Genocide Continues in Gaza, Exposing The Unending Depravity of Israel, and the Ongoing Criminal Complicity of the West


The aftermath of an Israeli bombing raid in Tall az-Zaatar, in northern Gaza, on Sunday December 3, 2023 (Photo: Fadi Alwhidi/Anadolu).

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For 47 days, from October 8 until November 23, the State of Israel relentlessly bombed the 2.3 million trapped civilians of the Gaza Strip — held in “an open air prison” since 2007, when Israel imposed a total blockade on its inhabitants — with such ferocity that 20,031 people were killed, including 8,176 children and 4,112 women, according to the Geneva-based NGO Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor. The NGO also noted that over 36,350 people had been injured — many gravely so — and that 1.7 million people, almost three-quarters of the entire population, had been displaced, as nearly a quarter of a million homes were completely or partially destroyed.

To give some necessary perspective to those statistics, what it meant was that, for 47 days, Israel was killing 174 children every day — seven children every hour, or one every eight and a half minutes. To understand quite how grotesque and unprecedented the killing of children on this scale is, on November 7 Al Jazeera analyzed the death rates of children in other major conflicts of the 21st century — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen — establishing that the death rate of children in those conflicts was between 0.6 and three children per day.

This was carpet bombing on an industrial scale, using some of the heaviest and deadliest bombs ever invented by the depraved individuals who work in the arms industry, many of which were supplied by the US, and yet, despite international experts almost immediately recognizing that this was the collective punishment of an entire civilian population, in response to attacks by Hamas militants on October 7, in which, according to initial reports, 1,400 Israelis had been killed (a figure most recently revised down to 1,200), western leaders were united in their uncritical support for Israel’s unqualified “right to defend itself.”

They were not, apparently, even mildly perturbed by the language used by Israel’s leaders — when, for example, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog fully endorsed the collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza, stating, “It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible. It’s not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved, it’s absolutely not true” — or by the implications of the “complete siege” implemented by Israel’s defence minister Yoav Gallant on October 8, when he stated, unambiguously, “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed”, adding, ominously, “We are fighting human animals and we will act accordingly.”

Fears of a genocide

By the second week, the west’s unconditional support was undimmed, even though the death toll of children alone had surpassed a thousand, and by the third week, as the effects of the “complete siege” began to be felt, UN experts warned that “depriving 2.2 million people of essential food, fuel, water, electricity and medicine” was “a violation of international humanitarian law.” The experts also condemned Israel’s demands for the entire population of northern Gaza to move to the south as “a violation of international humanitarian and criminal law”, pointed out that collective punishment was “absolutely prohibited under international law and amounts to a war crime”, and, in their most strongly worded criticism, decried “an ongoing campaign by Israel resulting in crimes against humanity in Gaza”, and warned of “a risk of genocide against the Palestinian People.”

By the start of November, the notion that this was indeed a genocide (which I’d mentioned in my very first article about the “war” on October 11) had begun to take hold. On October 28, Craig Mokhiber, the director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called it “a text-book case of genocide” in an extraordinary letter of resignation, in which he lamented that the UN has persistently “failed in our duty to meet the imperatives of prevention of mass atrocities, of protection of the vulnerable, and of accountability for perpetrators”, with particular reference to “successive waves of murder and persecution against the Palestinians throughout the entire life of the UN.”

I followed up on November 1, when the death toll in Gaza surpassed that of the Srebrenica Massacre in Bosnia in 1995, which the Guardian, in 2020, described as “the only massacre on European soil since the second world war to be ruled a genocide”, and on November 8 I spelled out in more detail how “genocide is a unique demonstration of evil, of the erasure of all human decency in the single-minded pursuit, by one group of people, of the annihilation of another”, noting how the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the first human rights treaty unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, states unambiguously that genocide involves the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” via measures including “killing members of the group” (generally through mass killing), “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group” and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”, all of which were — and still are — clearly taking place in Gaza.

However, while western leaders — no doubt advised by their lawyers — finally began tempering their previously unalloyed enthusiasm for Israel doing whatever it wanted in Gaza with asinine comments about the need for it to also try to keep civilian casualties to a minimum, on the ground in Gaza it wasn’t just the relentless bombings that were causing such an extraordinary loss of life; it was also the effects of the “complete siege”, and also Israel’s cataclysmic — and nakedly evil — assault on Gaza’s hospitals.

