Are you there?

When I started this blog, I intended it to be a photo blog and nothing more than that.

The events of yesterday changed my plan.

Yesterday, I immediately thought of Fred Rogers:

“if you look for the helpers, you’ll know that there’s hope.”  Seven helpers were killed in cold blood in Gaza. There is very little hope left.  Of the over 32,800 people that have died in Gaza, 200 of those were aid workers. 

I agree with the CEO of World Central Kitchen, Erin Gore who said this morning,

“This is unforgivable.”

Yesterday, WCK had no choice but to turn around ships carrying 240 tons of assistance. In 75 days, WCK served more than 42 million meals. As of March 29, two more vessels: Jennifer and Open Arms, were loaded with 1.2 million meals and ready to feed communities in the North. However, according to the UN on Monday, and before this attack, 30% of humanitarian aid missions have been denied by Israeli authorities.

Deliberately depriving an entire population of food is the very definition of genocide.

This past Sunday, someone in the Quaker meeting I attend was moved to observe the hymn “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” This fellow Friend was bothered by this hymn, as she thoughtfully observed that the hymn should be considered in the present tense of “Are you there?” Are you there to feed the hungry, are you there to tend to the sick and are you there to protect those being bombed and persecuted? Are you there?

Before the attack, WCK described the situation in Gaza as the most dire they’ve ever seen or experienced in their 15 year history. Food is a matter of life or death. More and more people, particularly children, are dying of starvation. They observed for months that famine is imminent and the situation is getting worse.

The helpers were there. They were there to provide hope. Now…they are no longer there.

Today, 300,000 meals were not available for starving human beings in Gaza.

“Build longer tables, not higher walls.” – Jose Andres

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