Never-ending suffering

Published April 18, 2024

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against Israel in response to Tel Aviv’s bombing of Iran’s consular section in Damascus. Most members of the international community counselled restraint. Western states, on the other hand, accompanied these calls with fulminations directed at Tehran for ‘daring’ to answer Israel in the same coin. Though most of the collective West does not want war with Iran, there were calls from Washington and certain European capitals for Iran to pay a price for targeting Israel. Unfortunately, while the Iranian projectiles targeted at the Zionist state have sparked moral outrage in Western capitals, there has not been similar condemnation of Israel’s murderous assault in Gaza, which has cost nearly 34,000 lives to date. These double standards are appalling.

Israel has continued its murderous campaign in the occupied territories despite a UN Security Council resolution last month calling for a ceasefire. Tel Aviv clearly feels it does not have to adhere to international law, and can trample it underfoot. This sense of exceptionalism is encouraged by Western ‘ironclad’ support for Israel, even as the latter indiscriminately murders women and children. Just on Tuesday, 20 people were butchered by Israel in Gaza’s refugee camps. Tel Aviv has not spared schools, hospitals or aid distribution centres. To the Zionist state, every human being in Gaza is a Hamas supporter, and thus liable to be slaughtered. UN observers have noted that since the Oct 7 attacks over 350 humanitarian sites have been targeted by Israel. Moreover, nearly 600,000 people are “one step away from famine”. Yet none of these grotesque transgressions by the ‘world’s most moral army’ are enough to arouse Western ire, though Iranian missiles crashing in the Negev elicit great shock. What is clear is that if the massacre in Gaza continues, the entire Middle East may soon be consumed by the flames of war.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2024

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