Viva Palestina U.S. convoy held up again by Egyptian Government

July 14, 2009


Perishable supplies stranded at the Rafah Gate.

Perishable supplies at the Rafah Gate. Photo International Movement to Open the Rafah Border June 2009

A sad and familiar story – as a tiny fragment of the ‘quintessential Palestinian experience’ comes to light again. This time U.S. Viva Palestina activists are witnesses:

“It takes place at a border, a checkpoint: in short, at any one of those modern barriers where identities are checked and verified” (Rashid Khalidi in journalist Lala El-Haddad’s blog: Diary of a Palestinian Mother – see my  post of May 12th, 2009).

My questions are: When will President Obama start listening? He once said: “Show me the movement” (meaning he needed some outward sign of what people want…Obama’s quote is referred to in the forthcoming film FoodInc and on BBC Radio in ‘The Food Programme’)

People want peace. So many of us want the borders open, children fed, and people cared for properly. So what about the worldwide Palestine solidarity movement? How much bigger does this vast, international solidarity movement need to get for President Obama to notice it and take action?

How long will the convoy be able to keep going?  How much food and medicine will be wasted? How many more (children, parents, sisters, brothers) will die in this global political and bureaucratic mess before the ‘right forms’ reach the ‘right people’? And what are the vested interests that encourage the British government, the United Nations and the European Union to prop up a repeat performance of this cruel smokescreen-charade?

“The Viva Palestina U.S. convoy has been facing barrier after barrier in recent days despite having initially hoped to cross into the Gaza Strip this morning.  The Egyptian government, collaborator in Israel’s severe blockade for the past 2 years, has set up a course of administrative obstacles which will delay the group’s entry into Gaza” (For more see U.S. Viva Palestina site).

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