To the Editor:
On Sunday November 8 a fund raiser was held in Kingston in support of the Gaza Freedom March which will try to bring desperately needed humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza. Fifteen area residents will be joining people from around the world on January 1, 2010 in an attempt to break the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade. The Hudson Valley contingent will try to bring food, water, medical supplies, and/or educational materials into Gaza from Egypt.
The people living in Gaza under Israeli occupation are essentially a captive population. Israel controls and severely restricts the movement of all goods, services, and people both into and out of Gaza. As the result of Israels' brutal blockade there are severe shortages of food, water, medicine, heat, and electricity. Because of the blockades restrictions on building materials the residents of Gaza have been unable to rebuild the more than 20,000 homes that were damaged or destroyed by Israels Defense Forces during last years Israeli attack and invasion of Gaza.
As I was reminded at the fund raiser, Israel could not continue to administer this collective punishment on the men, women, and children of Gaza without the full support of our government and the US tax dollars that come with that support. Hopefully, the funds raised for the Gaza Freedom March will help to alleviate some of the US sponsored suffering being inflicted upon the population of Gaza.
Finally, thank you to the staff at La Florentina restaurant and the volunteers from the MIddle East Crisis Response group for a wonderful and informative event. Anyone seeking further information about the Gaza Freedom March can go to the MECR website which is www.mideastcrisis.org.