Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Politics vs Principles or People and Peace?

When will politicans discover that war is not about principles but about people? Amira’s story from Gaza illustrates that people mean more than either Israeli principle or Hamas politic. Take for example: Amira al-Girim, 15, found in a hospital bed with her leg in traction.

According to Jeremy Reynalds of Assist News, Amira was found alone, bleeding in a house, about four days after she saw her father killed by an Israeli tank shell in front of her. Her brother and sister died - she thought in an air strike - as they ran to get help.

Her remaining family thought she had also died, and had already buried the scraps of flesh they thought were her remains in a box. Tears ran down her face, as she described to a BBC reporter in a weak voice punctuated with sobs, waiting stranded after an Israeli tank shell killed her father and his friend.

She said, "I looked outside, I found my father's car crushed, and his legs cut off. The floor was covered with blood from my leg."

The BBC said by the time she was found - she wasn't not sure if it was three or four days later - she hardly knew her own name. But she remembered details.

Amira told the BBC, "I got a glass of water; I wanted to fill it with water from the tap, but it fell down on the floor, and then there was blood all over the glass so I couldn't use it. I waited a bit and then I drank directly from the tap."

She said she wanted to leave, but her father was lying across the door. "I didn't want to step on him in case I hurt him," Amira said."

She said she slept in the street for two days, but then found her way into another house. The BBC said Amira had struggled about 500 meters with a badly broken, bleeding leg, in search of shelter as fighting raged nearby.

The BBC said that ABC producer Sami Ziyara, who found Amira with his colleague Imad, said doctors told him she had only a few hours left to live at the point they found her in Imad's house.
He watched an emotional reunion after the remaining family members were located.
"I can't describe how it was when the mother came to see her daughter. She lost three - her husband, her son and her daughter - when she found Amira, she was almost in a coma," Ziyara told the BBC.

He added, "Amira is traumatized. She will need treatment forever. Even if they do everything for her, she will never ever be like she was before."

Bodies are still being recovered from the rubble of buildings, the BBC reported. Jimmy Carter has made the case and others have spoken. Keith Ellison explained the unsettling nature of Gaza when he noted that, while he believes Israel has a right to defend itself and has in the past voted for resolutions highlighting that right: "For the U.S. Congress to simply reiterate its statement that Israel has a right to defend itself, to me misses the critical issue before the world at this moment, which is the humanitarian crisis" (emphasis added).

We must always be more concerned about conflict resolution, human relationships, and peace, than about political principles and diplomatic policies. Peace and people must always take precedence to politics and perceived principles.

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