The effects of the “complete siege” and the war on Gaza’s hospitals

Because of Israel’s total control of all movement of people, goods and services into and out of the Gaza Strip since 2007 — imposed as revenge for Hamas taking control of Gaza’s government — this densely populated stretch of land, roughly the same size as east London, had been hugely reliant on foreign aid — and what was reluctantly provided by its Israeli occupiers — for much of its food and water (because Israel had deliberately degraded its own water supplies), and all of its fuel and medical supplies.

As the impact of the “complete siege” took hold, Gaza’s inhabitants were obliged to survive on just 5% of the water supplies available before October 7, with many forced to drink polluted water, leading to outbreaks of waterborne diseases, of which childhood diarrhoea (which can be fatal) has probably been the most damaging, although experts also warned of the possibility of cholera and typhoid emerging.

Starvation — a significant component of sieges throughout history — also began to emerge as one of Israel’s many vile weapons of war. Before October 7, over a hundred trucks a day delivered food to Gaza, and cutting off supplies was therefore deadly, especially as the Israeli also deliberately targeted bakeries and supermarkets.

It was in the hospitals, however, that the damage of the “complete siege” was most evident, as fuel ran out to power the generators required to produce electricity, and medical supplies also began to run out. This, alone, would have been enough to create a humanitarian disaster, but, to compound the damage, Israel also began targeting hospitals, claiming that they — or tunnels beneath them — were being used as Hamas command centres.

Every aspect of Israel’s war on hospitals — cutting off fuel and medical supplies, and bombing them — constituted the most heinous of war crimes, because hospitals are always supposed to be protected in wartime, but, as if to flaunt their absolute contempt for international humanitarian law, Israel then began closing hospitals down, and forcing their staff and patients to evacuate, and, in the case of Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, invading it with ground troops in the elusive search for Hamas militants.

No command centre was ever found, despite risible propaganda produced by the Israeli military in an attempt to justify their “conquest” of a hospital, and, while Israel obviously hoped that no one watching would dwell for long on the stomach-churning contrast between their own actions and those of the brave doctors and medical staff, who, without either fuel or medical supplies, continued to try and look after their patients — both the long-term ill, and the endless deluge of those wounded, often, critically, in the endless bombing raids — the plight of 39 premature babies, who had had to be removed from their incubators because of a lack of fuel, finally awoke a sense of outrage in the otherwise frozen hearts of politicians and journalists around the world.

I wrote about Israel’s war on Gaza’s hospitals — and its war on Gaza’s premature babies, in two articles, on November 14 and November 18, when four of the premature babies had died, as well as all of the surviving patients in the intensive care unit, and just after Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the WHO (World Health Organization), had explained to a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly that “only 10 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are still functioning, with just 1,400 hospital beds”, and that what this meant, in addition to “premature babies dying as life-support systems shut down”, was that “more than 2,000 patients with cancer, 1,000 with kidney disease, 50,000 with cardiovascular disease and 60,000 with diabetes [were] all at risk as their treatment is interrupted”, as well as “up to 200 women giving birth every day in the worst imaginable conditions.”

The premature babies scandal finally got Israel to act, allowing the WHO and various UN organisations to visit Al-Shifa, which they described as a “death zone”, and, on November 20, to evacuate the surviving premature babies — 31 by this time — to a hospital in southern Gaza, and, from there, to Egypt.

Israel was spared a very particular PR disaster, but to anyone paying attention, avoiding the tag of “premature baby murderers” wasn’t much of an achievement when they were still “baby murderers”, having, by this point, killed over 5,000 children and babies, mostly in their relentless bombing raids.

The deadly revelations of the seven-day “pause”

Finally, last Friday, November 24, 47 days of merciless bombardment and slaughter was “paused”, as the Israeli government finally agreed to a hostage/prisoner exchange — some of the 240 or so hostages that Hamas militants had seized on October 7, in exchange for some of the many thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, many of them seized as children, and many never charged with crimes, but, instead, kept in “administrative detention”, where, as at Guantánamo (partly influenced by Israel’s long-standing “administrative detention” process), charges and trials can be endlessly deferred.

