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Like most of us in America, buy prinivil cod I was raised on certain beliefs which, buy prinivil cod as I've grown older have come to realize such beliefs simply didn't match the reality I was living then, buy prinivil cod or living now. While such thoughts as a child provided a sense safety and comfort for me, buy prinivil cod I remember constantly guarding them so as to insulate them from any light that could reveal they weren't real and weren't what I observed to be true in life. Buy prinivil cod   (Santa Claus comes to mind**, buy prinivil cod although I do think that belief was a very lucrative one, buy prinivil cod at least for a while.)    As I have grown I've also realized that while we may wish to distance ourselves from the real world, buy prinivil cod it's seems to be where the real freedom and experience of living reside. It's pretty ironic Americans and probably most individuals worldwide today, buy prinivil cod  are conditioned via technology to seek a kind of reality through fantasies and mythical entertainment which consumes our time and brain space, buy prinivil cod not to mention dulls our senses, buy prinivil cod whether its through television, buy prinivil cod computers or whatever. Buy prinivil cod   These days I as I'm sure a lot of us are, buy prinivil cod I'm in a process of trying to find out exactly where one fits in a world where manufactured myth making (and pretty dysfunctional myths at that*) and superficiality seems to dictate our culture.   My friend thinks we all are existing in a low grade depression right now because most feel a lack of true purpose.  I can understand her point of view. And, buy prinivil cod like so many others I love this wonderful, buy prinivil cod magnificent planet of ours which seems as though its being treated like the goose laying golden eggs, buy prinivil cod who's being beaten into a state of exhaustion by not performing and producing at a fast enough rate.  One thing I have come to understand, buy prinivil cod is when we overlook the unpleasant realities on the horizon and problems coming down the train track, buy prinivil cod  it's actually a good time to take note and pay attention. Buy prinivil cod   We need to at least be aware and not avoid them altogether, buy prinivil cod because situations of need never go away until they are confronted or until it's too late to confront them.  I will add I'm as shortsighted as the next person, buy prinivil cod especially when it comes to projects/issues that don't interest me.  I came across Ewa while keeping up with the Free Gaza aid Fleet, buy prinivil cod with whom I know a few of the brave activists who attempted to break the Gaza blockade.  I found this interview with her and I thought I'd share it. Buy prinivil cod   Like others who cared enough to set sail for Gaza, buy prinivil cod to me she is an example of extraordinary compassion and courage. Buy prinivil cod "We are all complicit": an interview with Ewa Jasiewicz Frank Barat, buy prinivil cod The Electronic Intifada A year ago, buy prinivil cod Israel launched its invasion of Gaza. Buy prinivil cod It is difficult if not uncomfortable to consider situations in other parts of the world where people are treated as targets and as in many cases less than human. Dubbed "Operation Cast Lead" by the Israeli military, buy prinivil cod the invasion started on 27 December 2008 and finished on 18 January 2009. Buy prinivil cod During those 23 days, buy prinivil cod more than 1, buy prinivil cod400 Palestinians were killed including more than 320 children. Buy prinivil cod More than 5, buy prinivil cod000 Palestinians suffered serious injuries. Originally from England, buy prinivil cod Ewa Jasiewicz was one of a handful of "internationals" on the ground. Buy prinivil cod A human rights activist, buy prinivil cod union organizer and journalist, buy prinivil cod Jasiewicz has spent years working in occupied Palestine and Iraq with oil workers, buy prinivil cod refugees, buy prinivil cod paramedics and community groups. Buy prinivil cod She is a coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement and part of the editorial collective of Le Monde Diplomatqiue Polish Edition. Buy prinivil cod Her book Gaza: Getto Nieujarzmione (Gaza: a Ghetto Unbroken) will be published in Poland by Ksiazka i Prasa in March. Buy prinivil cod A year later, buy prinivil cod she reflects on those bloody days with The Electronic Intifada contributor Frank Barat. Frank Barat: