Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The hunger games

I once had a conversation with an old Polish gentleman he spoke about his time in a Russian concentration camp during the Second World War. There were 1000's of prisoners and very few guards. He said that they kept us subdued by starving. 'When all you can think about is bread, you have nothing in you to fight', I remember feeling so moved that in his younger years he had seen such atrocity and had lived through such dreadful times.

Hunger must be a terrible thing.

The ongoing conflict in Palestine between the Israeli people and the Palestinians has simmered and ignited several times over the last 70 years. The recent assault on Gaza by the Israeli government has led to well over a 1000 dead and many 1000's injured and maimed.

It still continues.

I learned when reading about this long conflict that Gaza is basically an open prison where 1.8 million people live in a land approximately 149 in size. The most densely populated area of land on earth.

Israel control the borders of this country including the coastal waters. They are effectively locked in an open air jail.

Their water, electricity and communication is under the control of the Israeli government.

What shocked me (and believe me so much has shocked and astounded me about the life of these people and their treatment) is that the food sent into Gaza from Israel is rationed.

Rationed - just think about that for a moment. One people group had decided what another 1.8 million people need to eat.

Their is a trilogy of books written by novelist Suzanne Collins named the 'Hunger Games'. When asked where she found the idea for the book she states "One night, I was lying in bed, and I was channel surfing between reality TV programs and actual war coverage. On one channel, there’s a group of young people competing for I don’t even know; and on the next, there’s a group of young people fighting in an actual war. I was really tired, and the lines between these stories started to blur in a very unsettling way.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic North America, it is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games.

To punish the people in each district, and as a reminder of their power, Capitol make each district yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory. The games are broadcast through the Capitol and to the twelve districts to entertain and intimidate the population.

One of their tools to repress is through keeping the people hungry.

The hunger games.

Is that how you subdue a nation? You place a limit on what they can have to eat?

Because I have to say I am not sure how a whole people group should feel if treated this way?

During this conflict there has been TV footage of some Israeli people sat on settees overlooking the landscape of Palestine watching the bombing and the shocking thing to see was they were cheering.


Sometimes the lines between reality and fiction become so blurred.

I am not sure how this current conflict will end.

I pray it will end with a real peace coming to this ancient land.

The names on our TV all so familiar to me from my faith as a Christian.

The name of Israel such a special name many believing that this land was meant to be the home for the Jewish nation, theirs by right.

I have had lots of debate with many on social networking who refuse to hear anything negative said about what is currently happening.

Only in the last few years have I become aware of the real history of this land.

A land called Palestine stolen from a nation who had lived there for the previous 2,000 years.

I cannot blame the Jewish people they were dispersed throughout the world often terribly treated in the nations they lived.

A people group who at the hands of the German Nazi party in WW11 were subjected to unmentionable horrors in the holocaust.

The likes of the USA and UK felt the guilt of having let this people group down terribly.

So their gift was another's nation.

It does seem unbelievable that this could happen but then add to that the Christians who believed this land had been prophetically meant to be their home.

I have just watched Schindlers List, the story of Oscar Schindler a black market entrepreneur in Nazi Germany who found ways to rescue Jews from the concentration camps.

These camps dehumanised everyone and one of the main tool of subjugation was to keep the prisoners hungry.

Hunger so raw that the prisoners although they outnumbered their captors by the thousands could not fight back.

They were led to the gas chambers in their thousands.

6 million dead.

Hunger in Gaza

1.8 million people and they are rationed and I am sure at times hungry. But now most of the routes for foods are cut off after the bombing.

And that hunger must be growing.

I wonder how this conflict will end but I think I know how.

If you are hungry maybe the battle is already over for you?


  1. So well written, moving & thought provoking

  2. as always well written and certainly food for thought I also pray for peace to this conflict especially when we think of children hungry and homeless