This was what Hamas had been calling for for many weeks, but Israel was evidently far less concerned about the fate of the hostages than they were about killing as many Palestinian civilians as possible in bombing raids, and the hostage deal only finally emerged after significant criticism of, and protests against the Israeli government that were undertaken by the hostages’ families.

The hostage releases were another PR disaster for Israel, however much complaint western media tried to look the other way. They mostly seemed to have been treated well, while the Palestinians released — many of them children — had gruesome and well-corroborated stories to tell about how they were treated in Israel military custody.

Just as devastatingly for Israel, the “pause” finally allowed Palestinians to reveal to the world the extent of Israel’s destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure, with entire neighbourhoods wiped out, as well as the systematic destruction of hospitals, schools, universities, mosques and libraries — another clear example of Israel’s genocidal intent, to add to all the lives lost, including specifically targeted individuals: doctors and university professors, for example, and journalists, who have been targeted and killed in greater numbers than in any previous conflict.

Devastated families — when not prevented or shot at by Israeli troops — returned to their homes to find them destroyed, and desperately tried to find their family members buried under the rubble. Some spoke of their relief at not being bombed or kept under surveillance by drones — for the first time ever, for some younger Palestinians — and some even made trips to the beach, where, just before the “pause”, Israeli soldiers had been raising Israeli flags as a sign of the “re-conquest” of Gaza.

Humanitarian aid also resumed, although not in quantities that were sufficient to offset all the damage caused by the siege, especially because 1.8 million people were now homeless and living in tents, or in the open air, which was particularly alarming with the onset of winter, and the hospitals, of course, were largely so damaged or destroyed that it would take much more than a week-long pause to enable them to function again.

The most horrific story that emerged during the “pause” concerned five premature babies whose decomposing corpses were found in Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital, which had been forcibly evacuated on November 10, at the height of Israel’s mania for destroying or shutting down hospitals. I had picked up on this story on November 14, when I shared a post on X by the Palestinian commentator and activist Nour Odeh, who stated that the director of the hospital had confirmed that the doctors “were forced to leave the hospital at gunpoint & carried the patients with them. At least 2 died on the road to the south. They also had to leave 3 children on life support behind because ambulances were not allowed to evacuate them”, adding, “Their fate is unknown.”

This had struck me as horrifically significant at the time, but I had thought that it would be impossible for anyone to get to the hospital to assess the situation. The “pause”, however, enabled a crew from the Emirati TV channel Al-Mashhad to make the gruesome discovery — of the five dead babies, rather than the three noted by the hospital’s director on November 10.

A screenshot (details blurred) of Emirati TV channel Al-Mashhad’s coverage of the dead premature babies in Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital in northern Gaza.

This should have been headline news, but in the mainstream media only NBC News has reported it, and it was also covered in the UK by the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail. No political leader has addressed it at all, and now, of course, it has been conveniently forgotten because, on Friday morning, after seven days in which 80 Israeli hostages and 24 hostages from other countries were released by Hamas, in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners, Israel resumed its bombing attacks on Gaza, to the horror of everyone who had hoped that the “pause” might lead to a permanent ceasefire, and despite the fact that around 136 Israeli hostages are still being held.

Israel claimed that Hamas had been uncooperative regarding the release of further hostages, although to my mind Hamas’s assessment — that Israel had made a “prior decision to resume its criminal aggression against the Gaza Strip” — was more accurate.

The incalculably evil bombing resumes

And so, just after 7am on Friday, the butchery and annihilation of the Palestinian people of Gaza began again, with more than 700 people — including children — killed in bombing raids yesterday, mostly in the south, and with many more wounded. Responding to US complaints about the number of civilian casualties (despite the US also continuing to supply Israel with weapons), the Israeli government created a map dividing southern Gaza into grids, and alleged that they were instructing people to move from area to area as they specifically pursued their military targets.

However, even putting aside the lack of internet access to download the map, or the sheer implausibility of entire families — often with elderly and wounded family members — being able to herd themselves like sheep from one grid to another, Israel’s lies about specific military targeting had already been exposed, on the eve of the resumption of hostilities, in a +972 Magazine investigation, conducted with Local Call, which demonstrated, drawing on Israeli sources, that Israel was using an AI program — codenamed “Habsora”, or “The Gospel” — to identify targets. As +972 Magazine described it, the program “can ‘generate’ targets almost automatically at a rate that far exceeds what was previously possible”, and was described by a former intelligence officer as facilitating a “mass assassination factory.”

