Hundreds of children that were alive a few short weeks ago in Gaza are dead – their deaths were no accident or an act of god, they were killed by munitions launched by the Israeli Defence Force, weapons that deliberately targeted civilian areas, schools and hospitals.
Some of the children died while they slept, some are maimed and suffer heartrending injuries, countless others have lost parents, brothers, sisters and surely all the children of Gaza will be scarred for life by the horror that fell from the skies.
The overall death toll is racing past 1,400
UPDATE: (as I write this article I hear that another school under the protection of the UN in South Gaza has been hit with many dead and injured, these crimes against humanity are on-going and happening right now. )
Launching shells at hospitals, schools and UN civilian shelters is a war crime. Firing indiscriminately into the densely populated areas of Gaza is a war crime. Destroying the fragile civilian infrastructure of Gaza is a war crime.
The actions of Hamas in firing rockets at Israel should also be regarded as a war crime – they were not aimed at military targets – the target was anyone who was an Israeli.
In truth the firing of low grade rockets by Hamas was an act of futile bravado – most were easily intercepted by Israel’s sophisticated defences and those that weren’t fell almost entirely in open ground. That is no excuse and those responsible should be held to account just as surely as those responsible on the Israeli side.
But the inconvenient truth is, almost nobody in Israel is in any danger from Hamas or anyone else in the Gaza strip, inconvenient because the west is complicit in supplying arms to a nation now using them for war crimes.
To listen to the mainstream media in recent weeks one could be forgiven for thinking that some ‘war’ was taking place between two titanic foes in Gaza and that the daily slaughter of hundreds of people – nearly all of which were Palestinian civilians was just an anomalous and curious detail. This is a shameful distortion of the truth.
Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel, sections of the Israeli government and military seek the destruction of Palestine, but only Israel has sophisticated missile defences, one of the strongest collections of military might in the world and the support of powerful friends.
Its not hard to see that the combination of entrenched hatred and the military power imbalance that the West has so enthusiastically created, was always going to end tragically for the children of Gaza.
In a truly dreadful article in today’s Guardian - Michael Cohen happily muddles the innocent civilians of Gaza with Hamas and then conflates everyone living in Israel with hawks in the Israeli cabinet – using one sweeping generalisation to fit all…
“the inability of the US to stop the fighting has been a tough blow to US diplomacy and a further reminder that both Israelis and Palestinians are more interested in doing what they believe is in their narrow interests than they are in listening to the United States.”
Really Michael, really – all Palestinians, all Israelis? I suppose all the dead of Gaza and Israel have only themselves to blame in that case? Shameful.
Michael then repeats Israeli government propaganda as though it were literal fact including this priceless commentary:
“for Israel, which stumbled into a war that it clearly didn’t want to wage”
Given the ferocity of the assault by the IDF and the bellicose language of the Israeli government, my credulity is stretched to breaking point. If Michael has any supporting material for this extraordinary assertion he offers none – but in the current media climate he doesn’t need to – examples of these lazy conflations and distortions are everywhere.
With wicked and shameful cynicism, the mainstream western media is repackaging child murders and war crimes into a fog of war scenario that is more palatable to vested interests and the powerful Israeli lobbying machine.
Incredibly the impotent Hamas rockets are to be blamed for the civilian slaughter in Gaza, which is the most blatant example of journalistic distortion I think I have ever seen and not coincidentally, the same spin offered by the Israeli government. While most, newspapers, politicians and TV pundits hold the line, the public isn’t convinced – with 62% in a recent UK poll convinced that Israel IS guilty of war crimes in Gaza.
Michael Cohen bereft of a truthful narrative upon which to base the rightful demand for international sanctions and legal proceedings against the guilty, predictably wrings his hands in despair:
So how does this end? Your guess is as good as mine. Increasingly, it’s hard to escape the sad and horrifying reality that maybe, it never will.
But I refuse to despair – I still believe that the sheer weight of international public disgust and horror at the slaughter in Gaza may yet pull the region back from the abyss.
If you believe that the Israeli bombing of children, asleep in a school designated as a U.N. shelter is a war crime then share this article.
If you believe that Hamas firing rockets blindly at Israel is a war crime then share this article.
If you believe that we are being wilfully misled about the truth in Gaza by the mainstream media then share this article.
If a line is not drawn here – then we lay the ground for the next series of war crimes.
Join a protest in support of justice in Gaza near you – There will be a national march in London on the 9th August – visit the Stop The War website for details.
My deepest fear is that we have now set the stage for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people in Gaza.
Israel has the military might to unleash a catastrophe of unimaginable horror and we must act now to preclude any possibility of things getting worse.
The west has supplied the weapons to Israel and if we now also choose to look the other way while horrific war crimes are committed with those weapons, then we should not be surprised when the horrors of tomorrow are even worse than the horrors of today.