You are now entering Hostile Territory
Firstly, a blessed and joyous Ramadan to everyone. I only wish it was so joyous an occasion for my friends and family in Gaza.
Today Israel officially announced Hamas a "hostile entity" (although that sort of had me confused-is this to say they were of "friendly entity" status before??). My friend Darryl congratulated me on what he called a "Status Upgrade". "Its like getting bumped up to first class" he said. So now I am both hostile and stateless-is that some kind of new record?
The new classification if of course an an attempt by the Israeli government to grant itself a legal green light to do whatever the hell it wants in Gaza, without being bound by the restrictions of an "Occupier"; in the words of al-Haq human rights organization, it is "a deliberate attempt by Israel to obscure its continued Occupation of the Gaza Strip"...not that the law has stopped them before.
But fear not, country folk. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed reassuringly that the U.S. "would not abandon the innocent Palestinians". Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also said that Israel will continue to supply Gaza's humanitarian needs..., just not "all the needs that are more than the humanitarian".
... like fuel, for example. Oh, and electricity. So don't worry, people of Gaza, you won't starve (remember: you are on a diet). You will get to eat your (cold) Ramadan iftars,-only in the dark, and of course no water to wash down that meal (or your clothes, for that matter) since the pumps are driven by electricity.
And no gas to heat your food or houses with come winter. And you'll have to consume what you get quickly, since the refrigerators (both yours and the supermarket's) won't work without power. And don't even THINK about getting sick-prevention is your best insurance policy now. Hospital ICUs will have to be powered by generators. Kidney dialysis? Start writing a will. Baby formula? Breastfeed. Vaccinations? Stay home from school.
"Civilian levers" is what the Israeli cabinet has mockingly decided to call these "measures" of collective punishment. No doubt this sick euphemism was the brain-child of the ever-reliable Dov Weisglass, of "the Gaza diet" fame.
And remember, you are the "innocent Palestinians" stuck in the middle of all of this.
Now how about some thank you notes to Condi? Its Ramadan, after all, the month of mercy, forgiveness and thanks.