As the article explained, the program was not only being used to identify the supposed locations of senior Hamas leaders; it was also revealing the supposed homes of those who are merely “junior Hamas operatives”, and approving them for elimination despite the associated loss of civilian lives. As one source explained, chillingly, “Nothing happens by accident. When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.”

In a follow-up article, the Guardian noted that, when AI was used in attacks on Gaza in 2021, Aviv Kochavi, then the head of the IDF, stated admiringly that, “in the past we would produce 50 targets in Gaza per year. Now, this machine produces 100 targets in a single day.” One official, however, explained to +972 Magazine how expanding the targets to alleged “junior Hamas members” — which had not happened previously — had caused so much death. “That is a lot of houses,” the official said, adding, “Hamas members who don’t really mean anything live in homes across Gaza. So they mark the home and bomb the house and kill everyone there.”

As the bombs rained down yesterday, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder, in an already overcrowded hospital in southern Gaza, where most of the bombing was concentrated, despaired at what he called “a war on children”, and stated, “We cannot see more children with the wounds of war, with the burns, with the shrapnel littering their bodies, with the broken bones”, adding, “Inaction by those with influence is allowing the killing of children in Gaza.”

For those of us watching from afar, the sinking feeling as the bombing resumed was paralyzing; for those on the ground, it almost defied description.

The south of Gaza is now horrendously overcrowded, as so many people were forced by the Israeli military to move from the north, where soldiers are already taking over people’s former homes. Quds News Network posted a photo of an Israeli soldier who “appear[ed] to be preparing food, in a mocking manner”, after seizing a house in Beit Hanoun, prompting the Palestine academic Nour Joudah to state, “When we say another Nakba, I really wish we were exaggerating. They are walking into homes, using kitchens. It’s like flashbacks to 1948 and stories of homes occupied with food still warm.”

Clearly, Israel’s intention is — still — to continue to kill as many civilians as possible, totally reclaiming northern Gaza, while forcing the remaining Palestinian population as close as possible to the Rafah Crossing with Egypt, in the still futile hope that Egypt will accept 2.3 million refugees into the Sinai Peninsula, or that other countries will help out by taking in refugees themselves, forgetting — if they ever knew, or even cared about any opinions outside of their malignant Zionist bubble of absolute entitlement — that anti-immigration sentiment is at an all-time high across the whole of the western world, and that no one is going to oblige.

Meanwhile, as Muhammad Shehada, the communications director of Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, explained in a thread on X on the eve of the “pause” ending, the humanitarian crisis on the ground is devastating.

“7 days of ceasefire didn’t change much”, he stated, adding, “Zero electricity. Shops totally empty. Immense difficulty to get even brackish water. Hours-long queues just to get bread or plain rice. Rubble everywhere. Full societal collapse. People are hyper stressed, angry & on edge all the time. Fights break [out] every few meters. Civil order is collapsing.”

He added, “Everyone I talked to had their homes bombed by Israel for NO REASON! Also their families homes. 50-60 people overcrowding in small apartments. UN school shelters are appalling & unliveable. Tents keep leaking rain water & don’t protect against the cold at night. Food poisoning & intestinal diseases rampant, but no hospitals are able to receive the sick, priority is for life-threatening injuries. Amputations are still widespread for wounds that would’ve otherwise been treatable outside Gaza.”

Is there an end in sight?

None of us know what comes next, but I can only hope that the political analyst Mouin Rabbani, on X, is right when, in a thread yesterday, he suggested that Israel’s intention to continue its bombing for “at least an additional two months”, as Netanyahu told President Biden, according to press reports, was likely to be thwarted, with Biden apparently stating that Israel “has only two weeks.”

As Rabbani stated, “Israel is extremely unlikely to be permitted another 50 days of war by its US and European sponsors. Their foremost concern, increasingly likely with each passing day, is uncontrolled regional escalation and the ramifications this could have on their regional and global interests, and on their economies as well. Their statements of concern about the staggering levels of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip, and about the humanitarian emergency which is predicted to result in epidemics, perhaps even famine, in the Gaza Strip, are for public consumption. After all, it’s a little disingenuous for these governments to wail about a reality they encouraged, justified, defended, enabled, and in many cases directly participated in creating.”