You were in Gaza a year ago during Operation Cast Lead. Buy prinivil cod Why and how did you and other activists go to the Gaza Strip? Ewa Jasiewicz: Myself and several solidarity activists from Lebanon, buy prinivil cod Spain, buy prinivil cod Canada, buy prinivil cod Australia, buy prinivil cod Italy, buy prinivil cod UK, buy prinivil cod Ireland and Greece managed to get into Gaza aboard the Free Gaza Movement's (FGM) Dignity boat. Buy prinivil cod FGM has sailed five successful missions to Gaza from August to December 2008, buy prinivil cod bringing in human rights workers to build political solidarity activism, buy prinivil cod to break the isolation of ghettoized communities and directly confront Israel's illegal and brutal siege. FGM's missions are political -- we know Palestine is not a charity case, buy prinivil cod and that the solutions to a 60-year policy of ethnic cleansing, buy prinivil cod apartheid and militarized ghettoization are not extra bags of flour, buy prinivil cod medicine, buy prinivil cod new tents and millions in aid, buy prinivil cod but political will and direct action. Buy prinivil cod This is currently unforthcoming from governments around the world, buy prinivil cod so our actions are about directly applying international law from the grassroots up because it isn't being respected and is being violated, buy prinivil cod daily, buy prinivil cod from the top-down -- the siege of Gaza and occupation of Palestine is international, buy prinivil cod the states supporting it either with their silence or direct complicity in economically supporting Israel are co-occupiers and collaborators in war crimes against the Palestinian people, buy prinivil cod along with Israel. FB: Previously you spent some time in the occupied West Bank during various Israeli operations (more particularly in the Jenin refugee camp). Buy prinivil cod What were the main differences between the two places and what did you expect to see in Gaza? Did you expect the attack? EJ: I didn't expect the attack -- but people in Gaza and the Hamas authority did expect an attack because the ceasefire had expired and Israel was saber-rattling, buy prinivil cod threatening to eliminate, buy prinivil cod as always but with greater intensity and focus, buy prinivil cod resistance leaders -- military and political -- and their supporters. Buy prinivil cod There was an increase in unmanned aerial vehicles flying 24/7. Buy prinivil cod I had experience of smaller operations in the West Bank in Jenin and Nablus following Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. Buy prinivil cod Operation Defensive Shield was massive, buy prinivil cod hundreds of Palestinians were killed, buy prinivil cod the heart of Jenin refugee camp was bulldozed and dozens of civilians massacred in the process. Buy prinivil cod By the time I came, buy prinivil cod all the ruins and trauma were still very fresh but the worst of the destruction and killing had subsided. The smaller invasions were carried out under curfew, buy prinivil cod involving hundreds of troops, buy prinivil cod carrying out house-to-house searches, buy prinivil cod and mass arrests with every man aged between 15 and 50 rounded up, buy prinivil cod interrogated and beaten. Buy prinivil cod A typical operation, buy prinivil cod with groups of children throwing anything they can at tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) in the street -- and often getting shot at for doing it. Buy prinivil cod There would be sporadic resistance at night from fighters, buy prinivil cod but many of the most experienced had been killed at that point. Buy prinivil cod Troops would carry out collective punishment like home demolitions using bulldozers or explosives and civilians would be used as human shields. Buy prinivil cod What was different at that time in the West Bank was that a lot of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) infrastructure and military infrastructure of the resistance -- fighters and leaders -- were destroyed during Defensive Shield by F-16 fighter jets. Buy prinivil cod Israel was executing its cyclical strategy of having decimated the leaders of the armed and political resistance of major political factions, buy prinivil cod moving on to target the social infrastructure -- community leaders, buy prinivil cod social activists -- and continuing to arrest relatives of the "wanted" and trying to bait out and kill the younger, buy prinivil cod more inexperienced fighters. Because of the tunnels, buy