Over the last couple of weeks, I have been at a loss to explain the turn of events. With the Gaza crisis unfolding, as much as I am at the moment loathe to say it, we have been responding to the crisis that is affecting humanity in our capacity as people of a ‘civilised, democratic and developed’ world, who are concerned for the welfare of our fellow human beings, yet whom seem powerless to stop it.
What we have seen over the last 22 days with the War on Gaza, is a world gone crazy. The question is why have we allowed this to happen? How can we justify to our conscience at night that 1200 people were allowed to die and were justified in being killed? When our grandchildren ask us decades from now, what is the answer we will give regarding these 1200 innocent people? Have we not yet learnt from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Rwanda, Bosnia (and so on)?
To start with the criticism of the War on Gaza, we have to remember that this isn’t about belittling anyone, or their beliefs. We have to have an open mind. By criticising an establishment (such as the Israeli government), which so far has been guilty of the murder, humiliation and destruction of a community and a system (such as the Zionist system), which is conveniently trying to set sides, one should not be labelled as being racist or anti Semitic. This is not about attacking Jews or the Jewish religion as some have tried to portray it to be. Not all Jews believe in or support the State of Israel or its crimes against humanity.
The whole issue of the Middle East is a quagmire of a land that is holy and dear to all followers of the 3 Abrahamic faiths – Judaism; Christianity and Islam, but suffering from the spiral of violence, hate, fear and misery.
What we are witnessing today in Gaza is a humanitarian disaster unprecedented in recent history, not only because of the amount of misery that has been inflicted, but also because of the time scale, in which it has taken place. The Gaza crisis is a moral black hole which the world has fallen into with very little hope of climbing out of.
The disaster of Gaza has been unleashed in 22 days involving:
• The destruction of a nation and the humiliation of its inhabitants.
• The destruction of property
• The lack of the basic requirements for life (such as proper shelter, water, food, medical facilities and so on)
• The death of innocent civilians
• The destruction of a heritage and history and culture which rids its people of an identity.
64 years ago, the world claimed that humanity had reached a new low. People would not be subjected and destroyed as they had been done. As a consequence we have memorials and annual reminders of that dreadful time, where empty rhetoric claim ‘never again’. We are taught this as part of history. When I first started studying history, I was taught that ‘ we study history to learn from the mistakes of the past’. I have increasingly begun to doubt this and to believe what Georg Wilhelm Hegh said ‘ what experience and history teach is this – that people and governments never have learnt anything from history or acted on principles deduced from it.’
‘History doesn’t seem to be the study of the past, but history is the accumulation of unfinished business, the piling up of debts and the stacking up of fortunes and misfortunes.’ The last century saw a supposed retreat of evils imposed by man on man: the fading away of communism; the departure of apartheid; the
steady and sure decline of racism.
Yet, why do we still have groups of people who have been subjected to these evils, and who continue to defy all odds to attain their basic human rights?
The Palestinians have endured countless wars, innumerable raids and attacks, suffered a life of misery, destitution, occupation and oppression to attain their basic human rights and a right to return home. They have gone through the dismantling of their country and have witnessed hell being unleashed on their country by people who lack the base instincts of humanity.
Why is it that the Israelis can perpetuate this crime without so much as a slap on the wrist from the Americans and the Europeans. The fact that that the US and the UK stand by and say nothing is in itself an acceptance of the action of the IsraeliWhat is even more sickening has been the silence from the Arab quarter. Whilst it is to be expected from the people who created Israel, what is inexcusable is the complicit nature of the Arab regimes through their silence. This is not something that can be forgiven and we should never forget this.
The issue of Palestine has been with us since 1948, with the destruction of 531 out of about 587 towns and villages; the eviction of 85% of the population and the confiscation of 92% of the land. With stories of massacres, expulsion and eviction, this is the origin of ‘ethnic cleansing’, a term widely used during the Kosovon / Bosnian / Rwandan crisis, but which so easily fits what has happened in this area. As part of the Israeli military campaign, there were 34 reported massacres with stories of young men being shot against a wall and being thrown into a well or being burnt alive; the destruction of houses; the use of germ warfare for poisoning wells and the infection of drinking water with malaria and typhus.