As he added, “It’s equally the case that these governments, the US in particular, could transform this reality with a single phone call. If they so choose. Rather, these statements of concern are designed to deflect public and political pressure upon such governments for a change of policy, provide cover for their complicity in Israel’s war, and formulate a more acceptable rationale for eventually calling a halt to Israel’s offensive.”

As Rabbani proceeded to explain, “I suspect that within the next week or so we will see a new truce agreement. It is likely to be more extended than the previous one, and see complex negotiations about further exchanges of captives … Ultimately, and once again assuming Israel continues to fail militarily (the most likely and plausible but not a certain scenario), the Palestinians are not going to release their most valuable prisoners, the senior Israeli military officers, without obtaining the release of senior Palestinian leaders in Israeli prisons. They will also seek a guaranteed end to Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of Israeli forces to their 7 October positions. This will be a very bitter pill for Israel to swallow. But the results of military failure tend to be bitter, and the US and Europe will help Netanyahu (or whoever replaces him) take his medicine.”

Is this at all possible? I don’t know. But what I do know is that millions of us around the world want nothing more than an end to Israel’s relentless murder of children (and civilians of all ages), and that we will continue to demand a permanent ceasefire, and to try to make sure that a lasting settlement can be reached that will finally stop Israel’s genocidal settler colonialist depravity, and will allow Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace.

* * * * *

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer (of an ongoing photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’), film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (see the ongoing photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.50).

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and, in 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to try to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody.

Since 2019, Andy has become increasingly involved in environmental activism, recognizing that climate change poses an unprecedented threat to life on earth, and that the window for change — requiring a severe reduction in the emission of all greenhouse gases, and the dismantling of our suicidal global capitalist system — is rapidly shrinking, as tipping points are reached that are occurring much quicker than even pessimistic climate scientists expected. You can read his articles about the climate crisis here.

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, The Complete Guantánamo Files, the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

15 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, an overview of Israel’s two-month long war on Gaza, looking at the unprecedented and unforgivable civilian death toll, assessments that it constitutes collective punishment and genocide, the complicity of the west, the unacceptable “complete siege” on all supplies into Gaza, and the Israeli military’s “war” on Gaza’s hospitals and premature babies.

    I bring the story up to date with the week-long pause for the exchange of hostages and prisoners and the absolutely devastating resumption of hostilities yesterday, and questions about how and when this incomparably horrific “war” on a trapped civilian population might finally be brought to an end.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, when my friend Bernie Sullivan shared this, he wrote:

    Sadly, I have to draw my own conclusion that those who can’t spare the time to read reports like this by Andy Worthington on the bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli government, or fail to raise their voices in opposition to this slaughter, preferring to remain silent, demonstrate to me not just their apathy but their complicity in what has become the worst human atrocity in our lifetime. Just as in previous genocides, history and our descendants will surely judge us all.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for sharing, Bernie, and for your powerful introductory words. As you say, this has indeed become “the worst human atrocity in our lifetime”, broadcast live for those who seek it out on Al Jazeera or X, miserably under-reported in the western media, which still regularly gives airtime to people who will eventually be condemned as war criminals, and still supported by compliant politicians, and enthusiastically cheered on by people who see themselves as decent family people, and who think that their genocidal bloodlust is entirely justified. Absolutely unforgivable, and profoundly depressing.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Shahela Begum wrote:

    Thank you Andy for your continued coverage on this.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for appreciating my efforts, Shahela, but how could I not? For years I avoided getting involved in the Palestinian plight, wary of attracting damaging attention from the Israel Lobby regarding my work on Guantanamo, but I couldn’t stay silent as this genocide unfolded so swiftly and with such ferocity.

