Palestinians are bound to be bound
There seems to be an international competition on which country can cause Palestinians the most suffering. Israel has always been a front runner, and a favourite to win the competition in all its categories: land theft, starvation, discrimination, human rights denials, among many others. Lately, another country has emerged as a strong contender to take away Israel’s spots in some of the categories. The country is of course Egypt. The country that once stood as a symbol of human ingenuity is now a cowardly state bending over backward to please its true rulers, in an effort to maintain its political status quo.
Apart from imposing a ban on the Gaza Freedom March, reports have recently revealed Egypt’s secret plan to build an iron wall that goes deep below ground to prevent the smuggling of essential goods into Gaza. The wall is American made, built with the construction expertise of the French and Americans, with the guidance of the Israeli’s. The iron wall will be the biggest project taken on in Egypt since the pyramids, or so it seems. If anything the wall proves that that ancient Egyptian ingenuity is still running through the blood of the government. After all, even Israel didn’t think of building a double purpose underground/over ground wall!
Sarcasm aside, the iron wall coupled with the international silence is ought to be the biggest disaster Gazans have gone through since the massacre exactly a year ago. Last year about this time, Gaza was being bombed to pieces. The aftermath of ‘Operation Cast Lead’ was 1400 Palestinian deaths, destroyed infrastructure, and scores of homeless, injured, and hungry Palestinians, whose only fault was that they lived in Gaza. Re-construction of homes, schools, and government buildings had been put on hold. Israel and its sidekick Egypt felt it wasn’t the right time to let in any concrete or any other building materials into Gaza. Palestinians resorted to digging tunnels underground to get much needed medicine, concrete, and baby formula, among hundreds of essential items that we take for granted. But even smuggling essential goods was too much for the Palestinians. Egypt had put its thinking hat on and came up with the iron wall. The wall is bomb proof, equipped with breach sensors, and combined with a complex piping systems pumping water from the Mediterranean underground. The water will make it even more difficult to dig tunnels, and at the same time contaminate underground aquifers and farm land. Two in one, Egypt thought as it high-fived Israel, we stop them from getting food from outside and inside.
These ‘solutions’ to the Palestinian ‘problem’ are only temporary. The resilience of the Palestinians has been proven time and again. In an increasingly uncertain world there’s one thing I’m certain of, Palestinians are not going to give up. The connection to their land, the denied rights, justice and freedom are the fuel that keeps Palestinians going. As I write this, two friends of mine are en route to Egypt to take part of the Gaza Freedom March. Both of them were born outside of Palestine, one as a refugee in Syria, the other in Kuwait. The fact that third generation Palestinians are making the effort to take part of the solidarity march says a lot. A wall may prevent this or that from entering Gaza, but there’s no wall that can stop Palestinians from fighting for their simple right to land and peace.