Israelis : When you go to the polls – take Gaza with you

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An op-ed piece written by Hagai El-Ad, Executive Director of B’Tselem, FIDH member organisation in Israel.

The Gaza Strip is the most silenced issue in the current election campaign. Silenced ? Apart from certain politicians vying for credit for discovering the tunnel threat, Gaza is completely absent from this election – erased, along with this summer’s unpleasant war. Gaza is gone. Its residents do not exist. Our future, our suffering, isn’t interlinked with theirs. The Gazan neighbors of Sderot, Ashkelon, Nahal Oz, and Tel Aviv are invisible.

Only six months ago, and for 51 days, Gaza was the hot topic. Countless talking heads on television chattered incessantly between one rocket attack alert and the next, until, suddenly, everything fell silent. Only the suffering of those who lost loved ones and the pain of those wounded and left disabled haven’t died down, even if no one is listening.

One might imagine that in an election that takes place so soon, not even six months, after a national trauma like this, there would be at least some politicians who insist on addressing it. You might imagine that even if all politicians tried to distance themselves from it, the public wouldn’t just take it and would insist on getting explanations for what happened and information about what’s to come. Why did we kill more than two thousand people ? Why have more than seventy Israelis been killed ? What are those who seek our trust planning other than the cruel inevitability of the next war in two years’ time ? How many dead are planned for the summer of 2016 ?

Continue reading at Foundation for Middle East Peace

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