There is a saying here in Gaza – we spoke about it, jokily, last night. ‘At the end of the tunnel … there is another tunnel.’ Not so funny when you consider that Gaza is kept alive through the smuggling of food, fuel and medicine through more than 1,000 tunnels running from Egypt to Rafah in the south. On average one to two people die every week in the tunnels. Some embark on a humiliating crawl – to get their education, see their families, to find work – on their hands and knees. Other tunnels are reportedly big enough to drive through.
Last night, I added a new ending to the saying, ‘At the end of the tunnel, there is another tunnel and then a power cut.’ Today, there’s nothing to make jokes about. As bombs continue to blast buildings around us, jarring the children in this house from their fitful sleep, the saying could take on another twist. After today’s killing of over 200, is it that at the end of the tunnel, there is another tunnel, and then a grave, or a wall of international governmental complicity and silence?
There is a light, though, beyond the sparks of resistance and solidarity in the West Bank, ’48 and the broader Middle East. This is a light of conscience turned into activism by people all over the world. We can turn a spotlight on Israel’s crimes against humanity and the enduring injustice here in Palestine, through coming out onto the streets and pressurising our governments, demanding an end to Israeli apartheid and occupation, broadening our call for boycott, divestment and sanctions, and for a genuine Just Peace.
Through institutional, governmental and popular means, this can be a light at the end of the Gazan tunnel.
Ewa Jasiewicz is currently Gaza Project cocoordinator for the Free Gaza Movement, www.FreeGaza.org