June 2, 2010
Why we Care
Written by Free Gaza Movement
From the Free Gaza Movement Website
“This is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster created by policies that are not humane.”
John Ging, director of the U.N. Relief and Works
Agency in Gaza.
The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. A 25-mile-long narrow coastal plain wedged between Israel and Egypt, Gaza is home to 1.5 million Palestinians, over half of them children. Most of its population are refugees or their descendants, driven out of Israel during its founding in 1948. Surrounded by 40-foot high walls of iron and steel, Gaza has only 3 points of entry or exit: the Erez border crossing with Israel, the Rafah crossing with Egypt, and the sea.
Israel has occupied Gaza since 1967, maintaining complete control over Gaza’s air space and territorial waters, imports and exports, and travel into or out of the territory. Since January 2006, Israel has subjected the Gaza Strip to an increasingly severe blockade, restricting Gaza’s ability to import fuel, spare parts, and other necessary materials. Compared to December 2005, less than 20 percent of the supplies needed for normal trade are allowed into Gaza by Israel, and foreign investment has fallen off by over 95 percent. As a result, the economy has completely collapsed. Most of Gaza’s industrial plants have been forced to close, casing steep increases in unemployment, poverty and childhood malnutrition rates.
The siege has led to massive shortages that have rippled through the economy and society. Shortages in fuel have caused gasoline prices to spiral out of control, leading to sustained power cuts. Hospitals, dependent on diesel-powered generators, regularly lose power for several hours a day. Unable to operate irrigation pumps, farmers experience significant loss of crops. Most family homes have running water for less than six hours a day, and almost a third of homes have no running water at all.
Sewage treatment centers no longer function properly. Millions of liters of raw sewage have been pumped into heavilypopulated neighborhoods, and tens-of-billions of liters of untreated and only partially treated sewagehave been released into the Mediterranean. Gaza’s fishermen state that the sewage has killed off most of the sea life in the immediate vicinity.
In December 2008, Israel broke a ceasefire with Gaza and began a three week campaign of bombings, home invasions, and general destruction. During this massacre, homes, schools, mosques, and UN centers were all attacked by Israel. Thirteen Israelis, including 4 Israeli civilians, lost their lives, while over 1,300 Palestinian men, women, and childrenwere slaughtered. Since the end of the massacre it has become harder than ever to bring in humanitarianrelief, reconstruction aid, or developmental supplies.
The siege continues, and the humanitarian condition of the one and a half million human beings illegally incarcerated in Gaza is now at its worst point in the last forty years of Israeli occupation.
Help the Freedom Flotilla
Chilling Testimony from a Marmara passenger
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Posted by stavr0s
April 9, 2010
I received this message today and it reminded me of the efforts made to make the Flotillas of Hope to Nauru a reality. Every little bit counts, every positive thought form focussed on manifesting the intention helps, every dollar and every dialogue that concerns this project helps make it a reality.
Please help make this Free Gaza Flotilla a Reality, support the Free Gaza Movement.
Why we care – written by Free Gaza Movement, April, 2009
Our four boats are purchased or refurbished, flagged and registered. The cargo ship is now named the MV Rachel Corrie with the blessing of the Corrie family. Children in Gaza and the occupied West Bank will name the other two boats, and we will let you know what they chose.
The Free Gaza Cargo Ship "MV Rachel Corrie"
We are hard at work collecting the cargo… cement, books for children and universities, paper for printing books, water filtration equipment, and medical equipment, all being denied the people of Gaza by Israel’s brutal blockade.
So we ask one last time for a $25.00-$100.00 donation from each of you, a donation that will be used for our operating costs. It is not enough to buy, register and insure the boats. We need fuel for all vessles, crew expenses, supplies for all four boats, a crane to add to the cargo ship to offload the cargo, and miscellaneous expenses that always appear at the last minute.
Please go to http://www.freegaza.org/de/donate and help us raise the final 20%. You can donate in the U.S. by writing a tax-deductible check to our fiscal sponsor in DC, donate through our two PayPal accounts, one in Cyprus and one in the U.S. or wire an amount into our Free Gaza account in Cyprus. The website provides all of the detail for you.
With your help, our final $100,000 can be raised in the next month as we get ready to leave Europe on May 3 and begin our voyage to Gaza. More than 5000 of you now follow our voyages; you have signed up for our TWITTER account, you have joined our newsletter, and you are members of many Free Gaza lists. Please donate, send our plea to your own lists, then watch our journey as we make our way across the sea to Gaza.
