaughter and death, we have no option.

Build HOPE in the spirits of the people in Gaza.
(Photo from Fr. Musullam)
-- Posted by Liz and Peter

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