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Americas: Calls for Peace in Palestine

Picture by Daquella Manera under a Creative Commons license.

Voices of solidarity are being heard from across the Americas for the situation taking place in Gaza. Several Latin American bloggers are expressing their frustration, as well as their hopes for peace in that part of the world. However, they feel that after these bombings that achieving peace in the Middle East is now even further away.

The blogger Voces [es] from Cuba writes:

Se va el 2008 con las noticias de costumbre sobre los bombardeos en Gaza. Como si fuera posible perder la capacidad de asombro, de enojo e impotencia, de rabia concentrada ante los muertos, antes los médicos que se desesperan porque no alcanzan para aliviar tanta herida abierta, tanta sangre. Grito a la paz por Palestina, grito a la paz y a la esperanza, luto en medio de las fiestas de este mundo que poco tiene que festejar. Grito a la paz por Palestina… paz… paz… paz… PAZ… PAZ.. PAZ… PAZ… PAAAZ!!!… a ver si alguien escucha…

The year 2008 is over and with it comes the news of bombings in Gaza, As if it were possible to lack the capacity of being astonished, of being angry, of feeling helpless, and angry at the deaths. The doctors are desperate because they cannot attend to so many open wounds, so much blood. I scream appealing for peace for Palestine, I scream for peace and for hope. I mourn during the celebrations of this world that has little to celebrate. I scream peace for Palestine…peace… peace… peace… PEACE… PEACE… PEACE… PEACE!!! Let's see if someone listens…

Giorgio Trucchi wrote in Barricada [es], a collective blog in Nicaragua about his concerns of the double standards by the international community, while they sanctioned Nicaragua quickly and efficiently, no one seems to really act for Palestina, neither the European Union nor the U.S.:

La comunidad internacional parece estar observando con impotencia esos acontecimientos y lo que podría ser uno de los desenlaces más cruentos y feroces contra el pueblo palestino. Hasta el momento no se le mira ese fervor, demostrado en otras ocasiones, en exigir sin titubear el respeto de los tan declamados derechos humanos. Ni se está viendo ese mismo fervor, que por ejemplo en las semanas pasadas la Unión Europea y los Estados Unidos demostraron contra Nicaragua, con el congelamiento de fondos y proyectos y resoluciones parlamentarias, frente a las condiciones espantosas en que vive la población palestina en los territorios de Gaza.

The international community seems to be powerless watching the events, which could be one of the most cruel and tragic endings for the Palestinian people. Until now, you cannot see the fervent appeals seen on other occasions, demeaning without a doubt, the respect of the “so-called” human rights. One cannot see the same fervor for example, that took place in the past few weeks when the European Union and the United states shown against Nicaragua, when they froze funds and projects and resolutions from members of Congress, and compare it to the surprising conditions in which the Palestinian population lives in the Gaza territories.

Susana Villarán from Peru provides her thoughts on the background [es] of the situation going on in Gaza, adding that the other problems taking place on the ground in Palestine, is not only the armed conflict, but the neglected protection for civilians and also impunity:

La contraparte de la negligencia con la que actúan las fuerzas israelíes es la impunidad: un mes antes de estos ataques, Yesh Din, una organización israelí defensora de los derechos humanos, publicó un informe sobre la materia. Según este entre el 2001 y el 2007 unos 2000 civiles palestinos murieron a manos del ejército israelí. Sin embargo esas 2000 muertes produjeron únicamente 78 cargos contra soldados israelíes, y solo cinco de ellos fueron condenados. Aún en esos casos, las penas fueron sensiblemente menores a aquellas que permitía la legislación israelí.

The counterpart of the negligence by the armed forces is impunity: a month before these attacks, Yesh Din, an Israeli NGO and defender of human rights published a report about impunity. According to them, between 2001 and 2007 around 2000 Palestinian civilians died at the hands of the Israeli armed forces. However, of those 2000 deaths only 78 charges against Israeli soldiers were filed and only 5 soldiers were sentenced. And even in those cases, the penalties were slightly lower than those regularly permitted by Israeli law.

Blogger Morsa from Peru wonders why it is necessary to bomb a university [es], while describing this he also appeals his readers to act against war and also that he will not tolerate antisemitism on his blog.

Continúa la barbarie en Gaza. Para que no quede dudas que el ataque no es selectivo (o por lo menos, militarmente selectivo), la Universidad Islámica de Gaza también ha sido bombardeada. El pretexto ha sido que en dicho centro de estudios se encontraban fuerzas extremistas, lo cual, como señala Akram Habeeb (profesor de literatura, becario Fulbright, de dicha universidad), es mentira.

The savagery in Gaza continues. Undoubtedly, the attack is not selective, or at least it is not looking only for military targets. The Islamic University from Gaza was also bombed. The excuse was that inside the university were extremist members, which is a lie, according Akram Habeeb, literature professor and Fulbright fellow at that university.

