‘Joe Public’ Rallies for Gaza

By Sumayyah Meehan, MMNS

2008-12-29T161848Z_01_AMM52_RTRMDNP_3_PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL 2008-12-30T115605Z_01_AMM51_RTRMDNP_3_JORDAN

Jordan’s King Hussein and his wife give blood for the Palestinians in Gaza.



The scenes coming out of Gaza, shot over TV screens across the world, are enough to torment the human heart in agony. The sense of helplessness and distress can be felt from the U.S. to France and in places like Korea and South Africa. So far, the majority of governments in the world have not lifted so much as a finger to rein in, or even scold, Israel’s unforgiving war on Gaza. As the death toll in Gaza rises by the minute, the Israeli devastation goes on unabashedly with even nations in the Middle East turning a blind eye and a deaf ear.

However, the tie of humanity that binds all humans regardless of race or nationality has a tendency to rise in times of crisis. And that is exactly what is happening in many Gulf States as civilians stand up to lend a helping hand to the denizens of Gaza.

In Jordan, a Gaza charity drive organized by the Action Committee was held shortly after the siege on Gaza began. What started out as a small campaign meant to generate as much donated goods like canned foods, blankets and clothes in 48 hours, turned into an unprecedented showing of Jordanian support for a fellow Arab neighbor. Cars lined up one right after the other, in the pouring rain, with citizens donating as much as their cars could carry. When all was said and done more than 40 tons of items were donated in two days and sorted over a four-day period with the help of volunteers.

In the Jordanian capital of Amman, a different sort of charity drive recently took place. Citizens of the Kingdom lined up in droves to donate blood, which is a much needed commodity for medical services in Gaza. Even King Abdullah and Queen Rania, who is also Palestinian, participated by sitting in a chair and strapping on a needle.

In an article published in a locally daily, Queen Rania said, “To be limited to expressing sympathies with the people of Gaza is shameful because they don’t need to be felt sorry for, they need us to act and help, and I know that we can do more.”

King Abdullah also instructed his army’s medical services department to build a field hospital in Gaza to assist with wounded Palestinians. In the meantime, the Hashemite Charity Organization of Jordan is also organizing a massive effort to fill 10 trucks with much needed aid including food, medicine, supplies and the collected units of blood. The Jordanian initiative is to deliver the 10 truckloads of goods every day for an unlimited period. Bowing to international outrage, Israel has agreed to open a ‘humanitarian corridor’ so that relief aid can replenish Gaza’s depleted resources.

As of press time, more than 600 Palestinians have been killed as a result of Israel’s war on Gaza according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Israeli forces have expanded their ground assault to cover the entire Gaza Strip.

The death toll in Gaza is set to rise as Israel’s relentless bombardment goes on and scores of Palestinian dead remain uncounted as their graves lie under mountains of rubble.


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