Saturday, November 1, 2008

Looking Over--Instead of Overlooking--This Week's News Of Gaza

It would be convenient to blame the compelling and imminent US presidential election for the lack of attention to news of Gaza. But how, then, to rationalize the other 51 weeks of the year?

The "Dignity" docked at Gaza on Wednesday, bearing medical supplies, Israeli lawmakers, and human rights activists (including 1976 Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire). The International Red Cross reported last week that no medications have been reaching Gaza, due to the blockade on food, fuel and medicine imposed by Israel since June, 2007. Organizers report they hope to make monthly supply trips to help Gaza's 1.5 million residents.

Israel barred 100 international health workers and academics from entering Gaza to attend a medical conference organized by the Gaza Community Mental Health program, focusing on the effect of the blockade on mental health needs of residents. They coped by holding a virtual conference: video linking between Gaza City and Ramallah.

Finally, Toronto has just concluded its first Palestine Film Festival yesterday. It featured the first film written and directed by a Palistinian woman, Annemarie Jacir. The interview below is of Suheir Hammad, star of the film (and herself a poet), who speaks of her thoughts of Palestine and Israel, and the many worlds contained in that locale:

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