“Without a sense of hope, real recovery is just not possible” – Interview with Gisha’s executive director

Tania Hary, Gisha’s executive director

Tania Hary, Gisha’s executive director

July 11, 2016. Tania Hary, Gisha’s executive director, gave a live interview to Turkish channel TRT World, marking two years since Operation Protective Edge. Here are a few quotes from the interview:

“Israeli politicians thought falsely that they could squeeze the Gaza Strip when Hamas came to power, that they could separate Gaza from the West Bank and supposedly achieve security for Israelis. It doesn’t take an expert to know that that’s not been the case and that there have been devastating consequences for the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

“Two years after the war, about 75,000 people are still displaced; unemployment remains high, above 40 percent, for young people it’s over 50 percent; most of the population is still dependent on humanitarian aid. I don’t see how a situation where young people in Gaza don’t feel hope, or a kind of horizon for their opportunities, can contribute to Israel’s security”, Hary emphasized.

“Unfortunately the deal that was signed between Israel and Turkey won’t really bring about a real change in policy. It could bring in some more humanitarian aid, and of course that’s necessary and important, but more aid won’t solve the problem”, Hary said. “Real recovery relies on allowing a kind of horizon for young people –  allowing economic opportunity for young people; opening up the borders to allow goods to Gaza’s  natural markets in Israel and the West Bank;  allowing travel for people trying to get to jobs, to meetings, to visit family. Without a sense of hope, real recovery is just not possible”.

“Do you have hope for ending the blockade in Gaza?”

“Part of my job is to remain optimistic and what I always say is that I feel lucky to do what I do. I’m one of the rare Israelis who get to see another side of Gaza that is not presented, unfortunately, in the Israeli media too much. I get to meet young people who are trying to get to school, families who are trying to reunite, a young woman who just wants to study law in the West Bank. That is what fills me with a lot of hope and optimism. It’s not for nothing that people say that people in Gaza are resilient, they’ve experienced a lot, they’re still trying to make something better of their lives, so I think we don’t have the luxury of losing hope”.

Watch the interview