Tuma Hazou, Palestinian Christian & Middle East Analyst on Israel/Palestine situation
Interviewed by Tim Lynch | August 20, 2014
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Horrific pictures of the atrocities in Gaza have filled the news and distressed many people recently. However in the short time the news media have to report, there is little time for discussion as to why Hamas fire rockets into Israel, and why Israel responds or initiates as it does, with such disproportionate force.
On August 19th 2014, after a month of war, the Gaza death toll stands at 2,016, 70% of whom were civilians, in the small densely populated coastal territory. 10,000 people have been reported injured. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed.
In this interview Tuma Hazou, explains the background to the 2014 Israeli incursion into Gaza within an historical perspective. Tuma was born and educated in Jerusalem. He then joined the BBC Arabic Services in London. He worked as a radio and TV journalist, a filmmaker in Jordan contributing to the BBC, UPI, ABC, and as special advisor to Prince Hassan, then Crown Prince of Jordan. Subsequently he worked in UNICEFs regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa in Amman, as Chief of Information and External Relations.
Tuma speaks openly and compassionately about his concern for his people and the hopeless situation that they are in. He tells of the rise of Hamas and how it was partly funded by the Israelis.
He talks about how the Israelis are more concerned than ever about their security, as Hamas has recently agreed to a unity pact with the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) leading faction, Fatah. The Zionist agenda does not seem to include a place for Palestinians to live in peace and freedom, and so the creating of a just peace in the region seems utterly impossible. The right of return for Jews, and compensating Palestinian refugees, opens a vast chasm of difficulty. There are also two different situations in the two Palestinian areas.
The West Bank is occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip is blockaded by Israel. The occupation means a life of restricted movements and night raids, limited water supply, confiscation of land, and attacks by armed settlers. Gaza, the most densely populated area on the planet, is blockaded by the Israeli military, who restrict the flow of goods, especially food, medicines, and building materials into Gaza.
See the UN report – Five years of Blockade: http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_gaza_blockade_factsheet_june_2012_english.pdf< br /> Palestine needs to be a country in its own right so the only way to do that is through a two state solution. Indeed Israel may well not have freedom from attack, however small, until that happens. Any group of people who are marginalised tend to fight back in any way they can and the oppression of the Palestinian people is huge.
The map below shows the loss of Palestinian land:
Tuma recommends the boycott of all Israeli products, and also of companies that send money to Israel, such as Coca Cola, Nestle, McDonalds, Starbucks, Johnson and Johnson, Nokia, IBM, Disney, Estee Lauder, and LOreal. The only peaceful way for the world to show our disapproval of Israel behaving like a rogue state, is through boycotts and sanctions. A bar code starting with “729 indicates that this product is produced in Israel 729 Israeli Bar Code Association – EAN Israel.
The most prominent US religious group, the Presbyterian Church, voted to sell church stock in companies whose products Israel uses in Palestinian territories, and The Church of England synod has voted for disinvestment from Israel.
Real lasting change in Israel / Palestine will only come from inspirational people like those in the above videos speaking out – risking public opinion and government wrath, and speaking from the heart.
Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'