Humanitarian & human rights orgs: ‘The international community has betrayed the people of Gaza’

on 26 Comments

Today, 16 major humanitarian and human rights organizations have issued a report calling the international community to task for a year of inaction following the devastating Israeli attacks on Gaza a year ago. Titled "Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses," the report says the world has "betrayed" the people of Gaza by failing to end the Israeli blockade which is making reconstruction and recovery impossible.

Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs:

"It is not only Israel that has failed the people of Gaza with a blockade that punishes everybody living there for the acts of a few. World powers have also failed and even betrayed Gaza’s ordinary citizens. They have wrung hands and issued statements, but have taken little meaningful action to attempt to change the damaging policy that prevents reconstruction, personal recovery and economic recuperation."

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen:

"The wretched reality endured by 1.5 million people in Gaza should appal anybody with an ounce of humanity. Sick, traumatised and impoverished people are being collectively punished by a cruel, illegal policy imposed by the Israeli authorities.

"Israel’s responsibility to protect its citizens does not give it the right to punish every man, woman and child of Gaza. All states are obliged under international law to intervene to put an end to this brutal blockade but their leaders are failing in this fundamental measure of their own humanity. All states must insist that the Israeli government end its blockade and let the people of Gaza rebuild their shattered lives."

Read the full report here:


26 Responses

  1. robin
    December 22, 2009, 2:52 am

    On the radio I heard a BBC World Service report on this. A woman speaking on behalf of the author groups pointed out an important fact which is also in the report on page 10: the degradation of Gaza’s water system is so severe, due to the Israeli blockade (which blocks necessary materials for repairs and upkeep), that diarrhea from contaminated water causes 12% of child deaths in the strip.

    Children are dying from the blockade. I don’t think we can stress that point enough.

    • Shmuel
      December 22, 2009, 3:30 am

      Thanks, robin. That’s a very important point to make.

      • Citizen
        December 22, 2009, 8:29 am

        I agree with Shmuel. Aren’t the children about half the total population?

      • Shmuel
        December 22, 2009, 8:51 am

        This is the paragraph I’m forwarding along with the link to the Amnesty press release:

        “Power cuts also cause daily interruptions to water supply, as does the inability to repair water pipes, roof top water tanks and household
        connectors, because materials and spare parts are not deemed essential
        humanitarian supplies by Israel and so are prevented entry under the
        blockade. With the loss of pressure in the pipes, polluted water from the
        ground contaminates the supply. Together with chronic disrepair to the
        sewage system, poor water quality is a major concern for aid agencies in
        Gaza, with diarrhoea causing 12% of young deaths.”

    • MRW
      December 22, 2009, 9:02 am

      Heartbreaking. BTW, I am noticing a change in BBC which I listen to just before I go to bed. Am I imagining things, or are radio reporters (outside the US) creating a professional distance from their immoral Zionist dictator-owners?

    • zamaaz
      February 13, 2010, 7:39 am

      The International community is a a real deep bind. Unless it can execute the violating officials on both sides – the Palestinians and Israelis, it cannot help nor extend action much on the miserable plight of the Gazans… This is one tragic lesson learned and evil effect when many key people from the international community (which is the only potential final institution that can act as global arbiter) lose patience and take sides and manifests bias in the conflict! The international community now has lost its credence to mediate effectively! Now I blame the Gaza tragic misery on the ‘active humanists and peaceniks’!

      • zamaaz
        February 13, 2010, 7:43 am

        I wished to remind every one that this war in Gaza is actually a ‘war of attrition’, and the end of this brutality cannot be made visible nor even seen on the far horizon…This is insanity, and that could last many generations….

  2. James Bradley
    December 22, 2009, 2:53 am

    Thank God… its about time!

    Ok now for action.

  3. aparisian
    December 22, 2009, 6:08 am

    Yonira, Witty ? these are lies no?

    • Chaos4700
      December 22, 2009, 10:46 am

      You won’t see either of them on this thread. Maybe yonira will come around to take a personal snipe at one of us, or Witty will come around with his tortured semi-philosophical rationalizations for war crimes, but I’m guessing they’ll just stay away. This topic is a bit hard to side track, considering we can merely answer any of the bullshit they could come up with by quoting from the report directly.

      Like they say, sunshine is the best disinfectant. You can imagine that the vampires are going to stay in their coffins for this one, very probably.

  4. potsherd
    December 22, 2009, 9:36 am

    Not ONE FUCKING WORD about US complicity in the blockade, not a word about the iron wall.