Literatures refer to the Palestinian Holocaust as a result of military campaigns named ‘cleansing’ or ‘broom’. The village of Deir Yassin, where 254 Palestinians were murdered and scores of women raped ; the village of al dawayima where children were killed by breaking their heads with sticks and people were indiscriminately killed. Or how about in recent times; Sabra and Shetila; the bombing of the UN refugee camps a couple of years ago; the incident of Jenin and Nablus. In the space of 10 days occupation of the Jenin and Nablus Refugee camps, 5000 people were killed and 8000 arrested for
no reason; and now once again the war on Gaza…. This is not only ethnic cleansing but holocaust on the premier level.
The ‘collateral damage’ is of children and women being pulled out of the rubble. How does one equate the 1200 Palestinians killed as opposed to the dozens of Israelis?
The arrogance of these people will ultimately be their weakness, as it appears that they have forgotten the resolve of the very people they are seeking to destroy.
The rhetoric that has come out is about a liberation of Gaza from Hamas in order that ‘democracy’ ensues. The government of Gaza made of Hamas is a legitimate government voted in by the people because of the social work that they have carried out. Social work and conscience that is lacking as a part of the vocabulary of the tripartite: Israel, Uk and USA.
What is shameful is the rhetoric of lies that they conjure up to justify their cowardly actions. It is indeed cowardly, when you take on an enemy weaker than yourself. One needs to look at what Ariel Sharon said to see what is really being thought about the Palestinians.
‘I don’t know something called International Principles. I vow that I’ll burn every Palestinian child (that) will be born in this area. The Palestinian woman and child is more dangerous than the man, because the Palestinian child’s existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger. I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit I’ve killed 750 Palestinians (in Rafah in 1956). I wanted to encourage my soldiers by raping Arabic girls as the Palestinian women is a slave for Jews, and we do whatever we want to her and nobody tells us what we shall do but we tell others what they shall do” [[Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister, In an interview with General Ouze Merham, 1956]
One thing is for sure: the arrogance of these occupiers, be they Israeli or American or the silence of the Arab States, will ultimately be their weakness. One just has to look through the annals of history to see what the fate of those, rulers and civilisations, which chose to oppress and kill people (or be silent in the face of great oppression) to satisfy their greedy needs, were: Doomed to the dungeon of horror in Madam Tussaud’s wax museum.
Why is there this absence of humanity? Where is the west? Why do they not intervene in this issue?
When Iraq defied a UN resolution, it was attacked. Israel since the 1940s has blatantly disobeyed resolutions, yet they continue to get support from the West. Like their big brother, the USA, there is one international law for the world and another for Israel and the USA. Do you think that if Iraq or any other country had done this, they would have remained quiet?
Israel continues to kill civilians, but there has been a mute rebuke by the west.
How dare Israel and her western supporters demand the arrest of militants and the cessation of bombs to guarantee Israel’s security? What standards of decency compel them to ravage a whole nation, while spouting out junk about the need for security? What gives them the right to kill 12 people when they are after one? What sort of hypocrisy is it to rail against Islamic fundamentalism and to say nothing of Jewish / Zionist fundamentalism that dehumanises every non-Jew?
When a Palestinian baby is killed, it is with ‘regret’ that this ‘accident’ happened. When an Israeli baby is killed, it is an act of terrorism, that warrants the bombing of towns and the bulldozing of houses. Israelis are murdered by terrorists while Arabs are left dead after clashes with security forces. The result of ‘objective’ reporting!!!
Today we are in a situation of no hope and daily humiliation leading to despair. When you are told ‘Allow us to be human beings’ when you ask, how we / the west can help, then you can appreciate what is going on.
The current Holocaust is unsurpassed in history. For countries to be occupied, emptied of its people, its physical and cultural landmarks obliterated, its destruction hailed as a miraculous act of God, all done according to a premeditated plan, meticulously executed, internationally supported and still maintained today, this is no doubt the ugliest crime of modern times.
No doubt in years to come, these poor people and their descendants will ask :What did you do to help us? How could you let this happen?
In years to come our descendants will also be asking: How could you let this happen? How you could humanity stand by and allow the slaughter of innocents?