Israel is pounding Gaza again. Why don’t the Palestinians in Gaza just give up? G&M columnist Eric Reguly was there in May. His column gives a hint.

Neither Hamas nor Islamic Jihad can match the strength of the Israeli military. In the last 2 days, Israel has killed over 40 Palestinian civilians and injured scores more. There are no reports of any Israeli casualties. So why do those movements keep on fighting and why do they still have any support in Gaza? Globe and Mail columnist Eric Reguly visited Gaza recently and reported on a generation that sees little hope for the future. Until they are allowed out they see little option but to resist. Read more.

It’s rare for a Canadian journalist to go to Gaza. First because the Israelis dont want foreigners looking around and rarely give permission. And second, because the Canadian government is complicit, actively discouraging any Canadian from visiting Gaza. But Globe and Mail correspondent Eric Reguly was there for 3 days in May. He describes with compassion the desperation of a lost generation of Palestinians, 80% of whom are not from Gaza at all, but stuck there as refugees, not allowed to return to what today is the Jewish state of Israel.

Here are a few excerpts from Reguly’s insightful article:

On psychological trauma

“In an interview with The Globe in Gaza City, Helen Ottens-Patterson, the head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in the Palestinian territories, said youth trauma – often marked by sleepless nights, high anxiety, aggression, lack of concentration and bedwetting – is pervasive. “Children who are 14 or 15 have only known the blockade, four wars and many escalations,” she said. “They know nothing else.”

On the spirit of resistance

“The Israelis are trying to shock us, but they forgot one thing,” said Nada Thabet Doghmost, a 23-year-old architecture and interior design student, in a café in Gaza City. “They forgot that we are free spirits and own this land.”

On material destruction

“In the early afternoon of May 15, 2021, the Israeli military phoned the occupants of the 12-storey al-Jalaa building in Gaza City to issue a warning: You have 40 minutes to clear out before the entire structure is taken down by smart bombs.

The building was filled with commercial offices, including those of the Gazan bureaus of the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera, plus some 30 residential apartments. Among the residents was the extended family of Jawad Mahdi, a wealthy Palestinian clothing entrepreneur and property owner who had built the tower in 1994.

“My father begged the Israelis to give us another hour,” he said. “They told him, ‘Leave now!’ We took nothing. We didn’t have time.”

All that was left of the building, including the warehouse, was smoking rubble.

On death and dying

“Ms. al-Qolaq is 23 and studied English at university. She has a quiet, withdrawn, crestfallen air about her, which is perfectly understandable.

On the night of May 16, 2021, an Israeli air strike destroyed her home on al-Wehda Street in Gaza City. She was buried alive for 12 hours under three floors of rubble. She could barely move in the blackness and was bleeding, drifting in and out of consciousness.

When the digging teams finally uncovered her and sent her to the hospital, she was told that 22 members of her family had died in the attack – her mother, sister, two brothers, two grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. “No one in the war lost so many members of her family,” she said. “No one had the experience I had.”

Mr. Reguly’s June 21 article in the G and M Gaza’s young people have known nothing but a blockade for 15 years.” can be seen here. It is worth reading.

Last minute. A demonstration will be held in Ottawa on Wednesday August 10 to oppose the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

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  1. While the plight of the people of Gaza is dire and I wish that things would get better for them, your introduction contains a statement that is obviously false.

    You wrote that Israel has killed 40 civilians in Gaza in the past few days. In fact this is incorrect in two ways.

    Many of people killed were not civilians. Of those civilians who were killed, at least nine died as a result of rocket fire from Islamic Jihad.

    Propagating false information about Israel will not help the people of Gaza.

    1. “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence” – Hitchens’s Razor

      I see The Hasbara pushers are already here.

    2. Repeating what Israel says (See how it’s position changed as reputable organizations challenged its original spin about a crossfire in regard to Shireen Abu Akleh although Mr. Roytenberg is probably still spinning the original version) does not help anybody, especially the poor deluded Israeli Jews and their supporter like Mr. Roytenberg. I will give Mr. Roytenberg credit. He does read Canada Talks Israel Palestine, thereby diluting the Koolaid somewhat but it does not seem to have made of a difference as his major role in life, like that of (dis)Honest Reporting Canada, is to reinforce Israel’s official propaganda.