    Like so many of us, I’m sure, I count myself lucky when I can distract myself from relentlessly watching the reports coming out of Gaza via Al Jazeera and via the people of Gaza on X, whilst always being aware that those on the ground in Gaza don’t have that luxury. All of us who believe in humanity – in, to reverse Netanyahu’s words, the light over the darkness – have an obligation not to turn away, and to keep calling for an immediate end to these relentless atrocities.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    Still … no words … what they’re doing to Palestinians is indescribable …

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, the world – or part of it – is descending into a new barbarism, Natalia, which should worry us all. Netanyahu and his Cabinet, and their many cheerleaders in Israel and around the world, seem to be so much more openly violent – and homicidally, genocidally so – in their thoughts and intentions than was generally the case even after 9/11 in the US, and I can’t forget also how violently anyone who questioned the west’s unconditional support for Ukraine was treated in 2021, or how violently anti-immigrant sentiment is expressed here in the UK by a vile but vocal minority.

    I’m starting to think that social media and the internet are to blame, not just in the prioritising of stories that deliberately provoke outrage and anger (for which the mainstream media are also responsible), but through somehow reprogramming people’s minds, so that now, for so many people, violent emotions take precedence over everything else.

    And as we’re seeing with Israel, much of this involves not just the traditional far-right, but also people who seem otherwise to have nothing to complain about – people with jobs, homes, money to spend, who present themselves as decent members of society, but behind whose presentable exteriors lurk raging would-be fascists.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Ruth Gilburt wrote:

    Andy – I posted Motaz Azaiza’s words earlier. I’ve been following him and other Palestinian journalists. They have been extraordinary and so courageous.

    I am utterly heart sick.

    “Hello. The phase of taking risks to take pictures is over. And the phase of trying to survive has begun. I bear witness to God that it was for the sake of God and in service to my nation. We are now living in an internal siege. We cannot get out either to the north nor to the south. The Israeli tanks are besieging the middle area between the north and the south. Our situation is tragic beyond what you can imagine. Remember that we are not just content to share. We are a nation that’s being killed and a cause that we try to keep from being erased. Oh, our loneliness.”

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    I saw that, Ruth. I’ve also been following Motaz and the other brave journalists and other front-line commentators, and I can’t even keep track of how many of them have gone silent over the last two months, as they, like so many others, have been killed – and usually with deliberate intent on Israel’s part.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but a few hours ago Dr. Omar Suleiman posted an extraordinary video of numerous journalists, including Wael Al-Dahdouh, all gathered together, singing. It will probably make you cry.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Hanann Abu Brase wrote:

    That post by Omar Suleiman is beautiful, Andy, thanks for sharing, don’t have Twitter so I missed it.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    I’m happy to have been able to share it, Hanann. Apparently it was written by a Syrian doctor during Assad’s attacks on the people of Syria. I’ve also just found out that Omar Suleiman has a page here on Facebook, where he also posted the video:

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Ruth Gilburt wrote:

    Andy and Hanann – I don’t do twitter either but it’s also on Instagram. I already posted it last night as I follow Omar Suleiman too.
    A lot of tears yesterday xx

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, normal life has been suspended, Ruth. Two months ago I was having difficulties seeing all the comfortable middle class young mums with kids in Brockley, all looking oblivious to the impending climate collapse, but since October 7, when I see children – and their fragility and innocence – I only see the endless parade of lives cuts short in Gaza, in almost uncountable numbers.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote, in response to 7, above:

    And there will never be accountability, Andy.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    No, I don’t suppose there will be, Natalia, as the ICC doesn’t seem to want to take it on, but we must hope that, after 75 years, the reality of Israel’s endless quest to rid itself of the Palestinians has finally been revealed as offering only two options, both spelled out so cruelly by this malignant Israeli government – genocide or forced displacement of the entire Palestinian population, neither of which is either feasible or can be packaged as acceptable.

    The Israelis need to get rid of Netanyahu, and the international community needs to urgently reengage with a political solution. I’m pretty sure that providing a safe and secure autonomous future for the Palestinians would largely spell the end for its militants, whose purpose is political, however much it’s sometimes portrayed as existential for Israel, but the biggest problem is the Israeli settlers, and the political prominence of politicians like Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.

    It amazes me how chronic western amnesia is these days, when, less than a year ago, the same people cheering on Israel’s genocide now were warning about the dangers of the most far-right government in Israel’s history, and its dangerous views about Jewish supremacy.

    Here’s just one warning, in an opinion piece from the Guardian, in January this year, but the warning signs were everywhere, and it’s genuinely quite shocking to see how this knowledge – and the huge unrest caused by subsequent efforts to suppress the independence of the Israeli judiciary – have all been swept under the carpet since October 7:

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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