Midnight musings about Gaza

Posted 10/25/23

I generally fall asleep relatively easily, but last night was the exception. As I drifted on the verge of slumber, thoughts of the war in the Gaza Strip bombarded my brain.

The Gaza Strip refers …

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Midnight musings about Gaza


I generally fall asleep relatively easily, but last night was the exception. As I drifted on the verge of slumber, thoughts of the war in the Gaza Strip bombarded my brain.

The Gaza Strip refers to a narrow strip of land wedged between Israel and Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea. It is only 25 miles long and 7 miles wide, just twice the size of Washington D.C.  I do not really understand their reason for fighting.  The Palestinians and Israelis alike consider the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as their own, which sets up an impossible situation with neither group willing to leave the region. 

Any type of war is worrisome, and my preference is to try to ignore the whole thing, but somehow this war hit home.  Real people, speaking English, were interviewed on television news channels. They had homes and careers and families and children.  They were not caricatures in a war movie, but real, living human beings faced with unbearable, possibly lethal, situations, and my heart aches for them.  Gaza, which is one of the world’s most densely populated areas with 2.3 million people, about half of which is under the age of 18.  The level of destruction, the disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks which have leveled entire streets and neighborhoods, have been unprecedented.

Gaza is currently without electricity as its sole power plant closed on October 11 after running out of fuel.  Hospitals have had back-up generators, but they are also running out of fuel and medical supplies. The International Red Cross has said that without electricity, hospitals in Gaza risk “turning into morgues.”

To absolve myself from the guilt over not doing something to stop these atrocities, my thinking switched to what I COULD do and where I could send a donation.

The Red Cross is working with the Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory Appeal to provide support and vital aid.  They deliver food and water to families in shelters and distribute blankets and hygiene products to people who have nothing.  A check can be written to our local Red Cross agency with the designation “Middle East Humanitarian Crisis” in the memo line.

The American Near East Refugee Aid agencies have distributed thousands of hygiene kids, food packages and hot meals on the ground in Gaza. They are currently seeking donations to go towards more food and medical supplies, such as much needed food and blood donations.

Oxfam’s International Executive Director, Amitabh Behar, has been quoted as saying “There is no power, no food and now no water in Gaza.  It risks becoming a breeding ground for cholera and other diseases.  The situation for civilians is intolerable.”  Their agency is also accepting donations.

IsraAid is the largest humanitarian aid organization based in Israel which has worked in more than 50 countries worldwide, but this is the first time they have had to lead a full-scale humanitarian response in Israel itself. 

The United Hatzalah of Israel is the largest non-profit, fully volunteer emergency medical service organization based in Israel.  Since the beginning of the attack, the group’s volunteer medics have been on the front lines responding with lifesaving medical interventions. They have launched an emergency appeal to raise funds for desperately needed supplies including protective vests, helmets, oxygen tanks, defibrillators, trauma bandages and tourniquets.

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization.  Connected with the United Nations, they provide food assistance.  As the conflict has intensified, civilians, including vulnerable children and families, have been unable to access food supplies because the food distribution networks have been destroyed by the hostilities.  This agency has been able to get food through to them.

Doctors Without Borders is an independent international organization that continues to provide lifesaving humanitarian aid in Israel.  They donate crucial medical supplies to hospitals.

I have split up my donations among these agencies, hoping against hope that a few are able to get food and supplies to those who need it the most. Short of taking refugee children into my own home, something which Hubby has adamantly ruled against, there is nothing else I can do.  I hope I can sleep better tonight.


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