Tuesday, May 5, 2009

U.S. Tax Dollars Funding Human Rights Abuses in Gaza

"Are Your Tax Dollars Going To Fund Human Rights Abuses in Gaza?
Now it's your turn

Sameh Akram Habeeb

May 3, 2009

For months now I have been trying to make sense of what happened in Gaza. And yet I never know where to start or how to find the one story that says everything that needs to be said about what happened -- and still is happening -- to us.

I have many accounts to choose from and pictures as well. I am a photojournalist, you see, and I have been documenting in words and pictures the shortages of food and electricity that preceded the attack and continue to this day, and the many civilians who were killed, maimed, or made homeless during those terrible 22 days in late December and early January.

I have collected many accounts of bravery and despair under extremely trying circumstances. My house was exposed to shrapnel from Israeli rockets. Without power, I had to walk around four kilometers (about two and a half miles) in the middle of this cruel attack, simply to charge my laptop in order to get the truth out. Now it's your turn. I am asking you now to carry my story forward.

The US government is planning to pour more money -- billions of dollars -- to continue this madness. Tell them what happened in Gaza and ask them to investigate. Ask them to find out for themselves what happened with the money they sent. Our streets are littered with "made-in-the-US" ammunitions; our schools with "made-in-the-US" phosphorus.

Ask them to make sure that the story of Louay does not repeat itself. I met him in a hospital. His grandmother was beside him trying to make him feel better. When I spoke with him, he did not know that that he had lost his eyesight and that his brother was killed in an attack on his father's car. He told me what had happened to him, then he concluded, "I need you to help me recover quickly so I can go to school again and play with some of my friends. I don't know if they are alive or not." These are the words and the courage of an eight-year old.

We can do better than this.

Sameh Akram Habeeb

PS. PS. Want to read more about my work and see the world with the eyes of a Palestinian in Gaza?
Go to http://www.paltelegraph.com/. I started The Palestine Telegraph/PT as a professionally driven online newspaper envisioned by a few thoughtful Palestinian youths in Gaza. They were inspired to do something to change their world. Check it out.