Congressman Walks Gaza, Urges Massive Aid
Posted on Feb 20, 2010
U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., has criticized the White House, Israel and even his congressional colleagues after three trips to the Gaza Strip, commenting on the lack of action by the international community and the ignorance that most U.S. politicians have toward the plight of the Palestinians.
Baird is calling for a Berlin Airlift-style aid effort for the people of the Gaza Strip, where a 2008-09 war left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. —JCL
After visiting twice last year, Rep. Brian Baird is returning from his third trip to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, giving the Washington state Democrat the unusual distinction of having spent more time in Gaza than any other current member of the U.S. Congress.
He said he was discouraged by much of what he saw.
It’s a journey that only two other members of the U.S. government have made since Hamas took over the coastal territory in 2007 and since the end of Israel’s three-week offensive just over a year ago against Gaza militant groups firing rockets across the border.
Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the fighting and wide swaths of Gaza were left in rubble.
AP / Adel Hana
U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison, left, and Brian Baird take photos of the rubble of the American International School in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip in early 2009.