prinivil cod fighters in Gaza have had access to more sophisticated and threatening weaponry than their West Bank counterparts, buy prinivil cod so Israeli aggression has been more intense in Gaza and heavily reliant on aerial bombardment. Buy prinivil cod Since the withdrawal of the colonists and military bases [in 2005], buy prinivil cod this has increased. In the West Bank, buy prinivil cod activists could be much more mobile and confront and dialogue with soldiers. Buy prinivil cod In Gaza 2009 that was impossible. Buy prinivil cod I only once saw soldiers -- a special forces soldier trained his gun and apparently shot at our ambulance. Buy prinivil cod In the West Bank we were often between tanks and APCs and following and observing soldiers close-up. Buy prinivil cod If you got close to soldiers in Gaza they'd kill you -- that is what everyone kept telling us. FB: What did you plan to do there? Did your plans changed once the invasion of Gaza started? EJ: I planned, buy prinivil cod as had other activists, buy prinivil cod to work with Palestinian partners -- civil society groups, buy prinivil cod unions, buy prinivil cod farmers and fishermen, buy prinivil cod local campaigns for the right to education and to end the siege. Buy prinivil cod My role was going to be to coordinate and guide visiting delegations coming aboard FGM boats along with [Irish human rights activist] Caoimhe Butterly. Buy prinivil cod Once the invasion started, buy prinivil cod it became immediately clear that what we needed to do as foreign activists was to fulfill our role of witnessing and reporting, buy prinivil cod mitigating the risk to those most likely to be attacked -- which during invasions are the medical services. The Israeli occupation forces killed 16 rescuers in 22 days and injured dozens more. Buy prinivil cod By volunteering with medics we attempted to deter attacks on them by informing the media and our embassies that we would be accompanying all services -- 13 of the medics killed were from the Civil Defense services. Buy prinivil cod We did not differentiate between "independent" and "government" services; all must be protected under international law. Buy prinivil cod Also, buy prinivil cod we didn't just sit in the ambulances, buy prinivil cod we physically carried the injured and dead and tried to assist where possible Secondly, buy prinivil cod we could remain mobile -- ambulances were the only vehicles moving around 24 hours; we needed to be able to document and report on the attacks as fully as possible. Buy prinivil cod Thirdly, buy prinivil cod in our mobility and proximity to the front line we could witness the effects of the bombardment on civilians in their homes, buy prinivil cod and take testimonies from families and Palestinian human rights workers inside hospitals. FB: Could you describe a day in Gaza during the invasion? EJ: The constant sneer of surveillance drones, buy prinivil cod repetitive bombing and crashing sounds, buy prinivil cod some close some further away, buy prinivil cod muted panic, buy prinivil cod empty streets, buy prinivil cod rubble everywhere, buy prinivil cod ambulance sirens wailing endlessly, buy prinivil cod screaming relatives coupled with the groans of the bloodied and dust-covered crushed and injured, buy prinivil cod medics praying and smoking, buy prinivil cod heart-beating perpetual ratcheted-up adrenaline, buy prinivil cod a constant readiness for the next strike and yearning for it to all end, buy prinivil cod endless stream of bodies and blood-soaked stretchers, buy prinivil cod cyclical dread, buy prinivil cod pierced with fresh-surges of shock and horror unabsorbed, buy prinivil cod and a deep fear of the night and whether we would make it through and whether each ambulance run might be the last. Buy prinivil cod None of the fear paralyzed us but nevertheless it was present. Buy prinivil cod But we all early on accepted we could die, buy prinivil cod and took on the risks because it was worth it, buy prinivil cod the Palestinian people are worth it. Buy prinivil cod We wanted to save lives and I know I let go of my attachment to mine, buy prinivil cod inspired and encouraged by the bravery of those around me, buy prinivil cod and their willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of others. FB: What was the feeling of the population on the ground? How were they surviving and responding? EJ: Everybody was terrified but defiant. Buy prinivil cod The feeling on the ground was that anything could happen, buy