Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Opinion: For this Gaza voyager, it's all about the children

The US Boat to Gaza is a US Campaign endorsed initiative and a member of our coalition.

By Debra Ellis, Special to the Mercury News
June 15, 2011

My motivation to board a boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, with fellow Americans as part of a nonviolent international flotilla late this month comes from a simple place. It comes from the heart of a mom who has the capacity to unconditionally love a child, not just mine, but all children.

We are sailing to Gaza's shores to deliver letters of support as well as much-needed construction and medical supplies for rebuilding Gaza's schools, homes and hospitals. As a parent, it's simple, isn't it? We feed our children the best available food to ensure their health and nourishment.

I raised my daughter in lovely Santa Cruz. We enjoy a vibrant artistic community, ocean views and redwood forests. We have a wide range of shopping choices. I do not have to worry about how to get enough calories to my child.

According to a recent UNICEF report, however, 80 percent of families in Gaza are dependent on food aid.

When it comes to the health of our children, we seek the best care possible. Like parents in Gaza, I am concerned about my daughter's health and want her to have the best care. I am fortunate to be employed by the University of California, which provides excellent medical coverage. We can access Stanford or UCSF, two of the top medical facilities in the U.S.
Gaza's medical system contends with limited fresh water and frequent power cuts. According to the World Health Organization, emergency medications, CT scanners, X-ray machines, fluoroscopes, infusion pumps, laboratory equipment and uninterrupted power supply batteries are still awaiting Israeli clearance. Gazans cannot secure basic medical care.