While surfing blogs looking at people’s thoughts on immigration I came across the following definition at http://lavistaluisurrea.blogspot.com/
BORDER, n. 1. An imaginary line imposed on an indigenous landscape by men who are not from that landscape; 2. A line that unites two different cultures and forms an unbreakable bond between them.
While the first part is clearly accurate, it’s that 2nd part that I find myself thinking about. What an exciting challenge… and a great invitation. What does it look like, feel like, sound like… to act as if we had already created that reality?
And, of course, I cannot think about borders just now without thinking about Gaza, and the Rafah-Egypt border.
I’ve wanted to write about that for a while now. But somehow just haven’t found the time, or the words. What an exciting show of people power. According to Haaretz, some 200,000 Palestinians poured out of Gaza and into Egypt early Wednesday, after masked gunmen blew dozens of holes in the wall delineating the border. Haaretz goes on to say “The Gazans rushed to purchase food, fuel, and other supplies made scarce by Israel’s blockade of the Strip, after militants detonated 17 bombs in the early morning hours, destroying some two-thirds of the metal wall separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt.”
Since then I have watched with a mixture of excitement, relief and fear as more sections have come down, as family members separated by the wall saw each other for the first time in years, as Egypt has attempted (somewhat unsuccessfully) to control the flow of Palestinians, and as a population empowered itself in “the biggest jail break in history”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,2245701,00.html
(photos from AFP, via AOL news)
Two relatives hugging for the first time. They had not seen each others in many years. Other women buying blankets and carpets from Egypt after many months of blockade on Gaza (from website http://rafah.virtualactivism.net/news/todaymain.htm )
The excitement and relief are for obvious reasons. The fear comes with wondering what the Israeli government will do to retaliate, what support will the US give to the retaliation, and how much can the rest of the word stand by, and watch, and do nothing. After all as Israeli continued a blockade that cut off power, food and medical supplies and the UN warned of Humanitarian crisis the world was criminally silent.
In the past three days over half the population of the Gaza Strip has left for Egypt “This is how pathetic the situation has become that people have to literally break out of Gaza just to get food and fuel,” the director of the United Nations refugee agency (UNRWA), John Ging said. “There is no dignity for anybody.”
I take heart with this act and the countless other ways in which the Palestinians refusal to cooperate in their oppression – there is always dignity in that.