prinivil cod all the red lines had been crossed. Buy prinivil cod Not just with this operation, buy prinivil cod we have to remember that Operation Cast Lead was only an intensification and a drastic one at that, buy prinivil cod of an existing policy of massacre and deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, buy prinivil cod but in [the northern Gaza refugee camp of] Jabaliya, buy prinivil cod many of us were expecting another Sabra and Shatila with all witnesses banned from seeing the worst and with media being attacked, buy prinivil cod and tanks moving in closer and close, buy prinivil cod we felt that the atrocities already happening signified more could come and on a much wider scale. Buy prinivil cod [Editor's note: Sabra and Shatila were Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon where a massacre occurred during Israel's 1982 invasion. Buy prinivil cod Israeli forces surrounded the camps and allowed and supported the militia of the Lebanese Phalange Party to conduct the massacre inside the camps.] FB: What was the most useful thing you think international volunteers were able to achieve and contribute? What did Palestinians in Gaza think of your presence there? EJ: The community were glad we were there and kept telling us, buy prinivil cod "Please report what you see, buy prinivil cod we cant even believe this is happening to us, buy prinivil cod let the world know, buy prinivil cod it's your duty to speak out about what you witness." And that's what we did, buy prinivil cod through TV and radio interviews, buy prinivil cod our own written reports, buy prinivil cod some of us wrote books too: for example, buy prinivil cod Vittorio Arrigoni (Italy) Gaza, buy prinivil cod Stay Human, buy prinivil cod Sharyn Lock (UK) Gaza Beneath the Bombs, buy prinivil cod myself Gaza: A Ghetto Unbroken. Buy prinivil cod Some of us made films, buy prinivil cod like Fida Qishta and Jenny Linnel, buy prinivil cod and documentaries on the phosphoric bombardment of Khoza. Buy prinivil cod Alberto Arce and Mohammad Rujailah produced To Shoot an Elephant. I think we contributed to the testimony of the Palestinian community that white phosphorous was being used, buy prinivil cod that civilians were deliberately being targeted, buy prinivil cod that hospitals, buy prinivil cod schools, buy prinivil cod emergency services were being targeted. Buy prinivil cod And that counteracted Israel's propaganda. Buy prinivil cod Also, buy prinivil cod I know for a fact that we lifted the spirits of the medics we worked with; they felt they had a witness with them in case of their death, buy prinivil cod and a possible small bit of protection against Israeli attack. Buy prinivil cod Everybody needs a witness when they're going through hell -- wherever and whatever that hell is -- it's a form of solidarity, buy prinivil cod of verification, buy prinivil cod that the unbelievable really is happening to you. Buy prinivil cod Also, buy prinivil cod we were urging people on the outside to step up their protests and direct actions and advocacy for boycott, buy prinivil cod divestment and sanctions. Buy prinivil cod Getting that narrative out was important too, buy prinivil cod peoples' eyes were opened and many people wanted to get involved and deepen their activism. FB: Could you recount one event that truly shocked you during the invasion? EJ: There were so, buy prinivil cod so many. Buy prinivil cod Probably the bombing of a house by an F-16 just a few feet away from four of our ambulances. Buy prinivil cod I was in the passenger seat with my hand on the door, buy prinivil cod my friend and driver told me just wait, buy prinivil cod wait a little, buy prinivil cod and suddenly there was this enormous explosion -- everything went bright fire orange and rubble and debris showered our ambulance. Buy prinivil cod One of our drivers was injured and needed to be carried out on a stretcher. Buy prinivil cod Our exit route was blocked by rubble, buy prinivil cod a family was screaming and gathering their belongings and getting out, buy prinivil cod we were stumbling with our casualty and surveillance drones were thundering above, buy prinivil cod and we feared a repeat strike, buy prinivil cod more casualties, buy prinivil cod and losing four ambulances when every single one was vital. Buy prinivil cod We cheated death that night. Buy prinivil cod The Israelis saw us and our lone movement in the streets of Jabaliya, buy prinivil cod and bombed a house less than 10 feet away from