Ending Israel’s Impunity for Genocide in Gaza, and the Threat to Those, Like Joe Biden, Who Are Most Complicit

Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), flanked by Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant, behind bars. Image via the Islam Channel, produced after Khan announced his intention to seek arrests for both men for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip.

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I just want the bombing to stop. Billions of us around the world just want to the bombing to stop. But last night, in Rafah, Israel dropped countless US-supplied 2,000-pound bombs — hideously powerful weapons designed to pierce otherwise impenetrable military targets — on a displaced Palestinian civilian population, living in flimsy makeshift tents in what they were told was a “safe zone,” burning dozens of them alive, including children who were decapitated as their bodies burned.

For seven and a half months, a moral sickness has engulfed the State of Israel, also infecting parliaments and the mainstream media throughout most of the western world, as shrill, bullying and sometime gleeful proponents of genocide have sought to compel us, sometimes through violence, and often through intimidation, not only to turn a blind eye to the murder of 40,000 civilians in the Gaza Strip — killed with bombs of such intensity that they shouldn’t even exist, let alone be dropped onto packed civilian neighbourhoods day after day after day — but to endorse it, to support it as enthusiastically as they do.

For seven and a half months, those of us living in the majority of the countries of the west (or the Global North), have been ordered to believe that, despite the openly genocidal comments that have been regularly and insistently made by Israel’s leaders since the deadly attacks on southern Israel by Hamas and other militants on October 7 last year, (in which 1,139 people were killed), Israel’s response, in which most of the Gaza Strip has been destroyed, and 10,000 decomposing corpses are buried under the rubble, is not a genocide, but simply Israel exercising its “right to defend itself”, to “eliminate Hamas”, and to free the hostages seized by Hamas and other militants on October 7.

For seven and half months, we have been told that “this began on October 7”, in a blatant and frankly sickening effort to erase 76 years of oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel, oppression which began in earnest with the blood-soaked establishment of the State of Israel, in 1948, when 15,000 Palestinians were murdered and 750,000 permanently exiled from their homes, but which actually began decades before, via the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which the British government, then ruling Palestine as a Mandate after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, announced its support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, and encouraged the migration of hundreds of thousands of European Jews.

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Genocide in Gaza: Death Toll Surpasses That of Srebrenica Massacre; 8,525 Palestinians Killed, Including 3,542 Children

The Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, after its complete destruction in Israeli bombing raids on October 31, 2023 (Photo: Anas al-Shareef/Reuters).

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As you read this, the death toll in Gaza, since Israel began bombing its 2.3 million captive civilians on October 7, has surpassed the number of people killed in the Srebrenica Massacre, during the Bosnian War of 1992-95, when, in a 72-hour period between July 13 and July 15, 1995, 8,372 Muslim men and boys were murdered by Bosnian Serb and Serbian soldiers, in what the Guardian, in 2020, described as “the only massacre on European soil since the second world war to be ruled a genocide.”

As of yesterday, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported that at least 8,525 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the Israeli military bombardment began 25 days ago — a rate of 340 deaths a day, or 14 every hour, or one every four minutes, meaning that, by the weekend, it can be expected to reach 10,000.

Shamefully, however, although human rights experts and experts in international humanitarian law are already talking openly about Israel’s actions in Gaza being a genocide, the silence from political leaders in the west, and the mostly complicit mainstream media, is profoundly shocking. What, when this all over — as it must be one day, one way or another — will they say in their defence?

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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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