    • Chaos4700
      December 22, 2009, 10:49 am

      I understand your frustration potsherd, but would it help? Like it or not, that would be construed as a political statement, and this report has (and needs to, really) focus on the immediate facts.

      Exposing the politics behind it is a job for pundits, armchair or otherwise. In other words, that’s where we step in.

      • potsherd
        December 22, 2009, 11:22 am

        An iron wall has a degree of facticity that is hard to surpass. And the US hand in it is also a fact.

        From Al-Jazeera: Egypt’s foreign minister has said that a controversial wall being built along the country’s border with the Gaza Strip will defend it “against threats to national security”.

        They have finally had to acknowledge what they are allowing to happen on their soil, but their only response is bullshit.

        And of course nothing about the US.

      • potsherd
        December 22, 2009, 11:24 am

        I will add that if the report had included facts about the US complicity, the US would have been forced to reply, thus exposing, again, the depth of its own bullshit. Which would be another fact to be challenged.

      • Chaos4700
        December 22, 2009, 11:45 am

        I’m not arguing with you on that, potsherd.

        Look, here’s the sad fact — if international organizations publicly criticize anyone other than Israel for the siege, if they go after the United States (as accurate and cogent as your points are) the United States government will attack them. They’ll cut off access, they’ll throw chum to the press corps about “anti-American sentiment” in the UN and abroad, they’ll freeze assets, they’ll deny international visas… need I go on?

        The US government, like it or not, plays dirty pool and organizations like UN agencies and Amnesty International cannot afford to pick a fight with the US. In fact, the only people, right now, the US government is accountable to at all by any stretch, is we the people so it is our responsibility to take the information in the reports and make it public in a context that puts pressure on our own government.

        I’m sorry, potsherd, it’s terrible, but as far as I can see it, that’s the way things work today.

      • potsherd
        December 22, 2009, 2:00 pm

        Amnesty does criticize the US.

        From the Amnesty website: link to

        link to

      • Chaos4700
        December 22, 2009, 2:08 pm

        Yeah. For things that the US itself is doing. You really don’t understand the “plausible deniability” mechanic at play between US and Israeli politics. Hilary and Obama “strongly disapprove” of the settlements; Netanyahu and (Ehud) Barak incite the idea that Obama is hostile to Jews and should “stay out of Israeli affairs.” Meanwhile? They’re all in bed together, having one big defense industry contractor orgy.

        You have to recognize just how powerful it is to have a close ally you can call an enemy. That way, when Amnesty International goes after the US, David Gibbs can simply trot out how Obama “put pressure” on the Israelis and how Obama gets treated. And then, at the next state dinner, Obama and Netanyahu kiss and make up and the cycle continues.

        I’d love it if somebody really went after the US-Israel alliance, I really would. But Amnesty International has got other things on their plate and every single politician, journalist, academic and organization I’ve seen that confronts the US-Israel axis, gets attacked from all sides.

        What you’re asking for is great, potsherd. But it’s just really not practical.

      • potsherd
        December 22, 2009, 10:54 pm

        Egypt is now denying there is any iron wall.

      • potsherd
        December 22, 2009, 10:57 pm

        Was it practical for Walt and Mearshimer to publish their book? No, but they did it anyway. And now people are coming to realize how right they were.

        BDS isn’t practical, either. Marching around Gaza isn’t very practical, or breaking the blockade by sea.

        But if everyone decided to give up and accept defeat before trying, defeat would be a self-predicting prophecy.

      • Chaos4700
        December 23, 2009, 1:26 am

        Do you have any clue about the consequences Walt and Mearshimer suffered publishing that book?

        Potsherd? You think the word should get out? You do it, personally. Get off your ass and do it instead of whining when other people aren’t doing it for you.

  5. America First
    December 22, 2009, 11:59 am

    Photo essay:

    She Died for Palestine
    Dr Lasha Darkmoon
    In memory of Rachel Corrie

    link to

    • Chaos4700
      December 22, 2009, 12:06 pm

      Powerful piece. Amazing how informative the photos and the quotes are — just the raw information alone.

    • aparisian
      December 22, 2009, 12:53 pm

      I recommend you the movie about Rachel Corrie, its very powerfull.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    December 22, 2009, 10:50 pm

    Egypt Says It Will Block International Gaza Freedom Marchers
    The Egyptian government has announced that it will not allow internationals to enter Gaza for the Gaza Freedom March (in which Just Foreign Policy is participating.) Write the Egyptian Embassy in Washington and ask them to reverse the decision.
    TO SEND E-MAIL – link to

  7. Gaza, a year later linked to this.

Leave a Reply