us -- this is a criminal, buy prinivil cod reckless use of force. Another was the bombing of the Beit Lahiya Elementary School with white phosphorous. Buy prinivil cod We arrived in our ambulances after evacuating dozens of residents suffering from phosphoric inhalation and after the school had taken a direct hit. Buy prinivil cod I was masked up but the stench and smoke was still penetrating, buy prinivil cod and when we got there a second round exploded above us, buy prinivil cod I was frozen to the spot and could see these burning blobs raining down next to me, buy prinivil cod I had to be screamed at to move and find shelter. Buy prinivil cod The refugees in the school were screaming and crying under a flimsy metal shelter in the school yard. Buy prinivil cod The third floor of the school was on fire. Buy prinivil cod We brought Bilal Ashkar, buy prinivil cod aged seven -- just this limp boy -- into our ambulance. Buy prinivil cod He'd been hit by the phosphorous shell and thrown down the stairs of the school by the force of the explosion. Buy prinivil cod He was dead on arrival. FB: A ceasefire was declared on 18 January 2009. Buy prinivil cod Did things change much after this? What did Gaza feel like and look like after the ceasefire? EJ: The Israeli occupation forces flew F-16s over people returning to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives in Ezbet Abed Rabo [neighborhood near Jabaliya], buy prinivil cod drones continued to sneer above us every night. Buy prinivil cod There was this hollow humiliation and undigested horror, buy prinivil cod and loss, buy prinivil cod such a profound sense of dislocation and loss -- of lives, buy prinivil cod of the loved, buy prinivil cod homes, buy prinivil cod whole communities, buy prinivil cod streets, buy prinivil cod mosques, buy prinivil cod shops, buy prinivil cod gone. Buy prinivil cod People literally felt physically lost in their own neighborhoods. Buy prinivil cod It was like another Nakba [the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948 when Israel was created]. Buy prinivil cod People felt mocked by the international community. Buy prinivil cod "They're laughing at us, buy prinivil cod the whole world doesn't care, buy prinivil cod they're mocking us, buy prinivil cod" was what we frequently heard. Buy prinivil cod It felt like a tsunami had hit. FB: Many reports coming from UN bodies, buy prinivil cod aid agencies and human rights organizations came out very quickly in the months following the invasion. Buy prinivil cod Most of them agreed on the fact that war crimes and possible crimes against humanity were committed during the Israeli attack. Buy prinivil cod Did you ever witness actions that for you were crimes of this magnitude? EJ: Absolutely. Buy prinivil cod The targeting of civilians and civilian areas, buy prinivil cod the reckless and wanton destruction of property, buy prinivil cod the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force, buy prinivil cod seen with the bombing of the Beit Lahiya School, buy prinivil cod the Samouni family massacre, buy prinivil cod the F-16 bombardment of the Hamdan children in Beit Hanoun, buy prinivil cod the utter disregard for our ambulances, buy prinivil cod the blocking of access to the injured resulting in hundreds of deaths, buy prinivil cod the extrajudicial killing of Sayed al-Seyam and Nazar Rayan and scores of their family members. Buy prinivil cod We picked up so many shredded men (and some women too) axed by heavy-duty bombs released by surveillance drones -- these can carry a 150 kg payload and are sophisticated enough to detect the color of a person's hair. Buy prinivil cod According to the al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, buy prinivil cod proportionally, buy prinivil cod most people killed [during the invasion were] by UAVs followed by F-16s. FB: A few weeks ago, buy prinivil cod 16 aid agencies issued a report saying that the international community had "failed Gaza." On the ground things have not changed at all for ordinary Palestinians in Gaza but have gotten worse. Buy prinivil cod Keeping this in mind, buy prinivil cod what do you think is the role of popular resistance or citizen activism? EJ: Yes, buy prinivil cod the international community facilitates and pays for Israel's occupation, buy prinivil cod and pathologizes and de-develops Palestine in the process. Buy prinivil cod Ordinary citizens have a responsibility not to fund or politically support [an] industry which hides a