A large wall of earth surrounding a cesspool, originally built by the Israelis to accommodate 50,000 people (and now serving at least 250,000), suddenly collapsed, engulfing Umm Naser (a small Bedouin village in northern Gaza) in a sea of mud and raw sewage. At least 6 people died, with dozens injured and some missing.
They've known for years that trouble was brewing. In fact, in 2004, the U.N. issued a report warning of an impending disaster, and shortly thereafter international funding was secured to build a new sewage facility, however, construction never commenced. Why? Because the area was deemed too dangerous, since Umm Naser happens to sit a mere 300 yards from the Israeli border, and is a hot bed of Palestinian/Israeli fighting. Palestinians have often launched rocket attacks against Israel from that little strip of Gaza, with Israel retaliating in kind. Can you blame foreign workers for not wanting to risk life and limb in a country that promotes and encourages suicide bombings?
Of course, Hamas government officials immediately blamed international sanctions for the infrastructure failure, but the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs claims that particular project was in no way affected by the sanctions. Naturally, the Palestinians have to blame someone or something, other than themselves, for their continuing plight. And, the Israelis, in all their inimitable graciousness (considering the Palestinians and most Muslims want them wiped off the planet), immediately offered aid to those affected by the flood, though it hasn't been determined, yet, whether they have accepted the offer.
No-one deserves to drown in a sea of human excrement, but it's an interesting metaphor for the Palestinian situation and the choices both the leaders and people have made over the years and, sadly, continue to make. When you opt for hatred and violence over peace and prosperity, then you suffer the unfortunate consequences of those negative decisions. We all have choices to make in life, as individuals and, collectively, as countries, and those choices affect both our individual lives and the country as a whole; both on a material and spiritual level. So, when the Palestinian people chose, almost overwhelmingly, Hamas (an internationally recognized terrorist organization) to lead their country, they made it perfectly clear where their hearts and minds lie. And prior to that, they suffered the likes of another terrorist, Yasser Arafat who, with all his many millions, kept his people firmly under control, by fomenting the fires of hatred and discontent through ignorance and abject poverty.
But the Palestinian people do have a choice, as we all do! They have a choice to either continue considering themselves victims, and all that that encompasses: all the hatred and violence and death, or they can choose to embrace peace and all the wonderful possibilities that peace can bring. They can choose to utilize all the foreign aid they receive for projects that will enhance their lives, or they can continue to funnel that money into purchasing bombs and weapons that will take lives, not only of the Israeli people, but the lives of their own children and husbands and wives. They can choose to hate or love. They can choose to embrace life or death. They can choose to live in harmony with their Israeli neighbors or live in discord with their mortal enemies. But the choice is theirs!!
I hope they choose, some day, to embrace the light rather than the darkness they have chosen to blanket themselves with because, ultimately: muck begets muck.