Palestinian Children

Call me suspicious. Bound bodies found floating in a lake just don’t seem to me very likely to be the victims of suicide. Riad’s friend writes:

‘ A friend of mine, Austin middle-school teacher and pro-Palestinian activist Riad (also spelled Riadh) Hamad, was found gagged & bound in a lake. His death was declared by the local police to be a “suicide”.

The story reeks of being either a hate crime or worse, an assassination by an interested party. Hamad’s charity was under attack by various parties which volunteered to find links between his organization and terrorist organizations. FWIW, no such link has led to law suits against him, to the best of my knowledge.

Riad is no longer alive, but questions about his death (suicide?) seem very much alive. At the very least, a fair police investigation would be appropriate. Simply stepping up to people and killing them is not an acceptable way to shut down a charity in the U.S., I’m sure you agree. I believe that media pressure may be the only way to get a true investigation. If someone is killing Palestinian activists in the U.S., that must be stopped – somehow. ‘

Consider sending a gift to Save the Children and earmarking it for Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza. They told me you can’t sponsor an individual Palestinian child, but that they do get relief to them. Some 20% of Palestinian children are being kept in a state of malnutrition by the Israeli occupation authorities.

I wrote about this problem 6 years ago. The situation has deteriorated sharply in the intervening period:

‘ A U.N. World Food Program initiative called Emergency Food Needs Assessment showed that 51 percent of Palestinians are food insecure in the occupied territory as a whole, with 70 percent food insecure in Gaza.

The main factors affecting Palestinians’ access to food, exacerbated by the second intifada, are Israeli imposed restrictions on their internal and external movement. Limited Palestinian control over their natural resources — in particular water and agricultural land — is another major factor.

Furthermore, chronic malnutrition and dietary-related diseases are slowly increasing, WHO has reported.

Anemia amongst children age nine to 12 months stands at 69 percent in Gaza and 47 percent in the West Bank, with 33 percent of women of childbearing age affected. The number of cases of stunting, low birth weights and premature deaths is also increasing.

Some 70 percent of Palestinians are estimated by the United Nations Children’s Fund to be living below the poverty line. According to UNRWA and the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs, the number of chronic poor has risen sharply. ‘

Please send those poor kids some money via Save the Children, which is very careful about how it reaches them.

Some 15% of Palestinians are Christian, and the Muslims believe Jesus was sent by God. I seem to remember Jesus saying “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” If you aren’t supposed to offend the little ones, I don’t think you are supposed to half-starve them either.

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