relentless project of ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine. Buy prinivil cod [Instead, buy prinivil cod citizens have a responsibility] to build a critical mass of political pressure by all means available -- through BDS and direct action -- to bring about sanctions against Israel and to enforce international law by targeting the companies that violate it with respect to Palestinian human rights, buy prinivil cod and to expose Israel in the same way [apartheid in] South Africa was exposed and eventually brought to an end. FB: What in your opinion is most urgently needed in Gaza? What can people do to help and change the status quo? EJ: Palestinians in Gaza should answer that, buy prinivil cod but what many say, buy prinivil cod is that what Gaza needs is the rest of Palestine. Buy prinivil cod People living in camps in Jordan, buy prinivil cod Lebanon, buy prinivil cod Syria and the West Bank want to be reunited with their families and homes. Buy prinivil cod The inalienable and legal right of return for Gaza's and all Palestinian refugees needs to be enacted. Buy prinivil cod The Israeli tactic of divide and torture, buy prinivil cod of chopping up the Palestinian community, buy prinivil cod is a long-term tactic designed to break down the strongest weapon against ethnic cleansing that Palestinians possess -- memory, buy prinivil cod community, buy prinivil cod family. Buy prinivil cod As long as you have a people who remember their homes and lands, buy prinivil cod and know each other, buy prinivil cod refer to one another as cousin, buy prinivil cod uncle, buy prinivil cod sister and brother, buy prinivil cod and can ask, buy prinivil cod "Which home/family are you from?" then the struggle can never be alienated or abstracted. Buy prinivil cod Palestinians in Gaza need to have the means to speak and act for themselves and not be spoken for, buy prinivil cod and to have access to the rest of the world -- twinning relationships and projects between schools, buy prinivil cod mosques, buy prinivil cod universities, buy prinivil cod hospitals, buy prinivil cod youth groups, buy prinivil cod initiatives -- these are all means to break the isolation inside and build a more intimate and motivated solidarity movement on the outside. Buy prinivil cod Aid is not the answer. Buy prinivil cod Solidarity is. FB: A year after the war, buy prinivil cod people marched in hundreds of cities around the world to "commemorate" those horrific events. Buy prinivil cod What do you think of those demonstrations? What type of effect do they have on Palestinians in Gaza? Are they useful at all in your opinion? EJ: The rallies are a focus point; we do need collective mourning, buy prinivil cod remembrance and action in our streets. Buy prinivil cod But its also important to target companies violating international law and which are key in perpetuating Israeli apartheid, buy prinivil cod which we must always remember is not limited to Gaza -- the West Bank is 15 times larger than Gaza and is full of mini Gazas -- Bantustans surrounded by Israel's apartheid wall. Buy prinivil cod Companies like Veolia, buy prinivil cod Alstom, buy prinivil cod Caterpillar, buy prinivil cod Elbit Systems, buy prinivil cod CRT Holdings and Carmel-Agrexco could be charged with aiding and abetting war crimes of ethnic cleansing and illegal colony-building. Buy prinivil cod The boycott, buy prinivil cod divestment and sanctions call from Palestinian civil society needs to be responded to and supported -- actively, buy prinivil cod daily. Buy prinivil cod We are all complicit in the reproduction and reinforcement of the occupation -- it is an international occupation, buy prinivil cod it is an international issue, buy prinivil cod and international solidarity for Palestinian human rights can create the conditions for a local solution. FB: Will you ever go back to Gaza? EJ: I am going back! I only meant to leave for a month, buy prinivil cod I deeply miss Gaza. Buy prinivil cod It became like a home to me, buy prinivil cod I miss my friends and "family" there. Buy prinivil cod Like so many activists that go to Palestine, buy prinivil cod what we witness never leaves us. Buy prinivil cod We learn from and are humbled by the people that we work with, buy prinivil cod and it's an honor and a privilege to participate in this struggle. Frank Barat is a human right activist and coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Buy prinivil cod He lives in the UK.Original article can be found at: