Myths and Facts about the Siege: Phone conference with Sari Bashi of Gisha July 15,2010

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Recording of Taanit Tzedek phone conference on Myths and Facts about the Siege on Gaza with Sari Bashi, executive director of Gisha. We were also joined by Reut Katz of Physicians for Human Rights - Israel who shared information about the medical infrastructure in Gaza and the difficulties faced by Gazans needing medical treatment. The call begins at 1:38 minutes and includes several questions from participants.

Highlights of the Call:

Sari explains what the easing of the blockade means: more goods ("Gazans can now get chocolate and coriander"), a limited number of goods (for example: large containers of margarine) that could be used in the manufacturing sector. What is the same: no exports, no change in number of crossings into Gaza, no change in restrictions on movement of people.

The blockade is not about security, it is according to Israeli documents part of "economic warfare" aimed at weakening the Hamas government.

Human Rights organizations have not changed Israeli public opinion (Israelis overwhelmingly support siege/closure) and are currently focused on defending themselves against anti-democratic initiatives aimed at silencing them and/or criminalizing their activities.

Both Sari and Reut speak movingly about what motivates them as Israelis to be advocates for the rights of Gazans.

Sari explains that the situation in Gaza is precursor of what Israel has started to do in the West Bank, assume full control but take no responsibility for the welfare of the non-Jewish/Palestinian inhabitants.

Listen to a very informative and thought provoking conversation.