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Genocidal intent, action and silence

June 18, 2024 at 2:30 pm

A protester holds a banner reading ‘stop funding genocide’ as People gather to stage demonstration to show solidarity with Palestinians in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, United States on 28 May 2024 [Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images]

While international institutions are still debating whether Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, and Israel’s arms exports reached a record $13.1 billion in 2023, a report by AP details how the occupation state is killing “entire Palestinian families”. Genocide is happening and the international community is so impressed by Israel’s efficiency that Defence Minister Yoav Gallant described the record arms sales for 2023 as a “certificate of honour”.

That same “certificate of honour” is tied to genocide which, one would assume, in the Israeli narrative, requires another certificate. The international community would not hesitate to provide such a pertinent recommendation, if it were not for the fact that genocide is enshrined as the worst of all crimes in international law. So far, the international community cannot commit to such an explicit aberration.

Governments have expressed their support by investing financially in genocide under the pretext of Israel’s “security and defence”.

Away from the diplomatic circles that normalised genocide and made it possible, the AP report gives tangible evidence of what wiping out an entire population looks like. As do the 1948 Nakba narratives and research, of course, but the international community has expended considerable effort to separate Israel from the reality of its creation which depended on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian towns and villages. And besides Palestinians themselves, because their historical consciousness is lived daily, few take the time to consider that 7 October and its ongoing aftermath is another part of the Zionist plan to colonise all of Palestine.

Between October and December 2023, AP notes, 60 families were completely wiped out in Gaza; “sometimes four generations from the same bloodline”. Two other observations from the report are equally devastating. In some cases, almost no relatives can document the family death toll due to the numbers of Palestinians from the same family killed by Israel. In another measure of loss, a Palestinian man, Youssef Salem, stated that he “spent months filling in a spreadsheet with their [the family’s] vital details as news of their deaths was confirmed, to preserve a last link to the web of relationships he thought would thrive for generations.”

That’s a graphic look at genocide in terms of personal loss and grief, and yet the international community still does nothing. Despite the stories behind the devastating Israeli killings in Gaza, despite the visual evidence of Gaza being almost completely destroyed by Israel’s bombing, genocide is still debated as if it is a trivial matter. The attitude mirrors the international community’s treatment of Palestinians as a population to patronise while depriving them of basic dignity and political rights.

Palestinians have spoken for decades, but the international community has attempted to silence them through diplomacy, causing them further loss of people and land. Israel is now silencing generations of Palestinians by killing them and the diplomatic silence rings loud and clear, to the point that the occasional condemnation sounds hollower than ever. The international community cannot even feign a humanitarian conscience any more. At this rate, Israel will make sure to eliminate the paradigm along with the people. Before it is too late, the international community should ask itself how it is allowing Israel to solve the very real problem of its settler-colonialism through the genocide of the colonised people. Or was this what the UN intended all along when it approved the Palestine partition plan in 1947?

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