    3. They killed a military commander in a RESIDENTIAL building because obviously the end justifies the means. Three residents were killed in that strike including a child. Yesterday morning they killed another commander by bombing the house over the heads of the people without issuing their 5 minute warning and they killed seven people including women and children. The Zionist state of Israel has no guilt killing innocent civilians. Last years they killed 69 children. They’ve bombed entire neighborhoods before just to kill one person and have never been held accountable for their heinous crimes. Lapid needed an election campaign booster, and like all Israeli politicians, he could only do that by massacring Palestinians. Israeli’s bloody record on Palestinians has surpassed the holocaust victims.

  2. It must be assumed that the civilians in Gaza are held hostage by the Islamist terrorist groups that control Gaza. And that the civilians in Gaza are sick of being used as human shields to protect weaponry, headquarters, and then bomb shelters of the terrorist elite.

    1. Thank you Mr. Sigman,
      Why must it be “assumed” that civilians in Gaza are held hostage by the “Islamist terrorist” groups in Gaza?

      Why not “assume” the opposite – that they support Hamas and PIJ because those groups show organized opposition to the Israeli blockade and the Israeli refusal to allow them to return. Mr. Reguly, the Globe and Mail journalist, talked to a lot of people. He found many who accused Israel. He didn’t report any who told him (even privately) that they were being held “hostage’ as you want us to assume.

  3. The colossal scale of the Zionist brutality is designed to see Palestinians cowed, caged and crushed.This makes Palestinians stronger and more determined to take back their historic homeland, even if it takes a thousand years

  4. To the question as why Gazans don’t give-up, since there’s no way of getting any concessions from Israel by resistance, only more and more killings and devastations. The facts are that It’s absolutely doesn’t matter what Gazans do or don’t do. Israel’s agenda is to keep Gaza the way it is without peace, for several reasons:
    This way it eliminates 2 million Palestinians from joining the rest and having stronger voice and position. Israel’s absolute aim is to continue stealing more of West Bank land. Gaza helps Israel to promote the brain washing of the world that Palestinians are terrorists, so to justify the occupation.
    Every few years to test on them new weapons in order to increase more sells around the world by promoting “Battle tested”.,
    Almost every Israeli major assault happened about 3 month before Israeli election. Than telling Israelis that it’s not a good time to change government, due to national security. Case in point Lapid trying to prove that he is as tough as Netanyahoo. In regard to the number of Palestinian casualties, here is the latest quote:

    Gaza Update: death toll in Israeli aggression reaches 43 Palestinians – many children
    Gaza Update: death toll in Israeli aggression reaches 43 Palestinians – many children
    Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes on residential building, in Gaza City, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. (FATIMA SHBAIR, ASSOCIATED PRESS)
    Israel’s attack on Gaza continued into Sunday afternoon, bring the Palestinian death toll to 43 – including 15 children and 4 women; over 300 have been injured.
    reposted from from IMEMC, the International Middle East Media Center, August 7, 2022.

    Israel’s aim is to have Gazans live in utter poverty, without any leaders and zero tolerance. The Gazans obviously can not continue this way. No water, no food, no employment, no electricity, no freedom and no future.
    People say that if they do not resist, than all will be fine. Not the case whatsoever. There were many periods in the past, where there were no violence at all, Israel kept the blockade and the killings.

    Just look at West Bank: There’s almost no resistance, the Palestinian Authority cooperates with Israel, yet the land and water theft goes on, army and settlers violence getting worse by the day. More new restrictions etc.

    In conclusion: The only thing that of any consequence is, what Israel wants to do and the help of Western countries, together with the corrupt Arab countries.

      1. Hey David, Thanks for your comment.
        It seems to me that PM Lapid offers the people of Gaza everything EXCEPT what they want: the right to end their status as refugees and return to where they (or their grandparents) came from.
        If you were in their shoes, what would you do? Would you say “OK, we lost, you won. We give up. You take the land. The UN says we have the right to return, but forget that. We will agree to be refugees forever.”? Really???

        I think you would have more pride (and courage) than that.

      2. How would you, as Jew, like it if you could have livelihood-dignity-and -peace but live only in Markham Ontario with all your fellow Jews.

