Tuesday, January 06, 2009

American School in Gaza Blown to Smithereens

Gaza man carries wounded child, photo posted by Pan-African News Wire on Flickr

The American International School in Gaza was blown to smithereens. The Israelis said it was because Hamas weapons were hidden in the school. A ridiculous claim according to staff. I emailed Dr. Taatgen to see if this news was indeed true. And he confirmed. I will post his email below. So sad.

If you remember from my post of Jan. 2, 2009, End the Siege on Gaza, Dr. Taatgen was the director of the school, had been kidnapped for a day, kept the school open after the IDF relentlessly engaged in low flying misssions over Gaza, causing windows to be blown out, and wreaking havoc on ear drums and the genaeral well-being of staff and students. He kept the school open by having the kids come to the apartment buildings where the teachers lived. A sort of "home school" for lack of a better word.

Just watched BBC News and Newshour on PBS. The BBC journalist interviewed a western doctor. This doctor said he was only one of two doctors and was wondering where the international doctors were and when they were coming.

This doctor said the reports we were getting were untrue. He said 45% of the deaths were women and children. This doctor said he had only seen two Hamass fighters killed. Anyway, I hope the siege ends soon.

One last thing, on Newshour they did a very balanced report with experts on both sides. The expert on Hamas said that leaders of Hamas went to Egypt six months ago asking that the economic hardships and the blockade of supplies entering Gaza that the Israelis were imposing be lifted. Their requests were denied. The press is/was not reporting on how desperate the situation was becoming for the Palestinians.

For those interested, if you scroll down below this post, you will find my original post with Dr. Taatgen's excellent synopsis. And please visit the link Educators for Ending the Siege on Gaza on left under links making the world a better place. Or copy this link into your browser: http://www.endthesiege.org

One more thing, about Dr. Taatgen, a colleague I worked with in Bogota, Colombia told me I would have loved working with him. For those who have not read my post from the other day, I was considering teaching in Gaza. This colleague, who happened to be Palestinian, said Dr. Taatgen was a fascinating man who studied anthropology. I am sorry I missed this opportunity. Here is the email Dr. Taatgen sent after I asked if it was his old school that was blown to smithereens.

Mary,

Yes, this is, or rather was, my old school.

The Israeli justification is that it concealed Hamas weapons.

If this is what they believe, nobody, not even the 200 students of the school and their teachers, are safe.

Everyone in Gaza becomes a target or if they are lucky, collateral damage in a murderous plot, while the world is watching- “helplessly.”

Where have we seen this before? Which occasion elicited similar bitter commentary?

How long will it take before the holocaust of one people has become the fateful destiny of another?

Hendrik

Addendum: I forgot to mention that the school was bombed over the weekend. No students were on campus. However, a security guard was killed. Very sad.

Addendum Two: Just heard on NPR that the IDF bombed the UN school killing 40 kids and others who were seeking refuge. Criminal.

2 comments:

Hi! I'm Grace said...

Hi Mary, you got a nice blog here. Very interesting post. :)

Mary Cuevas said...

thank you grace,
yes itis a sad state of affairs. i only hope our new prez in the usa will open a dialogue and engage in diplomacy.

what worries me is the arab world is watching this massacre and it is only going to fuel anger.

just do not know what they, the idf, are thinking.
mary