Blogger Alta Hora de la Noche [es], from Ayuxtepeque, El Salvador reflected upon the complex situation:

Es un problema complejísimo, que desborda lo que yo pueda decir en unas líneas. Pero si no puedo decir que no me toca la barbarie, que no resiente mi corazon ver que una vez más la solución a los problemas de esa región del mundo en que vivo se vé más lejana.

This is a far too complex problem, exceeding what I can express in these few lines. But I cannot deny how the savageness touches me, how my heart suffers when I see that once again, the solution for the problems in that region of the world looks even more distant.

Many intellectuals in Chile signed a public statement against the attacks, in solidarity with the people from Palestine, it can be found in several blogs as “Poesia para Alentar Coraje” (Poetry to Encourage Courage).

8 comments

  • Rodrigo Peñalba

    I joined the twitterference and made this question:

    “@israelconsulate #AskIsrael why dont you try peaceful efforts toward Palestine? Just like D. Barenboim did http://bit.ly/S2zL

    They answered:

    “We did. For example, allowing in international aid, withdrawing from Gaza, signing the Oslo accords, releasing prisnoners. How did Hamas respond?”

    And for that i said:

    Veamos la respuesta israelí. “Allowing in international aid” no es realmente ayudar a los palestinos, es condicionar/control/limitar la ayuda, manejandola la ayuda internacional al capricho propio y no la necesidad ni urgencia real. “Withdrawing from Gaza” es una reacción, no una acción. Indica que se retiran, que evitan contacto con los palestinos, que los evitan. Tanto así que necesitan de un muro para mantenerlos alejados de sus propias tierras. “Signing the Oslo accords” es un asunto meramente formal. Es un pedazo de papel. “Releasing prisoners” es igual que el retiro de Gaza, es reactivo, no fomenta lazos. Todos estos actos han sido decisiones de oficina, ordenes ejecutadas por soldados.

    Let’s see the israeli answer. “Allowing in international aid” is not real help to palestinians, is conditioning/controlling/limiting the help at your own will and without taking notice of the urgency of the situation. “Withdrawing from Gaza” is a reaction, not an action. It says that you prefer to stay away of palestinians, to avoid them, to separate them behind a wall. “Signing the Oslo accords” is a formality, a burocracy measure behind a desk, not real will for working with the Palestinians. “Releasing prisoners” its another reaction, you are not making bonds. All these acts have been office orders acted by soldiers.

  • Thanks for the information. Great to see many Latin American voice in solidarity with what is going on in Gaza.

  • c

    el gran problema es que dentro del status quo, el que Israel ataque a una región predominantemente musulmana no produce rechazo.
    el gran problema es que israel sigue abusando del crédito que le dá tener vecinos hostiles y una historia de abusos.

  • Interesante recopilación del sentimiento latinoamericano.

    Señores de Israel cuando yo quiero matar las moscas no uso
    bazookas uso un matamoscas. Sus excusas para justificar sus ataques son ridículas, espero que todo el conflicto acabe pronto.

  • Jake Carney

    Please, use the minds on this site to put together a situation to help Palistinian people and to end the violence. We must move forward on some kind of movement. The lies kill. We must deseminate truth and love. Please make suggestions and be patient with each other while doing this humanitarian work that must be done.

  • Thank you for your comments, indeed we should not stay as merely observers.There has to be a way to act and do something. We must try to find the way to help people.

  • Quisiera compartir con ustedes un poema de Luis Rogelio Nogueras, un poeta cubano sobre el conflicto

    Halt!

    La artillería israelí sigue cañoneando
    campamentos de refugiados palestinos
    en el Sur del Líbano
    (de la prensa)

    Recorro el camino que recorrieron 4 000 000 de espectros.
    Bajo mis botas, en la mustia, helada tarde de otoño
    cruje dolorosamente la grava.
    Es Auschwizt, fábrica de horror
    que la locura humana erigió
    a la gloria de la muerte.
    Es Auschwizt, estigma en el rostro sufrido de nuestra época.
    Y ante los edificios desiertos,
    ante las cercas electrificadas,
    ante los galpones que guardan toneladas de cabellera humana,
    ante la herrumbrosa puerta del horno donde fueron incinerados
    padres de otro hijos,
    amigos de amigos desconocidos,
    esposas, hermanos,
    niños que, en el último instante,
    envejecieron millones de años,
    pienso en ustedes, judíos de Jerusalén y Jericó,
    pienso en ustedes, hombres de la tierra de Sión,
    que estupefactos, desnudos, ateridos
    cantaron la hatikvah en las cámaras de gas;
    pienso en ustedes y en vuestro largo y doloroso camino
    desde las colinas de Judea
    hasta los campos de concentración del III Reich.
    Pienso en ustedes
    y no acierto a comprender
    cómo
    olvidaron tan pronto
    el vaho del infierno.

    Auschwitz-Cracovia octubre 21 de 1979
    Luis Rogelio Nogueras (La Habana, 1945-1985)

  • Hugo Chavez expelled the Israeli ambassador… and of course, the NYT and CNN did not report it (right away at least)…

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