  5. Waking up today after the ceasefire was announced last night, my heart was broken. Today would be the deal where people wake up to the enormity of what happened. Of their loved ones that they lost in a blink of any eye. Two commanders were killed and the rest were civilians. Although the whole act of resisting occupation is valid under international law and for all peoples. So just because Israel decided that any Resistance fighter is wanted, that doesn’t make killing them legal. In fact, what they did is a war crime that is added to their endless list of war crimes.

    CTIP note: Rana Shubair is an author and mother who lives in Gaza.

    1. PIJ has acknowledged that they lost 12 dead. Hamas has acknowledged 2 dead. DFLP admitted one.

      That’s 15 militants dead. Not two.

      1. Hey David, Thank you.
        I think it is important to be accurate. The real figures are bad enough. There is no need to exaggerate.
        The figures I had from the Palestinian Health Ministry are: 44 dead, including 15 children. More than 300 people have been injured.
        It does not say how many were militants, so I take your point. If 15 were “militants” then ‘only” 29 innocent civilians.
        But don’t you think 29 innocent civilians and 300 injuries is quite enough? I think its appalling. I hope you do too. As far as I know, there have not been any Israeli deaths.
        But the main question is why do the Palestinians keep on supporting Hamas or PIJ when every flareup leads to massive death and destruction by Israel’s leathal forces? Do you really believe that Hamas make them do it? Or that they are all so crazily antisemitic that they will attack knowing they will get smashed again? What is your theory?

      2. Peter I agree that even one dead civilian is too many. That’s why I’m sad that PIJ killed a number of civilians in Gaza in the course of firing over 1000 missiles into Israel.
        Why did they do that?

        While acknowledging my sorrow at the death of civilians in Gaza, I am both sad and angry that PIJ orchestrated the killing of 19 Israeli civilians during March and April.

        That’s why Israel has been sending the IDF into Jenin for the past couple of months. And that’s why Israel killed the PIJ commander for northern Gaza. And the Israeli bombing in Gaza which sadly resulted in the deaths of civilians along with some of the people who were firing those rockets was a response to those rockets.

        And what would you expect Israel to do in response to those 19 murdered civilians. Just do nothing in response?

        What should they do when rockets are fired out of Gaza. Just let it happen. Israelis are not so self-effacing. When people try to kill Israelis, Israelis will try to stop them. What would you do?

      3. One more note on this. According to Israeli numbers, 26 civilians died during the three days that Israel was bombing Gaza in response to roughly 1100 rockets fired by PIJ at Israel.

        Of those 26, Israel acknowledges that 11 were sadly killed as an unintended result of Israeli action against the PIJ attackers who were attacking Israel.

        That means that the remaining 15 civilian deaths in Gaza were the result of PIJ rockets that fell within the borders of Gaza. So while PIJ tried 1100 times to kill Israelis during those three days, but failed to kill any, they did kill 15 Palestinian civilians.

        In addition it is reported that a Hamas fighter was killed along with his three children by a PIJ rocket that fell in Bureij on August 7, the last day of the fighting.

        My source for these numbers is this article in the Jerusalem Post:

      4. It’s important to be factual. Yes they are militants but also freedom fighters just like Nelson Mandela.

  6. Israel could justify the attacks, the killings and the destructions, only if they stopped doing all what they do, which all are war crimes by international laws. If they genuinely stopped the occupation, and let them be free with full rights and help them prosper, Only than if they’ll be attacked, will they have the right to defend themselves.

    What Lapid and other Israelis in power mean by: If the Palestinians stop any resistance and any violence, than we let a few thousands Gazans to come and do our dirty work and maybe let some water and medicine go there. Just look again what’s happening in West Bank. Today again hundreds of soldiers devastated Nablus area, killing 3 youth. As a few analysts said in last few days, all Israeli injustices only creates more anger and hate among Palestinians and more support for militant groups.
    Look at almost no support for the Palestinian Authority, since they colaborate with Israel, but get nothing in return, only enriching themselves.

