Editorial Comment: Israeli offensive on Gaza, has world lost its voice?
GAZA is on fire and the world is apparently nonplussed, at least judging by the reaction of the vocal Western rabble-rousers who are quick to take to the podium even upon receiving news of skirmishes between rival party supporters in places like Mufakose.
Over 500 people, mostly unarmed civilians have been killed by Israeli bombing, artillery and mortar fire in Gaza, 100 of them innocent children with over 3 000 reported injured in the barbaric 15-day offensive.
Only yesterday, the Israelis bombed a hospital where the injured were recuperating killing several people, and still no condemnation from the White House or Number 10 Downing Street.
Only UN secretary general Mr Ban Ki-moon found a voice describing the Israeli bombardment as atrocious and calling for a ceasefire.
The UN ceasefire call would have made sense if Gaza and Israel were at war, but it is Israel which is bombarding Gaza where, by the UN’s own admission, over 70 percent of fatalities are innocent civilians, the least we expected from the UN was strong condemnation of the Israel offensive not a mere call for a ceasefire between victim and assailant.
But the UN’s feeble response does not come as a surprise to us given that Israel is blood-letting with the tacit approval of the United States that, by virtue of hosting the UN headquarters in New York, appears to have held that institution hostage.
More than 500 Palestinians — mostly civilians — have been killed and about 3 000 injured while 20 Israelis, including two civilians, have died, among them two American soldiers fighting with the Israel Defence Forces against the residents of Gaza.
This partly explains why international condemnation of the Gaza offensive has been muted as big brother is in the thick of things. Add to this the unfortunate downing of Malaysian airlines flight MH17 that provided a much-needed diversion for Israel and the Anglo-Saxon alliance, and you would be forgiven for thinking nothing much is happening in Gaza.
Despite mounting deaths including the use of banned munitions, there was little sign of real pressure on Israel.
In fact US president Barack Obama expressed his support for the Israeli offensive saying “no nation would tolerate an attack on its soil.’’
And in a televised Press conference Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said the Gaza offensive would continue saying, after three ceasefire offers, it now had international backing: “We will continue this operation for as long as it takes,” Netanyahu said as he thanked the US for its support. “I appreciate the support we have received from president Obama on our right to self-defence,” Netanyahu told CNN.
Israel is the largest recipient of US military assistance and last year alone, Washington sent some US$3,1 billion in military aid to Tel Aviv, supplemented by allocations for collaborative military research and joint training exercises.
Israel’s actions have been rapped as one of the worst attacks on a people since the formal end of apartheid South Africa in 1994.
Ironically, the assault on Gaza has not been condemned as much as the downing of a Malaysian airlines plane, MH17, that had 298 people on board with Western media trying to build a case against Russia for reportedly supplying Ukrainian separatists with weapons, surprisingly the US that openly assists Israel with billions in military aid every year has not been similarly rapped by the same media organisations.
We urge the progressive world to speak in unison against the murderous regime in Tel Aviv, the United Nations must also find its voice or go the way of the League of Nations that twice failed to save the world from the scourge of war.
Netanyahu and his regime are clear candidates for The Hague and we expect ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo to show the same zeal he has shown over Kenya.
The residents of Gaza deserve justice.