Posted by rflacks on:
You probably share my feelings of political impotence at this moment of daily emergency, disaster and the multiple follies of leaders. It might be helpful to be aware of a variety of readily available opportunities to merge your voice with others in ways that might make some difference.
Responding to the attack on the freedom flotilla and the siege of Gaza:
o Go to J Street for a ‘pro-Israel' channel supporting a just 2 state solution, and sign their letter to Pres. Obama asking that he use his power to end the blockade and promote peace.
o Go to Jewish voice for Peace if you want to tell the president and congress to condemn the immoral and illegal May 31 attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, demand a full and independent international investigation and the release of all detainees immediately, and withhold military aid to Israel until it abides by international law.
o Go to the Institute for Middle East Understanding for a pro-Palestinian perspective, including detailed eyewitness accounts of what happened during the Israeli aid. IMEU offers the following information on the consequences of the Gaza blockade-information quite opposite to Israeli claims:
The amount of goods allowed into Gaza by Israel falls far short of the minimum required to avoid malnutrition, poverty, and prevent or treat a variety of illnesses. According to Amnesty International's recently-released annual report, the siege has resulted in "mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and food price rises caused by shortages." Consider the following statistics:
- 61 percent of households face food insecurity, defined as inadequate physical, social or economic access to food, and rely on assistance from aid agencies. An additional 16.2 percent are considered vulnerable to food insecurity. 
- 65 percent of the food insecure are children under the age of 18. 
- Unemployment is at 40 percent 
- 10 percent of children under five are stunted (low height for age, usually attributed to a chronic lack of protein and micronutrients, including iron and essential vitamins), a steadily increasing trend over recent years, according to UNICEF. 
- More than 10 percent of children are chronically malnourished, according to the World Health Organization, a significant increase since siege began.
- The number of children under five suffering from acute malnutrition nearly doubled between 2006 and 2008 from 1.4 to 2.4 percent, according to UNICEF.
- 65 percent of children aged 9-12 months, and 35 percent of pregnant women are anemic. 
- According to a recent poverty survey conducted by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the number of Palestinian refugees completely unable to secure access to food and lacking the means to purchase even the most basic items, such as soap, school stationery and safe drinking water ('abject poverty') has tripled since the imposition of the blockade in June 2007
- A majority of Gazans experience rolling blackouts of up to 12 hours a day, every day as a result of a chronic shortfall in electricity production resulting from the blockade 
- Due to insufficient wastewater treatment capacity, Gaza's water authorities release 60-80 million liters a day of raw and partially treated sewage into the Mediterranean Sea, in order to avoid sewage flooding residential areas.
- Water supply for domestic use is insufficient, raising hygiene and health concerns. In order to pump water to households, the water wells must receive electricity in synchronization with electricity supply to the same households. Almost all the households receive water for only 5-7 hours a day.
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