“It’s hard for anyone in our country to imagine how it must feel to have a sick child who needs urgent care or is receiving chemotherapy or dialysis, then be forced to take a needlessly lengthy route, walk rather than drive, and wait in lines as long as two hours simply to get to the hospital. As a health care professional myself, I found this profoundly troubling, no, actually it’s beyond that, it is outrageous”Those are the words of my congressional representative, Brian Baird (WA, D). Along with Keith Ellison, Baird just visited Gaza and come with what seems to be a genuine commitment to speaking out about what he witnessed. Honestly, after spending *years* lobbying this man, imploring him to speak out, I'm pretty excited. Rachel Corrie's mother and father, Craig and Cindy, deserve a lot of credit, I believe, for bring Gaza to Baird's attention. And you have to admit, it does take some courage for him to take this stance.
Baird reports seeing terrible and disturbing things in Gaza:
“The amount of physical destruction and the depth of human suffering here is staggering” said Baird, “Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, schools completely leveled, fundamental water, sewer, and electricity facilities hit and relief agencies heavily damaged. The personal stories of children being killed in their homes or schools, entire families wiped out, and relief workers prevented from evacuating the wounded are heart wrenching – what went on here, and what is continuing to go on, is shocking and troubling beyond words.”
The rest of the press release Ellison and Braid released is here and you can read more about their trip in the Jerusalem Post (be mindful of how right wing that paper is, by Israeli standards). If you have a moment, Baird and Ellison (and John Kerry who also just visited Gaza) emails and ask them to keep speaking out. You know they're going to be criticized for this.