i had an incredibly busy weekend, involving a 4 hour strategic planning meeting, a board of directors AGM, a drive up to auckland to listen to a lovely talk, and dealing with some difficult issues, all of these as part of my volutary work. feels like i just haven't had a break, and i'm looking forward to the long weekend. although saturday will be spent on a full day meeting and i have another meeting scheduled for monday afternoon, and i have to do my tax return some time in between, so not looking like i'll get too much relaxing done. sometimes i think i need to leave the country just to get a break.
anyway, i did manage to get a couple of posts up at the hand mirror last night, one a video on sex slavery and the other about sex & the city 2.
today i've been feeling pretty sad about the murder of palestinian activists while trying to deliver aid from gaza. there's been quite a bit written about it already, this prior to the incident by gordon campbell and this written today. a pretty lengthy discussion here at the standard, which i've only read a bit of.
there's also this at kiwipolitico which i found disappointing. pretty much a "what did you think would happen you stupid fools, you should never have sent the ships". which totally ignores the suffering of the people of gaza, where the people have some of the worst living conditions on the planet. a lack of food, a lack of medical supplies, of water, of electricity and a massive unemployment rate. the damage done by the israeli targetted strikes at infrastructure in december 2008 still hasn't been fixed. this blockade has gone on for three years, with no end in sight and a lack of will from the international community to make any serious attempt to fix the situation.
if the ship shouldn't be sent, then i'd like to know a solution to this and particularly one that will involve no loss of life. because frankly, i can't see one. israel has made it clear, well before today, that violence will be used against any attempt to circumvent the blockade. the people of gaza have been put in a position that if they try to fight back they're branded terrorists. they're supposed to just suffer and die, i suppose. and the rest of the world is supposed to look the other way, and just let it continue to happen.
that's not good enough. and the nz response is not good enough. from an earlier post, readers will know that i opposed the opening of the israeli embassy. after what's happened today, the only reasonable response is to shut the embassy and send the ambassador packing. if illegaly boarding a vessel in international waters, killing 9 people and injuring 30 others isn't enough, then what is? how many people have to die before it's a bad enough act?
the response of the new ambassador was frankly sickening, from the little i saw on tv1 news today. he really did have a half smile on his face while he was saying that this was not a "good look" for israel. i just can't understand it, i do not get how a person can be so disconnected as to not care about the people killed today and the people suffering in gaza for many years.
meanwhile, here is some other stuff to read:
- mazin qumsiyeh: of cowardice, dignity and solidarity.
- this from the christian peacemakers team, just one of the many, many instances of land grab in the occupied territories.
there will be a protest rally in auckland this saturday at 1pm, aotea square. i'm hoping to slip out of my full day meeting to attend this, and i encourage others to take part. finally, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed today, and with the long-suffering people of gaza. inna lillahe wa inna ilaihe raji'oon.