THE generation that witnessed the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis at Auschwitz and other death camps is fading away. But, in the current era, Israel is providing practical demonstrations of the chilling methods used by the Third Reich as it continues its extermination campaign in Gaza.
The sight of little bodies wrapped in tiny shrouds — the outcome of Israel’s slaughter — are enough to move the most stoic of observers. But these images do not move powerful actors in Washington and other Western capitals, or even some rulers of the Muslim world.
They are complicit either through their staunch defence of Israel, or their silence in the midst of a genocidal campaign. As Children’s Day was observed on Monday, Gaza’s children had already buried 5,500 of their young brothers, sisters and friends.
Out of the last five Israeli assaults on Gaza, starting from 2008, the current campaign has resulted in the highest number of children’s casualties, while overall over 13,000 Gazans have been massacred.
Israel has proved it is heartless. After bombing the Al Ahli Hospital and rampaging through the Al Shifa facility in search of Hamas ‘bases’, while displacing countless patients, Tel Aviv has now set its sights on the Indonesian Hospital. In the words of WHO, Al Shifa has been turned into a “death zone”.
In the midst of these atrocities, the word ‘ceasefire’ remains taboo in Washington, London and other Western capitals. Perhaps these states believe Israel is still entitled to its right of ‘self-defence’ by turning Gaza to rubble. But some states are beginning to show a semblance of humanity.
Officials from various Arab and other Muslim states gathered in Beijing on Monday, with the Chinese foreign minister condemning the humanitarian disaster and calling for an immediate end to hostilities.
“Israel’s actions have gone beyond self-defence,” Wang Yi told his Saudi counterpart. Clearly, the Western bloc has lost all credibility by slavishly standing by Israel — even though hundreds of thousands of people in the West have called for an end to the violence — and China has moved in to fill the vacuum.
But unless there are concrete moves — a political and economic boycott of Israel and those that arm Tel Aviv — the children of Palestine will continue to wonder why powerful people in the East and West did nothing as they were being slaughtered.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2023