Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The sad story of Gaza zoo; a story of deprivation

With 'Haaretz' discussing the "four things that Netanyahu needs for an Israeli strike on Iran", with some 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children having been slaughtered in Gaza, the piece of news that attracted my attention today is almost irrelevant if it weren't for the fact that it emphasises the contemptible manner in which the Zionist state treats the Palestinians even when it is not forcing them out of their homes or dropping bombs on them.

The story comes from today's 'Independent' and we learn that Gaza zoo which "made headlines last year when its owners engineered, not with genetics, but black paint, a pair of "zebras" out of two donkeys." The "donkeys" were "created" after the two real zebras in the zoo starved to death during the massacre last January when it was too dangerous for them to try to feed the animals and now we learn that, with the continued illegal blockade of Gaza, that they are no longer able to meet the cost of feeding the rest of their menagerie.

Why comment on this relatively unimportant piece of news? After all, the discussion in Jerusalem is not if Iran will be attacked but when and, after all, if we are not going to discuss the dead of Gaza , why not at least turn our attentions to the almost one and a half million people there who are being deprived of almost every basic human right? Well, in a sense that is what we are doing and Katherine Butler's story and the way she narrates it without blowing a political trumpet does in fact highlight the contemptible manner in which the Zionist state deprives those inside the iron cage that is Gaza  of their basic human rights. A story, of course, which we can still complement by telling of the fishermen trying to catch fish off of the coast and  getting blown out of the water or of the children going back to school to find that their school is now in a tent.  And I found my mind drifting back to a summer in 2006 when the IDF bully boys left over 1,400 dead, again mostly civilians, in the Lebanon and my students at the UNRWA run camp near Tripoli who didn't get to finish their English course.

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