“We cannot let the idea take root that an efficient fight against terrorism implies to flatten Gaza or attack civilian populations indiscriminately,” French President Emmanuel Macron stated a week ago. Israel, he said, should: “Stop this response because it is not appropriate because all lives are worth the same and we defend them.”
Macron should be stumbling over his words. Early on, he was one of the first leaders to express complete support for Israel’s security narrative and was completely cognisant of the fact that the Israeli prime minister intended to flatten Gaza and attack civilian populations. This means that for Israel, France and the international community, all lives are not the same and not all lives are equally defended.
As Israel plans to forcibly transfer Palestinians to the Sinai and expects the international community to collaborate by taking in Palestinian refugees for resettlement in host countries, the lack of action over Israel’s ethnic cleansing plans mirrors the path taken during the 1948 Nakba, when Israel was rewarded with recognition as a state after it forcibly displaced 750,000 Palestinians to replace them with settler-colonists. In real-time, and as more details of Israel’s atrocities come to light, the United Nations (UN) is merely using Gaza as a talking point from a distance, repetitively stating that the forced transfer of a civilian population constitutes an international law violation. That much is obvious – does the UN require a round of applause for stating basic facts?published a report that calls for the investigation of organ theft from killed Palestinians after medical professionals found several corpses were missing vital organs. Israel has been suspected in the past of organ theft due to its policy of holding the bodies of killed Palestinians in the Cemetery of Numbers in subfreezing temperatures, thus preserving the corpses. A CNN report dating back to 2009 states that organs were: “Harvested from Palestinians and foreign workers.”
Among the more visible atrocities was the rounding up of Palestinian civilians on a football field in Gaza, which even mainstream media picked up. However, Sky News, for example, included a disclaimer beneath the video: “The IDF has told Sky News the individuals detained are treated in accordance with international law.” Where is it inscribed in international law that stripping detainees naked, torturing them and summarily executing them is permissible? At this point, who is still taking the IDF’s rhetoric seriously? Either idiots or willing collaborators.
Take this video, where an Israeli soldier brags about killing a twelve-year-old girl and jokingly laments that there are no babies left to kill in Gaza. Are there any forthcoming excuses from entities and individuals supporting Israel’s ethnic cleansing? The IDF’s standard statements can no longer pose as a veneer for Israeli colonial violence, whether this is committed by the state’s institutions or individual acts. And international silence has been so consistent that the parameters for what constitutes a human rights violation or, indeed, a war crime have been expanded beyond recognition.
What we are witnessing in Gaza must not be separated from the UN’s deafening silence since 1948.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.