Shrinking Gaza, Vanishing Palestine…

Do you have any idea how small Gaza is? Martin Kramer illustrates the size of Gaza by overlaying a scale outline of Gaza on maps of the cities of London, New York and Paris. While Kramer posted his January 12, 2009 article in response to exaggerations of the population density made by Gaza sympathizers, the fact remains that not many people really know how small or large Gaza is… roughly twice the size of Madison, Wisconsin – about 25 miles long, and between 4 and 7.5 miles wide, with a total area of 139 square miles and a population of 1.5 million people.

Despite attempts to justify Israel’s “defense” posture, 44.7% of the population of Gaza is comprised of children, 14 years of age and younger (CIA World Factbook). The existence of the Gaza strip itself results from an ongoing Israeli effort to eliminate Palestine entirely…

In 1946 after the conclusion of World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine. In 1947 the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. A series of wars, followed by population expansion by the victorious Israelis has extended their control over land continuously claimed by Palestinian Arabs.

Rockets regularly launched by the Arab resistance into southern Israel from Gaza and the need to eliminate a vast collection of tunnels between Egypt and Gaza used to break the Israeli blockade… is this reason enough to justify the death of hundreds of innocent civilians, many of whom are women and children? Gideon Polya explores the exaggerations made by defenders of the latest Israeli aggression regarding the numbers of civilian deaths in Israel… and comes up with the number 23.

“Thus 23 Israelis have been killed by Occupied Palestinian rocket or mortar attacks since 2001,” according to data from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In her January 10, 2009, “Palestine: “How many deaths in Gaza is enough?” Global Voices blogger Ayesha Saldanha provides a pathway to hear directly from a large number of people living in and blogging from Gaza.

Last night, on January 13, Noam Chomsky lectured at M.I.T. regarding the current situation, “It’s not that Israel doesn’t want peace. Of course, it wants peace. Everyone wants peace. Even Hitler wanted peace.”

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