Let the whole world speak out against Israel's savagery against the Palestinian people. By: Rabi Sankar BosuRead Now
Exactly 75 years ago in 1948, the whole world watched in horror as millions of Palestinians fled their homes due to the Zionist Israeli aggression. According to the United Nations figures, Zionists have carried out massacres, 530 Palestinian villages were wiped off from the world map and 957,000 have lost their homes and become refugees living in the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, resulting in a devastating "Nakba" (Arabic word meaning "catastrophe").
The inhuman savagery of the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people has come out again and again in successive sessions of the UN. On May 15 this year, the UN for the first time officially commemorated the 75th anniversary of the "Nakba" or "catastrophe" in memory of Palestinian citizens who lost their homes under Israeli occupation.
The Second "Nakba" is on the Palestinian people
75 years later, the 1948 "Nakba" has been rekindled in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. But who is responsible for the ongoing brutal aggression in the Gaza Strip?
The answer is America's best friend in the Middle East, Israel, which continues to control everything in Gaza by daily killings of Palestinian children and civilians, and the construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. The U.S. administration has long supported Israel, “the baby child of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East”, fueling its genocidal efforts against the Palestinians, resulting in oppression and persecution.
Launching "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood"
Since the dawn of October 7, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), founded in 1988, has attacked southern Israel in three ways - air, water and land by breaking through Israel's "Iron Dome" air defense system, launching "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood" in reaction to the Zionist regime’s rising tide of violence against Palestinians. Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas military) Commander-in-Chief Mohammad Al-Deif in an audio speech urged all Palestinians to confront Israeli occupation. Obviously, even if Hamas launched the attack this time, Israel has invaded Palestine thousands of times over the past 75 years.
The beginning of "Operation Iron Swords"
Following Hamas' surprise attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a "long and difficult war" on Hamas on October 8 in response to its 9/11 attack, marking the start of "Operation Iron Swords". Since then, Israel has been killing unarmed Palestinian civilians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem, with UNICEF reporting deaths of at least 2,360 Palestinian children and 5,364 injuries in Gaza in the past 18 days. Unfortunately, the U.S. and the West have given Israel the green signal to continue this genocide. The question is whether the unarmed children were creating any kind of threat to the state of Israel or its citizens?
Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza hospital- an unspeakable shame
On October 17, the atrocities committed by the bloodthirsty Israeli occupation forces by carrying out airstrikes on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, killing more than 600 Palestinian people, including refugees, patients and media personnel, has shocked the civilized world. Undoubtedly, the targeted attack by the Zionist forces on the Baptist Hospital is a war crime and a flagrant act of dehumanization of the Palestinian people.
Quite reasonably, Osama Hamdan, the representative of Hamas in Lebanon, affirmed on October 18 that the Gaza hospital massacre was “a heinous fascist crime committed by Israeli forces and sponsored by the U.S. government”, according to a report by Beirut-based media channel, Al Mayadeen. Many peace-loving countries around the world demanded PM Netanyahu should be held accountable for the nefarious Israeli airstrike on the hospital. Unfortunately, the way Israel and its Western backers have attempted to whitewash Israeli bomb and artillery attacks on Palestinians in Gaza or some parts of Lebanon in the name of self-defense is an unspeakable shame. Needless to say, Israel's bombing of civilians in Gaza goes beyond self-defense.
The dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza
Following Hamas' attack, Israel's blockade of Gaza is causing a humanitarian disaster. The Israeli army is committing crimes against humanity by cutting off water, gas, electricity, and food supplies to 2.3 million people living in the Gaza Strip. Israel has threatened a ground attack on Gaza, asking 1.1 million Palestinians to leave northern Gaza. Many countries around the world, including the UN and the World Health Organization, have condemned Israel's actions and warned of “catastrophic consequences” if Israel does not stop its killing machine. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, warning that the region is "on the brink of an abyss".
US 'rock solid' support for Israeli atrocities against Palestinians
The ongoing Israel-Hamas war has polarized the world, with the U.S. and its Western allies including India condemning Hamas attacks on Israel and supporting Israel's declaration of war. U.S. President Joe Biden assured ‘rock solid’ support for Israel which continues its blatant atrocities against the Palestinians. During his meeting with PM Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, Biden reaffirmed that Washington would provide Israel with everything it needed to defend itself. The United States has already deployed warships and aircraft to the Eastern Mediterranean to provide strength and capability to Israel. It is certain that the U.S. is complicit in Israel's crimes against the helpless people of Gaza by sending billions of dollars worth of lethal weapons to the Zionist regime. Quite reasonably, many Arab Americans are upset Biden’s Israel stance before the 2024 election. Biden's push for more than $14 billion in new aid to Israel has angered Arab and Muslim Americans.
Modi's unwavering support for Israel sparks debate
The iconic leader of the Indian Independence Movement Mahatma Gandhi himself supported an independent Palestine. “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English, or France to the French,” he wrote in an article on November 26, 1938. But in a significant departure from India's longstanding policy of diplomatic balance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 7 assured his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu of Indian solidarity in order to preserve his government’s geopolitical interests in the Arab World. Describing the entire incident as a 'terrorist attack', he wrote on the X handle, "Deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour".
