'Israel resembles a failed state'
By Ali Abunimah
One year has passed since the savage Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, but for the people there time might as well have stood still.
Since Palestinians in Gaza buried their loved ones - more than 1,400 people, almost 400 of them children - there has been little healing and virtually no reconstruction.
According to international aid agencies, only 41 trucks of building supplies have been allowed into Gaza during the year.
Promises of billions made at a donors' conference in Egypt last March attended by luminaries of the so-called "international community" and the Middle East peace process industry are unfulfilled, and the Israeli siege, supported by the US, the European Union, Arab states, and tacitly by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah, continues.
Today was a warm sunny day in Amman. It felt like Spring as there were even a few flowers blooming in the garden. Around noon, I spoke with Rami in Gaza, via Skype video. We talked about the latest developments with the Gaza Freedom March - the hope and determination to continue despite the obstacles that Egypt keeps placing. Then feeling a need to talk about something happier, I asked him if it was sunny and beautiful in Gaza today as it was in Amman. "I will show you Gaza," Rami said, and turned his camera toward the window. At the same moment I went out onto the veranda with my laptop. The Gaza Sun shone into my eyes through the video link, while I felt the warmth of the Amman Sun on my face. It is the same Sun, we laughed, but the Sun is under siege in Gaza. We shared hopes that soon we would be standing in the Sun together. The distance from here to there is barely 150 km as the crow flies, but it feels like it might as well be in another solar system. Over the next few days people are flying to Cairo from all over the world and I will too after the weekend. Our determination remains: to stand in the Sun with the Palestinian people in Gaza and to break the darkness of the siege. Goodnight and safe travels to all.
Egyptian opposition to Gaza Freedom March has ‘hardened’
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s opposition to the Gaza Freedom March has "hardened" since it announced on December 20 that it would not allow the Code Pink-organized demonstration to enter the Strip from Rafah, on the Egyptian border. So a friend informs, and the San Francisco paper confirms.
The Egyptians have also revoked a permit for a planning meeting of marchers on Sunday Dec. 27th in Cairo. And they have indicated that they will block travel by marchers to El- Arish in the Sinai desert, the stopping off point for the Gaza border. From the facebook page for the Gaza organizers:
I am still determined.
Just ran into Thaer, on my flight to Amman. He's joining up with Viva Palestina convoy. They're driving Down to Aqaba taking ferry to Egypt and driving up to Gaza.