Destruction in the region

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Cambridge Dictionary defines holocaust as “a very large amount of destruction, especially by fire or heat, or the killing of very large numbers of people” a situation that is currently in full force against Palestinians in Gaza, which has earned the dubious distinction of being the largest open-air concentration camp today.

Palestinians are being killed like insects not because of Hamas or because of Qaseem rockets or hand-thrown rocks. Palestinians burn and bleed because they are the non-Jewish natives of that land. There is no other reason. Just like Jews in the past were killed for being Jewish, Palestinians today are killed for being Muslims and Christians who hold historic, legal and even genetic title to that land.

What have Palestinians done to deserve such a fate? To be endlessly hunted and treated like animals? To have their homes demolished, their ancient history and heritage cast into forgotten space? To languish in refugee camps and slums, while Jews from all corners of the earth flock to fill their confiscated homes and farms? To be tortured, imprisoned, and denied in every inhumane way?

Israel should face charges for War Crimes as bluntly stated by Professor Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. Writing in "Israel's Collective Punishment of Gaza", she cites four specific violations carried out by the Israelis:

‘Israel’s air and ground attack in Gaza violates Geneva Convention in four ways.

• First, it constitutes collective punishment of the entire population in Gaza for the acts of a few militants.

• Second, it targets civilians, as evidenced by the large numbers of civilian casualties, specifically women and children.

• Third, it is a disproportionate response to the rockets fired into Israel.

• Fourth, an occupying power has an obligation to ensure food and medical supplies to the occupied population; Israel’s blockade has created a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.’

UN Relief workers discovered four starving children sitting next to their dead mothers and other corpses in a house in a part of Gaza City bombed by Israeli forces, as reported by the Red Cross. Scores of other such horrific circumstances litter the Gaza landscape. How long can the world and specifically the US pretend that Israel is a civilized nation, immune from censure for their ongoing butchery?

International aid groups have repeatedly lashed out at Israel over their activities in Gaza, saying that access to civilians in need is poor, relief workers are being hurt and killed, and Israel is woefully neglecting its obligations to Palestinians who are trapped, some among rotting corpses in a nightmarish landscape of deprivation.”

If Americans do wonder why the rest of the world detests US foreign policy and is accused as an implicit partner in this holocaust, then they should not look any further than the recent headlines: ‘US blocks funding for Palestinian humanitarian relief.’ Ever wonder the motive?

While the UN condemns the Israeli attacks that had caused the deaths of four UNRWA workers, together with shelling that killed 40 people including many children earlier last week, and there is growing vocal demonstration in all parts of the world including Israel against this mass slaughter, the US president remains silent. No mention of the carnage of civilians was brought up.

While millions of Americans face home foreclosures, health care uncertainties, job and pension losses, none of these crises currently threaten the flow of their tax dollars to Israel’s war machine. It is their money that buys F-16 jets made by Lockheed Martin to drop bombs on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Indeed, the world is wondering where the spirit of America has evaporated so quickly. Why the silence and subjugation to a rogue Israeli government that is openly aiding and abetting a holocaust?

— The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena


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