It has been a while

Sorry I have not posted in a while. It isn’t through lack of anything to say, quite opposite with the glut of news coming out of Palestine. News that never makes our major news channels, however news agencies like Russia Today and Al Jazeera  report news in a more balanced approach….ie, BOTH sides of the story not just the Israeli bias we are fed in our western media.

I am sure that very few of you that heard that last Sunday, the global hacker group Anonymous, managed to hack and shut down, many Israeli Government sites, knocking about 9 billion dollars from the stock market. One has to ask yourself WHY this never made the mainstream media.

Yesterday I went to my first conference about Palestine, organised by the Palestine Solidarity campaign, which incidentally was covered by Al Jazeera  who were there filming the conference.

http://www.palestinecampaign.org/

This was named Lessons from Gaza, but it covered ALL of Palestine, not just Gaza.  The introductory speaker, Hugh Lanning, the chair of the PSC, has visited Gaza numerous times and he said what stuck him each and ever time, was how the people of Gaza don’t speak of themselves as a separate entity, but as Palestinians and talk about the whole of Palestine…Gaza can not be separated.

Jeremy Corben MP took to the podium http://www.jeremycorbyn.org.uk/

Jeremy made a very valid point about Israel wanting peace and how they say that is how they want to live. “If I moved into a new house, I would really want to endear my neighbours, so I would build a 60ft concrete wall, top it with barbed wire, attach machine guns which go off at random times, put cameras on it to film each and every movement of these neighbours I want to be friendly with. I would cut off their water supply and just let them have a trickle whilst I swam in my luxury pool and would randomly cut off their electricity supply too, whilst of course mine is not affected.” Of course this is not a direct quote, but this is virtually what he said.

It puts the whole ludicrous situation out there into perspective. How can these actions mean they want peace?

During the day, there were many speakers, but the highlight for me was the live link up with Gaza on Skype. Isn’t modern technology amazing? First to speak was Dr Mona El- Farra

http://www.gazaark.org/2013/03/15/podcast-gaza-women-suffering-but-struggling-says-dr-mona-el-farra/

She said that 95%…yes, 95% of children living in the Gaza strip suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These children have been robbed of a childhood, because of man-made greed and arrogance. The ‘men in suits’ have forgotten about humanity and the people on the ground who are being affected….all because they were given the chance to vote and choose their own government…they did, but Israel and the world didn’t like it!

Domestic violence has grown massively. It is the women and the children who are suffering the most.

The day was long and I am not going to bang on about all the speakers, who they were and what they said, I am just going to list a few quotes that I jotted down during the day.

“55% of the population in Gaza are university graduates”

“The kids in Gaza are determined to get on and become Doctors, lawyers..”

“Social media is the ONLY place many Palestinians can meet, they can’t physically, due to walls and borders. Anything that happens in Palestine on Twitter always trends, as they are so united, even though the country has been divided”

“We are the stones of the valley- we shall not go from here. We shall overcome.”

“There have been 14,000km’s of roads that have been built for the settlers, 22 villages are now separated from Jerusalem that were once joined. Of course there are other roads for the Palestinians.”

“We need another infatada.”

“I have seen another Hiroshima in Gaza”

“People are dying, not because of Rockets, but because of a free election”

“This is like an elephant sitting on a mouse. No-one tells the elephant to get up, they just tell the mouse to keep quiet”

“The Palestinian Authorities are not allowed to discuss rights for Israeli Palestinians,  we have Israeli citizenship, but we have no rights. 40 Israeli/Arab villages are unrecognized in Israel.”

“Textbooks are smuggled through Egypt, to allow the students to study, most study by candlelight, some are dying to study as there are many housefires caused by these candles and lack of electricity.”

“The Israeli’s are afraid of the Palestinians being educated and being able to tell the world their story. Fortunately for us, the majority are. There is no illiteracy in Gaza.”

“We resist to exist!”

(for more information on the conference-http://www.palestinecampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/programmefinal.pdf)

By sheer coincidence, my friend and I were booked on train seats opposite one of the main speakers from the day- Prof. Kamel Hawwash. Coincidence or Kismet?

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About shakingtheshadowsfromtheolivetrees

I have a massive case of wanderlust and plan to see as much of this beautiful planet as I can before I die. I love Egypt, which gave me my first taster of Arabic culture, since then I have travelled to a few Arabic-speaking countries. My idea of a nightmare is an all inclusive 5* hotel resort. I much prefer to stay in basic accommodation in amongst the locals. Some of the best food I have eaten has been street food...and incidentally some of the worst has been in a 5*hotel. This year has given me the opportunity to visit Palestine, a place I loved to read about when I was younger in my children's bible. I am sure it isn't going to disappoint.
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