SMS from Gaza

Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor and solidarity worker who is one of very few foreigners providing eyewitness accounts to Norwegian media from inside the Gaza strip, where he is volunteering at a hospital.

This one was verified to me earlier today by people in the aid community in touch with Mads Gilbert as being geniune. I've snipped the translation from Shädy Äcres:

"Thanks for your support.. They bombed the central vegetable market in Gaza city two hours ago. 80 injured, 20 killed. All came here to Shifa. Hades! We wade in death. Blood and amputees. Many children. Pregnant woman. I have never experienced anything this terrible. Now hearing tanks. Tell it, pass it on, shout it. Anything. DO SOMETHING! DO MORE! We're living in the history books now, all of us! Mads G, 3.1.09 13:50, Gaza, Palestine.
How dare they say there is not a humanitarian disaster happening? This is a crime against humanity. The leaders of this atrocity should be tried and convicted and thrown in jail for the rest of their lives.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Anonymous Silveira Neto said...

í_ì sad

January 04, 2009 10:54 pm  
Blogger La crise said...

it is a nightmare!

January 04, 2009 11:05 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

It is a nightmare, but it is a nightmare of human invention: a crime against humanity. Crimes have perpetrators. Perpetrators can be tried and they can be punished. Keep the rage alive and use it.

January 04, 2009 11:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This occurred after many similar crimes were committed against Israel, who held their peace for this long. Where were all the protestors then, when they were being committed?

January 05, 2009 7:30 am  
Blogger Mikkel said...

In bed with your mom.

January 05, 2009 9:19 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

What Mikkel MEANT to say was: there has been a long and complicated history of atrocities on both sides, but that the principal responsibility rests on Israel, being the dominant, occupying force. We are protesting the disproportionality of the conflict and the illegal occupation. The first step in solving this conflict is Israel ending their campaign of crimes against humanity and illegal occupation. After that, in comparison, the rest will come easy. Like your mom.

January 05, 2009 11:01 am  
Blogger janhoo said...

It may be of interest to you that Mr. Gilbert is a partisan observer who has long been active in Palestinian organizations in Norway. He is an active member of a revolutionary socialist party, and has also been vocal in his support for the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Mr. Gilbert clearly has a political agenda and should not be trusted as an independent observer.

January 05, 2009 5:40 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

It may be of interest to all of us that Israel allows some independent observers into the Gaza strip. Since that isn't happening, I'll keep listening to the people who are actually there, even if I disagree with them about some fundamental things. He's a professional doctor. He is there on the ground. I have no other sources. If you have a problem with what he is saying, contradict him with facts, not insinuations.

January 05, 2009 6:10 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

And btw being active, partisan and having an agenda e.g. in Palestinian organisations is not something that makes one disqualified to comment on actual things actually happening to actual people. People are frequently both partisan and right.

January 05, 2009 6:12 pm  
Blogger janhoo said...

Feel free to believe whatever you want. However, I still think it is helpful for people to know that Mr. Gilbert is an extremist who is in Gaza with a clear political agenda.

Mr. Gilbert is actively supporting an organization which goal is the destruction of the Jewish people and that wants to implement an apartheid regime against its female population. Readers should be aware of this when seeing his comments from Gaza.

January 06, 2009 12:46 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

It is clear from your comments that you do not understand the nature of this conflict or Hamas. But you are participating in the political movement surrounding it nonetheless. This is dangerous and you should stop and think about what you are doing.

Mr. Gilbert is not "supporting" Hamas, which, btw, is a fractious and divided organisation with many different groups contained within it. He is working as a doctor and relief worker in the middle of war zone, under circumstances that are a humanitarian disaster. You are not. That means you do not get to blithely accuse him of being partisan without pointing to actual things he has said that are wrong. I would like you to do so, please. Either that, or keep quiet. Don't forget what kind of carnage we are talking about here.

Whatever "Hamas" wants to do, I'm pretty certain that the Palestinian men women and children being killed in this mass murder don't care fiddlesticks about it.

January 06, 2009 1:03 am  
Blogger janhoo said...

I have not made any comments on the nature of the conflict or Hamas, except from stating some of the goals of the latter organization.

My point is just to let international readers know that Mr. Gilbert is not an independent observer, but rather the complete opposite. The Western media is making the same errors as it did during the "Battle of Jenin" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2002/may/06/mondaymediasection5), namely to rely on unreliable partisan observers.

January 06, 2009 1:53 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

In every story I have seen, he is treated as an eyewitness and a source, not as an independent observer. Being independent is not a demand journalists make of their sources. Particularly when sources are scarce b/c of the complete barricade of foreign journalists.

So your demand appears, on the face of it, to be unreasonable. There is no need for mr. Gilbert to be independent. There is a need for him to say what he sees so that the world knows what is happening in Gaza. If there are any concerns about his truthfulness in specific statements, state them.

But please spare me the Battle of Jenin nonsense. I've seen the pictures on TV just as much as you have. They bombed a hundred buildings on the first day alone. And they are still bombing and conducting urban warfare in a sealed city which is the densest populated urban area in the world. Is there any doubt whatsoever that this is a serious and full-scale conflict with a massive impact on the civilian population? Is there any doubt at all that hospitals are not functioning because of the blockade? Is there any doubt that children are dying disproportionate to their role in the conflict? Is there any doubt that the Israelis are not allowing evacuation, humanitarian aid and press, as they are SPECIFICALLY required to do in the Geneva conventions?

No. There is no such doubt in any reasonable observer. You are casting doubt on an eyewitness who has not made a single claim that there is any sort of doubt about. Which is something you seem to tacitly admit through your silence when I ask you to question his specific claims. That makes me question your motives. And your seriousness as an interlocutor. Therefore I will remind you again that what you are doing - meddling in a war for apparently no good reason - is dangerous.

January 06, 2009 11:10 am  
Blogger janhoo said...

I am not meddling in the war, you are by saying that:

"This is a crime against humanity. The leaders of this atrocity should be tried and convicted and thrown in jail for the rest of their lives".

As Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, writes in the Wall Street Journal:

"The claim that Israel has violated the principle of proportionality -- by killing more Hamas terrorists than the number of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas rockets -- is absurd. First, there is no legal equivalence between the deliberate killing of innocent civilians and the deliberate killings of Hamas combatants. Under the laws of war, any number of combatants can be killed to prevent the killing of even one innocent civilian".

Israel is acting within international law and is doing its utmost not to kill civilians. If Israel wanted to kill civilians, they would simply firebomb Gaza, and they are not.

Mr. Madsen is qualified to comment on medical issues, but is compleely clueless when it comes to issues of international law or statistics.

Also, the lessons from 2002 and then Battle of Jenin are important and should not be ignored:


January 06, 2009 12:05 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home