Who will save Gaza's children?
by MainStreet, Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:41:48 PM EST
The LINK to the article below is to a British newspaper, the Guardian. We would never expect to read about this inhumane situation in the United States, because it would put Israel in a bad light, but also because Americans as a whole don't seem to care about Palestinians, even though that can be partly attributed to news censorship and pro-Israel propaganda.
Earlier this year, it was reported that over 300 children died in the Gaza massacre. But now we learn that the toll on children from Israel's siege is continuing in the form of rising infant deaths.
Among all the complex and long-term solutions being sought in Copenhagen for averting environmental catastrophe across the world, there is one place where the catastrophe has already happened, but could be immediately ameliorated with one simple political act.
In Gaza there is now no uncontaminated water; of the 40,000 or so newborn babies, at least half are at immediate risk of nitrate poisoning - incidence of "blue baby syndrome", methaemoglobinaemia, is exceptionally high; an unprecedented number of people have been exposed to nitrate poisoning over 10 years; in some places the nitrate content in water is 300 times World Health Organisation standards; the agricultural economy is dying from the contamination and salinated water; the underground aquifer is stressed to the point of collapse; and sewage and waste water flows into public spaces and the aquifer.
The blockade of Gaza has gone on for nearly four years, and the vital water and sanitation infrastructure went past creaking to virtual collapse during the three-week assault on the territory almost a year ago.
The toll on Palestinian children of Israel's brutal siege continues to rise. Infant death rates in Gaza exceed those in the West Bank, which in turn exceed those in Israel.
It is obvious that the Obama administration is ineffective in intervening as Israel continues to use the excuse of Hamas to deliver collective punishment to 1.5 Gazan Palestinians. That infants are taking the brunt of this punishment seems to mean nothing to this administration, let alone the Israelis.
This inhumane siege must be stopped, somehow.