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No Health Reform for Gaza, But Death Panels they Have

By Juan Cole

EAFORD, August 20, 2009


While Americans are debating their own health system, they are unindicted co-conspirators in an effort to degrade the health, mental and physical, and to half-starve the people of Gaza. The callousness, ruthlessness and selfishness of this policy, in which all Americans are implicated, is breathtaking. In Gaza, there really were death panels deciding who lived and died last winter, and they wore Israeli uniforms. More on the wretched public health situation in Gaza, which is a direct result of Israel's siege of the little place and its brutal war on it last winter, which is contributing to the political radicalization of the population: Palestinians are among the most secular people in the Middle East over all, and the vast majority was uninterested in radical Islam until very recently. It is being put in what is essentially a prison camp by the Israelis that is driving some Gazans to extreme ideas and measures. Two-thirds of Gaza's 1.5 million people are estimated to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Wayne Anderson writes:

'The most common traumatic events reported by the sample indicated 96 percent experienced shelling and bombardment of their area, 95 percent had watched mutilated bodies on television, 93 percent had seen the effects of bombardment on the ground, 72 percent said they had at times lacked water, food and electricity during the conflict, and 72 percent said they had moved to a safe place during the war. Scoring from the DSM-IV, the standard psychiatric manual, indicated 67 percent of the sample rated as having PTSD.'

The Israeli blockade is also limiting Gazans' access to proper medical supplies, according to the World Health Organization. It is to the point where ten percent of children in Gaza are stunted, and stunting is increasing. These almost apocalyptic public health problems, the direct result of a long-term and systematic siege operated by Israel with US and Egyptian complicity, are certain to create dire problems for all concerned. That Americans are doing this to a people and just not talking about it makes you worried that they aren't very sincere in their professed interest in reform in Iran or other issues. This one, we fund through Congress.


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Informed Comment

It is behavior like this that has helped make Zionism the greatest threat not only to the Palestinian people, but to the Jewish religion!  For it has tied Judaism to an increasingly obvious racist ideology.  All Jews, particularly American Jews, should hang their heads in shame and then proceed to demand that the US government cut off all aid to Israel and sponsor sanctions against that country before the Security Council of the UN. (Lawrence Davidson)






Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent