VERA MACHT: KULNA GAZA - WE ARE ALL GAZANS
Fifteen people were killed so far, and no end in sight.
Tomorrow the foreigners will be evacuated, Israel threatens with a "massive military attack", a "ground invasion" is not ruled out. Fifteen killed people, including two children. I can give their names, Malek, two years old, and Mahmoud, thirteen years. I can tell how Mahmoud's teacher has described him as an intelligent, bright student, or I can show photos of the two.
As if that would create an outcry , as if the Western media would care enough for the lives of Palestinian children. No, Israel was attacked. Israel must defend itself.
Neither the circumstances, let alone the actual perpetrators of the attack on Israel have been identified so far, every Palestinian military faction has denied any involvement in it. But Gaza is blamed, as Gaza is always to be blamed for, Gaza must be punished, Gazan blood must flow so that the murder on Israelis will be avenged.
How much blood must still flow, you Israeli generals? How many Mahmouds and Maleks will have to die, how many women and children will have to be injured and killed? The signs suggest that it will still be many. And the signs suggest that the world is going to accept it. That it will accept that innocent people are being killed who had nothing but nothing to do with the attack on Isarel.
But of course Palestinians must be "punished", simply because they are Palestinians. I was at the protests against the Israeli embassy in Cairo. There were also Egyptian soldiers being killed. "Regrettable", called Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, the incident. Since when is it just a pity when you kill the soldiers of your neighboring country. The people outside the embassy were angry, they demanded the expulsion of the ambassador, removed the Israeli flag and replaced it with an Egyptian one.
Yet the Egyptian activists with whom I spoke were skeptical. Egypt is weak, they said. We have no president, no real political leadership, we must first rebuild our country, our economy needs to grow. Economy? I asked. Don't get me wrong. Of course I know that Egypt is in a difficult position. But it's not about economical support for a war torn country.
As we speak, Gaza is being bombed. As we speak, innocent people are dying. If Israel doesn't experience any resistance, any outcry, any appeal from the world public to act carefully, then a new massacre will happen. A 'Cast Lead' two. In which 1382 people were murdered in three weeks, including 320 children.
I told them, I urge you not to watch your brothers and sisters being murdered. I appealed to the Muslim community spirit, but actually I want to appeal to the humanity of each of us.
My friends in Gaza have changed their Facebook profile pictures to red letters saying: "Kulna Gaza." We are all Gaza.
In a desperate attempt to show the world that the people who are bombed there in that moment are not bloodthirsty terrorists, but people like you and me. Who feel, think, laugh and suffer like we all do. Who are sitting at home in front of their computers, locked up in a tiny coastal strip from where there is no escape, no place to be safe. They are sitting there hoping and praying that the bombs falling around them won't hit their own house, that they will live until the next day. With the Internet as the only possibility to show their existence, their suffering, to draw attention to their humanity.
On their behalf I appeal on our humanity. Because a piece of land having nothing to exploit anymore, neither industry nor resources, which is already completely devastated by bombs, can hardly hope for political support. This land can only be helped by humanity. I appeal to your humanity not to allow any new massacre in Gaza. To show opposition. Through demonstrations, through protests.
In a country like Egypt, with really plenty of own problems, thousands of people were on the streets yesterday to demonstrate support for Gaza and to show the people there that they are not alone. Let us take it as example.
I call on you - on us - to protest. As loudly and forcefully as possible. A new massacre in Gaza can't and shouldn't happen, and it's in our hands to prevent it. Not in the hands of politicians who decide on economic terms, but in ours. It is up to us, that we prevent a new war in Gaza.
Kulna Gaza - we are all Gaza.
Vera Macht is a journalist and peace activist who has lived in Gaza for one year. She is now in Cairo where she tries to obtain a permission to cross Rafah border to get back to Gaza again.