The White House and the Rafah border protests…

June 22, 2009

I received a Father’s day mailing from Mrs. Michelle Obama at the White House which was genuinely appreciated. It’s possible that Mrs. Obama thinks I’m a bloke – still we all agree fathers have a crucial role to play in creating and maintaining peace in society, don’t we?

 With my journalist’s hat on, and conscious of needing to examine both sides of the story – I took the opportunity to send a reply back with a link to this blog – asking the White House for a position statement on the Rafah border protests. 

Picture June 20th, 2009. International Movement to Open the Rafah Border.

Picture June 20th, 2009. International Movement to Open the Rafah Border.

I know the President and his family have a great deal of expertise in blogging and social networking, so I hope that some sort of useful dialogue emerges. Sometimes ‘no response’ is a response in itself, but you never know…I enclosed a news update from the International Movement to Open the Rafah Border. Here’s IMORB’s latest message and photos:

“In the ninth day of a sit-in camp at the Rafah, Egypt border gate, the International Movement to Open the Rafah Border (IMORB) rejects President Obama’s rationale for the siege of Gaza and the limited access through the Rafah gate. In his address to the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last month, US President Obama said that arms shipments to Hamas must stop.”

 “The Rafah gate is not a point of transfer for weapons, but a through-way for Palestinians and commerce,” said Paki Wieland of Northhampton, Mass, USA. “Through our extensive interviews we have heard again and again, from aging parents, families, and students, that they want to visit with family in Gaza, attend weddings or return home; this is so normal,” continued Ms. Wieland, ” and when they are denied, the emotional stress and economic strain brings sadness, anger, and devastating despair.

 “The technology is available to monitor for potential weapons shipments through Rafah,” said Don Bryant of Cleveland, Ohio, USA. “This siege is just an excuse to strangle Gaza to death,” he said.

 The IMORB will continue the sit-in and fasting at the Rafah gate indefinitely. On a daily basis, IMORB challenges the closed border and escorts people seeking entry to Gaza.. 

One Palestinian-American family from Texas USA has been waiting over two weeks, like hundreds of others, to enter Gaza. “This is so humiliating,” said the Texan mother of four.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9986479902

Picture by International Movement to Open the Rafah Border. June 20th, 2009

Picture by International Movement to Open the Rafah Border. June 20th, 2009

Picture by International Movement to Open the Rafah Border June 20th. 2009

Picture by International Movement to Open the Rafah Border June 20th. 2009

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