The unfolding genocidal campaign by Israel against Palestine and the Palestinian people is clear to everyone. The Palestinian People and their representatives have appealed to the world to intervene and stop this genocidal war against them, pointing out the crimes against humanity being inflicted on them by Israel’s indiscriminate and sustained bombing and the denial and use of food, water, medicine, medical supplies, electricity and fuel as weapons of war. Also, UN experts have said. “We are sounding the alarm: There is an ongoing campaign by Israel resulting in crimes against humanity in Gaza. Considering statements made by Israel political leaders and their allie, accompanied by military action in Gaza and escalation of arrest and killing in the West Bank, there is also a risk of genocide against the Palestinian People.
Indeed, the Israeli PM Netanyahu has declared this ongoing and intensified coming slaughter of collective punishment as certain. And the spokesman for the Israeli armed forces, dismissing concern for Palestinian lives, seemed to brag that they had already dropped “hundreds of tons of bombs” on Gaza and its people and that in their indiscriminate bombing,” the emphasis is on damage and not accuracy.” That, of course, is the purpose of indiscriminate bombing, to kill en masse, terrorize and destroy.
More than 5000 Palestinians in Gaza, mostly innocent civilians and children, have been killed and 15,000 wounded from Israel’s Total War campaign since October 7th When the military arm of Hamas crossed the border to Israel and indiscriminately killed 1400 soldiers and civilians and took 222 hostages to trade for Palestinian prisoners, children, women and men. Now, Israel has vowed to impose on the Palestinian people in revenge and retaliation a new and expanded catastrophe or Nakba. But whatever new and expansive list of brutalities and destruction this latest and promised more salvaged war brings, the US government and its vocal and silent supporters must take equal responsibility with Israel for it. For it is the US that gives Israel the green light for its unrestrained killing, providing encouragement, support and cover as it rages through Gaza and West Bank. Palestine as settlers, soldiers, police and army demonstrating its deep disregard for Palestinian lives, human rights, homes, health and possessions. Indeed, the US is complicit in this war and prior ones, and cooperative with Israel unlike any other country in the world, giving it more weapons and money than it needs, feeding what Doctor King called the “demonic destructive suction tube” of war, and taking needed resources from vital social programs, especially from the poor and needy here in this country.
Asking Americans to give money to other countries to make war that the government won’t spend on its own citizens for needed services. President Biden has asked us to see Israel and Ukraine as bastions of democracy and committed to freedom in the world. And he asked that we see Hamas and Putin as occupiers and deniers of freedom and democracy. Yet it’s clear to everyone looking and thinking that it is Israel and Russia who are occupiers and it is Ukraine and the people of Palestine who are struggling to end their brutal occupation and be free and self-determining. Also, neither Ukraine nor Israel can be objectively considered a democracy. Ukraine is classified as a hybrid system in transition and Israel’s system of government has been designated by international and Israeli human rights organizations as an apartheid system. But racial and political interests won’t allow such reasoning, and that is why Biden found himself twisting and turning, unable to show any serious consideration for the Palestinian people of Gaza facing an imminent genocidal campaign although he and the US government is key to preventing this unfolding genocide.
It is not as if we do not know what genocide looks like, it’s origins and execution. There is abundant, even overwhelming, evidence of it in history and current account whether in Africa, the America’s, Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Islands of the Seas. There is always the prior demonization and dehumanization of different and vulnerable people by others who have the capacity to commit genocide and who lack the moral conscience and emotional restraint not to. What makes modern genocide increasingly easier is enhanced media, technological and military capacity to kill massively and quickly explain it away and to crush criticism of it. As Haji Malcolm taught, we must be aware of and reject the “image making role” of the media in this. He tells us that the media “is so powerful in its image making role it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal.” And “if you aren’t careful, the media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving, the people who are doing the oppressing”. Given the urgency of this situation and human cost involved, it is irresponsible to attempt to take refuge in willful ignorance. Or wily unawareness, pretending not to know about obvious and overwhelming oppression and injustice wherever they are found.
The Israeli US backed commitment to uproot and destroy Hamas, as everyone knows, is nothing but a commitment to mercilessly bomb, bludgeon and subdue the Palestinian people in Gaza and West Bank. For it is not Hamas who is paying the Israeli prime minister’s “price, the type of which it has never known.” it is the Palestinian People. The military and politicians of Israel were accustomed to saying when they regularly attacked the Palestinians of Gaza, that they were “mowing the grass.” Which meant they were killing enough people in resistance and through “collateral damage” to discourage resistance and keep it and the people under control. But where there is oppression, there is resistance and even outgunned and outnumbered, the Palestinian People refused to be defeated and will continue to resist until the occupation is ended.
Moreover, the US has given Israel blanket immunity, not only from criticism, but also immunity from accountability. Such immunity is not only immoral, but also corruptive of those who granted it. The U.S. joins the most right wing Jewish and Christian groups labeling any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, anti Jewish. It has cultivated an internal culture where legislators have tried to outlaw criticism of Israel, where people are fired or erased, canceled, doxxed, disinvited and condemned for saying or writing things deemed anti Israel or pro Palestinian. Likewise, the US blocks virtually every effort the majority of the world makes to hold Israel accountable in the UN. and the International Criminal Court, vetoing, pressuring, threatening and defunding projects and institutions to compel compliance with its joined in the hip allegiance.
In his speech, reassuring Israel and the U.S. deep and undying support and showing rightful empathy for Israelis killed, President Biden could not bring himself to show a similar, if not same empathy for the people of Gaza, the Palestinian People who have been subject to ongoing Israeli indiscriminate bombing and an unfolding genocide. Shall we, then, against the best of our moral teaching, turn a blind eye to injustice and oppression and a deaf ear to the truth and the calls and cries of suffering people? Of course not. We must stand in solidarity with the Palestinian People for their right to freedom, justice, peace and security, as well as any other people or country in the world. This will require; establishing a ceasefire, a cease war, ending the illegal and immoral siege of Gaza and allowing humanitarian aid to reach the Palestinian People; stopping the deadly violence by settlers, police and army against Palestinians; stopping the theft of land from the Palestinians and returning it to the;. discontinuing the demolition of houses; negotiating of just peace and supporting the achievements of a free, independent and viable Palestinian state. Anything less is immoral, unworkable and can only lead to the continuation and intensification of righteous and relentless struggle until these goals are achieved.