My Visit to Gaza

gaza 2My Visit to Gaza

By NICHOLAS KRISTOF
I’ve been to Gaza a number of times over the years, and it’s always a tough, challenging place. Just entering it is bizarre: You go through exit procedures from Israel and then follow a long path over a sewer and through a bombed-out no-man’s-land to a checkpoint in Gaza more than half a mile away. It’s eerie, and walls sometimes move aside to let you through, operated by a remote Israeli operator watching through a camera. On this trip the pathway had been patched up a bit, and the Gaza checkpoint actually offered free wifi – but my Sunday column focuses on the devastation throughout Gaza.
As I write, people overwhelmingly say the situation is the worst it has ever been. Aid groups say that not a single home has been rebuilt since the war. Children have no shoes. The economy is pulverized. And there’s a bleak expectation that yet another war is on the horizon. One of the kids I quote in the column, a 14-year-old boy, wants to be a fighter and massacre Israelis – and the cycle goes on.
I was in Gaza with Adam Ellick, a senior video journalist for The Times, and Adam made a video of our trip that you can watch here, posted above the column.
By the way, I have no great expectation that my columns are hugely persuasive on issues that people already have strong opinions about. You may remember that a week ago, I wrote about how trees donated to Israel are sometimes used to push the Bedouin off their land. One disgruntled couple promptly purchased 200 of these trees in my name, so I received a plaque testifying to my generosity. Hm. My readers do have a sense of humor, I guess.
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