    Never ever there was an Israeli leader who decalred that: We are prepared to come toward all Palestians with some substaitial actions, to resolve our state from occupation and apartheid.
    Always for decades they put forward dozens of conditions as to what the Palestinians should do for any progress from Israel. As it is outlined in the book “Peace not Apartheid”, by former US president Jimmy Carter. Israel never genuingly wanted to anything that is required for peace to be achieved. The aim was set by the original Zionists, which continues up to today. Take everything we can with as little Palestinian as possible.
    As the criminal Moshe Dyan, decades ago said: if you don’t agree, than you will live like dogs.

    1. The bottom line is that Israel is a settler colonial, racist, apartheid state. All the propaganda won’t change that. The only thing that will change that is when everybody in the existing de facto state from the river to the sea controlled by Israel has equal rights. Of course, no privileged group will give up its privileges willingly so, like South Africa, Israel will be forced to do that by global public opinion and sanctions. The sanctions haven’t happened yet but public opinion is changing. BDS is starting to make a difference. In reaction, Israel and its supporters have doubled down by promoting the IHRA definition of antisemitism (which is really an example of anti-Palestinian racism) and by actions such as trying to force Ben and Jerry’s to keep selling the brand in the occupied West Bank. The following link describes the tactics used by Israel and its supporters to attempt to distract us from talking about its main goal: the maintenance of its general racist system and the continuing and aggressive ethnic cleansing and land theft in the West Bank. The link below describes the tactics used by Israel and its supporters to distract us from the terrible suffering and human rights violations which Israel inflicts on the Palestinians. BTW, international law states that persons who aid and abet criminal actions even if they do not live in the country committing them are also criminally liable.

    2. What’s disturbing about all this is that while many, if not most, Jews live in their own bubble where all they hear about Israel/Palestine comes from groups like CIJA, B’nai Brith, and Honest Reporting Canada which are part of the Israel lobby (CIJA is listed in the Canadian lobby register as a lobby group promoting Canada/Israel relations), many Israel apologists know all the terrible things that Israel is doing. They read Gideon Levy and Amira Hass but, despite knowing the truth of what is happening, they still persist in making excuses for a terrible injustice. There are Jews who have changed their minds when they discovered the truth. One is Jason Sherman who made a documentary called “My Tree” about his discovery. (You can watch it on CBC Gem). Another is Seth Rogen who said that his childhood education about Israel which he received through Jewish schools and camps to be problematic. So change can happen but the creation of Israel has perverted the idea of Judaism to the extent that, while many are “progressive except for Palestine”, others have gone hard right and embrace antisemites like Victor Orban, President of Hungary, because he supports Israel. So we have a double tragedy. Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and Israel’s perversion of Judaism and many Jews are OK with that.

    3. Hey David,
      No doubt many Gaza residents are fed up and despondent. They have been hammered repeatedly, and Israel doesn’t ever suffer very much. In this last round, i don’t think there were ANY Israeli deaths.

      I assume that is Israel’s objective – to discourage people – to tell them “resistance is futile” as the Borg said in Star Trek. (I also assume that is the reason that Israel isn’t bothered by killling children or innocent people. The objective is to beat people down.)

      But, even beaten down, people can’t help but resist. To resist oppression is human. There will always be people who resist. If its not Hamas, or PIJ it will be some other group.

      David, I assume you are a decent person. Do you have qualms about lining up with the Borg?

      1. Peter, I disagree with your characterization of Israel’s motives. If groups like Hamas and PIJ were not organizing violence, the Israeli behaviour would be different. Before Hamas took over in Gaza, people in Gaza were free to come and go to other Palestinian controlled territories and their were few restrictions on the movement of goods into Gaza.

        The restrictions on movement and on what can be shipped into Gaza are a result of the hostile behaviour of the government in Gaza and were imposed in response to violence emanating from Gaza. Israel’s goal is not to beat down the Palestinians. It’s goal is to protect Israelis from Palestinian violence. If groups like PIJ and Hamas were not organizing violence against Israelis, Israel’s behavour would be different and Palestinians would be able to live better lives.

    4. Contrary to Mr. Roytenberg’s claims, this factual article illustrates how the Jews are uprooting the Indigenous Palestinian population and that there is a double standard because the state, including the courts and the army, favours the Jews at the expense of the Palestinians. The army harasses the Palestinians in a phony “shooting Zone” and destroys any attempts for them to have water or solar panels while, at the same time, the state not only allows illegal Jewish settlers into the same firing zone but also provides them with water and electricity.

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