From a Lifelong Vegas Local: Keep your Eyes on Rafah

I live in the city that hosted this year’s Super Bowl. I beg you to keep Palestinians in mind.

Valentine Wiggin
3 min readFeb 15, 2024
The iconic Las Vegas sign
Photo by David Vives on Unsplash

In Rafah, a 25 square mile (65 square km) city, bombardment threatens the lives of around 1.5 million displaced Palestinians. However, that is not the only thing killing Palestinians. Starvation, infectious disease, and dehydration also run rampant among the displaced.

Around 800,000 Palestinians are facing death by starvation or dehydration in Rafah. One mother even sold her children’s diapers to buy water for them to drink. Others have resorted to sifting through birdseed or other animal feeds to find food. A young Palestinian girl even said that she was “tired of eating canned meat and beans” and that she misses chicken and maftool, a Palestinian dish made with couscous.

Currently, Rafah’s population density is around 60,000 people per square mile (around 23,000 people per square kilometer). This area used to have a population density of around 4000 people per square mile (around 1500 people per square kilometer). This sudden explosion in population and deliberate destruction of infrastructure essentially trapped these Palestinians in Rafah.

When Americans were distracted with the Super Bowl taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, Israel launched an attack on Rafah and ran ads that related to the 130 hostages held by Hamas. One ad said to “bring all the dads back home”. When I saw this ad before it was televised, I couldn’t help but think of the Palestinian dads.

These dads risk their lives every day to provide for their children. They go hungry to ensure their children have full stomachs. They risk being bombed or shot at to get food from aid trucks. They have to identify and bury their children’s remains. They kissing their heads through bloodstained shrouds before laying their children to rest in graves so shallow that animals dig them up and eat their bodies.

As Americans, our tax dollars fund the genocide in Gaza. It has become increasingly clear over the years that our country cares more about hurting others than helping us. Many of our politicians say that they cannot afford to provide basic things like healthcare and food security for us, yet they always seem to have a chunk of change to spend on other countries’ militaries.

When it comes to supporting Palestine, many people, including myself, have taken to social media to raise awareness about the genocide. Others are boycotting companies that showed support for Israel whether that was through statements or donating products to Israeli soldiers. Many people are also demonstrating in the streets for Palestine. Whatever you can do for Palestinians, do it.

Can the “war” against Hamas truly be called a war? War has rules to abide by to minimize harm to civilians. Israel has violated international law several times not only by bombing hospitals and densely populated areas but by using weapons that harm the environment. These are things that will have lasting effects for years or even decades to come and event then, it won’t bring back the thousands who were killed by Israeli occupation forces.



Valentine Wiggin

Death-positive, sex-positive, and LGBTQ-affirming Christian. Gen Z. I hate onions. She/her