Thank you from all of us at Free Gaza. Every one of you has made this flotilla a reality.
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Posted by stavr0s
December 19, 2008
Journeys and Star Gazing
What do I mean by journeys? And what do I mean by Star Gazing?
Recently I started to walk again, with a limp, after having broken my leg and being immobile for a long time. The physiotherapist told me that a walk of about 1 kilometre per day would be good exercise for me, especially to get my foot, ankle and leg muscles flexible again. She said to treat my walk as a physiotherapy exercise. Since I walk very slowly now without a crutch, I’m starting to become aware of a whole new world which appears in the slow pace I take. I become aware of my breath and the sensation of each step on the ground. As I do this I become aware of a silence within me which makes space and allows the sounds of birds singing , the sensation of the breeze touching my skin, the smell of recently mowed grass to enter.
Of course my “monkey mind” is still climbing and jumping around in the space within my skull but somehow because of the slow walk and the effort to “be” in the moment of the walk makes the monkey appear like a distant shadow puppet. Yes, my walk is a Zen like exercise and the fall I had which broke my leg was Life-as- Zen-Master, wacking me into a state of mind that may prioritise what is essential in my life.
My walk to the newsagent in the morning is a journey both on the road and its side gutters and beneathe my skin between breaths and sighs of wonder at what is around me.
A journey, for me is going from point A to point B via the whole alphabet of being. The Alpha and Omega. the beginning and the end of a journey is where the snake bites its own tail, a gentle ouraboros.
It all depends on one’s awareness. So, one can make a journey from one’s lounge room and go across the borders marked by a door into a kitchen. It is no different to travelling in time by simply dipping a biscuit in a cup of tea as Proust did in his “Remembrence of Things Past”. A journey can also be a trip across the planet on a boat or a plane, a train or a bus, on foot or a bicycle. It can also be a journey to the Moon or to Mars in a space ship, or a trip to Saturn and Jupiter or Andromeda in one’s mind.
Star Gazing is not only looking up at the night sky and seeing how small we genuinely are in the midst of all these galaxies and stars, pinpricks of Light escaping through Heaven’s cape. It is also seeing into the meaning of those star gazing moments, those moments that coincide with a particular configuration of planets, Sun, Moon and stars. Yes, Star Gazing for me exists in that space between Astronomy and Astrology. I look up into the night heavens and I see the stars above and I wonder why am I here looking and living. My wife got me a telescope for Christmas this year and I hope to be able to take some photos of what I gaze at.
I look at a horoscope ( I also call it a Sky Map) and I see the symbolic language of these same stars. When I say Stars I also mean the planets and the Sun and Moon. It is an easy shorthand. Star gazing becomes communing….communicating in star language. Astrology for me is a language, a way of communicating with the deeper parts of my and your nature for I believe that we all are ultimately made of star matter. While I look up at the Stars and gaze at the light that departed from its source billions of years ago, I recognise that I gaze at old, old light. The youngest light, including sunlight is only 8 minutes old when it touches my skin, Alpha Centauri light, the closest star to us, is only about 4 years old. Star light has journeyed a long time to arrive through my eyes into me and you.
However, strange as it may sound, when I speak of astrology, I’m not really talking about the balls of rock and gas that orbit our Sun – Sol as planets or about the physical stars and galaxies that surround us. The stars and planets I speak of astrologically have nothing to do with those we know astronomically and through a telescope. The only connection astrology has with the astronomical stars is the coincident time of happening. Carl Jung coined a term to explain events that happen with no apparent physical causal connection – synchronicity. This word is made of two Greek words syn – same and chronos – time...synchronicity…things that happen at the same time. The important addition that Jung makes with this is that the connection between events is subjectively meaningful for the person. I think of a person and I hear a song with the person’s name in it and then almost simultaneously, the person rings me on the phone. This is very meaningful for me because I haven’t seen or heard from this person in a long time. The song, the thinking of the person and the telephone call are not connected in any physical scientifc way, but they do connect in a very meaningful way in my mind and heart. This is synchronicity. Astrology for me is synchronicity written in Sky Script. The physical stars are connected to the stars within my inner universe, my deeper intuitions and feelings that struggle to find a way to speak. The star language of astrology gives these promptings a voice.
In Journeys and Star Gazing you may read posts that include both a journey and an astrological reading of the journey. Sometimes, you will come across a life’s moment navigated by the stars or a journey planned by the use of astrology.
It would be great to hear from you.
You can connect with me at Twitter. Here’s my handle @dodona777
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Posted by stavr0s