MideastYouth.com is a student-owned independent network that promotes constructive dialogue and understanding within the Middle East and North Africa.Arabs, Iranians, Kurds, and Israelis work side by side on a variety of different projects in order to advance towards moderation and interfaith understanding.One of the features it has is a podcast on December 28th from out of Gaza:
Podcasting from Gaza: Ramzy in Gaza gives an on-the-ground account of the attacksThe player for the podcast is right there on the page:Author: Esra'a (Bahrain) - December 28, 2008
Hundreds have died so far and there is no sign of Israel quitting its aggressive attacks against innocent civilians. The international world is reacting but Ramzy, who is a young teacher in Gaza and occasional author on Mideast Youth, notes that it’s doing so far too slowly. There is no way to put it, despite many justifications by American and Israeli sources, but what Gazans are going through is undeniably a grave form of terrorism, in every sense of the word.
It was hard finding a source within Gaza due to lack of electricity, but I am glad to have gotten through to Ramzy where he provides an on-the-ground opinion in this podcast below.
Our hearts and prayers go out to our friends and all innocent civilians in Gaza, who wish for nothing more than their freedom and security. As Ramzy implies throughout the podcast, both Hamas and Israel are using innocent people as tools in a massive game of corruption, showing them no respect or mercy whatsoever.
What makes Ramzy's podcast interesting is that though no friend of Israel, he describes the situation with a fairly critical eye--more than Esra'a, who at one point during her interview of Ramzy (2:45) pushes him to say that Israel has destroyed hospitals, making the situation that much more dire. Ramzy is puzzled by the question and responds that the problem instead is the lack of hospital supplies.
For his part, Ramzy claims (6:35) that Israel did not abide by the terms of the ceasefire with Hamas--one of the terms apparently being that all of the prisons would be emptied of Palestinian prisoners.
Near the end of the interview (9:50) Ramzy actually calls upon Hamas to surrender due to Israel's superior firepower and concern for the lives of the Palestinians.
Ramzy writes something similar in a post entitled: Hamas, Take your hands off the people! which he wrote on December 20. He concludes:
Ever since Hamas went to power the Palestinian people’s living conditions are from bad to worse with every day because it is internationally recognized as a terrorist group and can’t be endorsed as part of the world system without renouncing violence and recognizing Israel and therefore a tight siege has been imposed on Gaza Strip. Hamas says it can’t conform to the conditions of the international community to be recognized by it because they go against its principles and charter. No one is asking Hamas to give up on its principles and charter but for God’s sake for the people’s sake step down and let the people live a normal life since there is no way to change the world and make it accept Hamas as it is.These are the people that Israel--and the world--should be thinking about empowering, not Fatah...not the Palestinian Authority. Not because they are allies of Israel (they aren't necessarily), but because they are the ones who can bring about stability.
Fortunately, though the countries who rush each year to give away millions to the PA are not looking for ways to empower the Ramzy's in Gaza, people like this are finding ways to empower themselves.