However, the invasion of “Modi-ally” Netanyahu's forces in Gaza has again created differences in Indian politics. India's opposition parties, including the Congress Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), have criticized Prime Minister Modi and extended their support for the oppressed Palestinian people. It is very unfortunate that India, which has always advocated Palestine's demand for independence and sovereignty, now the ruling Modi government is now taking the side of Israel without considering the root cause of the issue
Israel’s occupation politics
Hamas, despite being referred to as a terrorist organization by the U.S. administration, is actually politically and socially intertwined with Palestinian society. The reality is that Israel is an occupying state. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has its roots in the occupation politics of the Zionist state. In 1948, the State of Israel was created for the Jews to pave the way for American occupation in West Asia. Israel has not accepted UN Resolution 181 on the establishment of the State of Palestine and UN Resolution 194 on the return of Palestinian refugees. The people of Palestine have been besieged by Israeli occupation forces for years.
Support for the oppressed Palestinians
Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas bloody conflict, most of the countries around the world, in particular, Middle East countries like Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Syria and other Arab countries have expressed unequivocal support for the oppressed Palestinians and condemned the brutality of the occupying Israelis against innocent Palestinians.
In “solidarity” with Hamas, the Lebanese Islamic Resistance, Hezbollah, attacked several Israeli-occupied military sites including Lebanese Shebaa Farms with guided missiles and mortar shells. During a mass rally in Beirut on October 13, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem confirmed the Lebanese Resistance's readiness and monitoring the progress of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, according to a report by Al Mayadeen. On October 21, Hezbollah Executive Council Chief Sayyed Hashem Safieddine emphasized the readiness of the Resistance to confront the Israeli occupation on all fronts. “The Future in Gaza is made by the Resistance,” he concluded.
China’s position on the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict
On the other hand, China’s position on the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict needs to be highlighted: On October 15, during his telephonic conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned against a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, urging Israel to avoid collective punishment of the Gaza people. It should be noted here that Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2023. China was one of the first countries to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine, and has all along firmly supported the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring their legitimate national rights, and has worked for a comprehensive, just and durable solution of the Palestinian question at an early date. China first recognized Palestine in 1988, stemming from its support of anti-colonial movements.
While President Biden and other Western leaders have emphasized U.S. support for Israel, President Xi Jinping has reiterated that the establishment of “an independent state of Palestine” through a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly in Beijing on October 19. In a phone conversation with Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on October 23, Wang Yi firmly said that Israel has a choice between war and peace.
Hamas's rebellion echoes the dream of a Palestinian state
While Israel tries to legitimize its genocidal attacks against Palestinians, the reality is that the Hamas uprising is a legitimate, self-defensive, oppressed people's violence against the 75-year-old murderous occupation of apartheid Israel. No matter how much the Western world tries to call Hamas' Al-Aqsa Flood Operation against Israel as a “terror attack”, behind this operation lies the right of the Palestinians to defend their legitimate national rights - the dream of the Palestinian people to live safely in their homeland.
Massacring innocent Palestinian people
As a result of the ongoing armed conflict, the loss of innocent civilian lives is increasing day by day. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people around the world wave Palestinian flags to protest Israel's brutal repression of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
It is really unknown how many more innocent Palestinian lives will be lost in Israel's bullet-bomb? By the 17th day of the conflict on October 24, Palestinian casualties had risen to more than 5,800 and 70 percent of the dead were women and children. On October 18, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has rightly pointed out that the Zionist regime is only accelerating its downfall by killing innocent Palestinian women and children in besieged Gaza. “Every drop of Palestinian blood brings the Zionists closer to downfall, and the Zionist regime cannot compensate for its defeats with these atrocities,” Raeisi said
On the other hand, during the open debate on the Middle East situation of the UN on October 24, the head of Vietnam’s Mission to the UN, Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang expressed Vietnam’s concern over the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza Strip. He said, “It is necessary to stop activities that incite more violence and hatred between the two sides, stop the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, the destruction of homes and the expulsion of Palestinians, and respect the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem,” according to a VNA report on October 25, 2023.
Forced expulsion of Palestinians from their land is unjust and illegal
Although the UN adopted a resolution to establish an “independent State of Palestine" alongside Israel in Arab territory, it is unfortunate that neither the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation nor the 22-member Arab League played any meaningful role in establishing an independent State of Palestine in the last 75 years.
At the Cairo Peace Summit on October 21, Jordan’s King Abdullah II noted in his opening speech that the forced or internal displacement of Palestinians would be a war crime. In his speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized that Palestinians cannot be forcibly removed from their land. “We will never accept relocation, we will remain on our land whatever the challenges,” he said, adding, “We also oppose the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”
However, it can be said that the Cairo Summit failed to achieve a solution - to reduce the violence in the Gaza Strip due to the division between the West and the Arab world. Western leaders voiced their support for Israel's military operation in Gaza to eliminate Hamas, while Arab countries sought a strong statement from the West to condemn the heavy casualties among Palestinian civilians caused by Israel's bombardment of Gaza.
The way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis
The mountain of violence, racism and brutal genocide that Israel has been inflicting on Palestinians for decades needs to stop immediately. It is expected that the whole world will roar in protest to stop the ongoing aggression and bloodshed committed by the Zionist Israel in the Gaza Strip which has become an open-air prison while insisting on an immediate ceasefire. As on October 24, the UN Human Rights Chief Volker Turk called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. "The first step must be an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, saving the lives of civilians through the delivery of prompt and effective humanitarian aid," he said.
The international community, especially the UN, should take swift action to stop Israeli brutality in Gaza, and all countries should work together through dialogue and diplomacy to establish a sovereign, independent and viable state for Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders, in peace with Israel that can lead to a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Rabi Sankar Bosu, founder of New Horizon Radio Listeners’ Club, an independent think-tank on global affairs based in West Bengal, India, is an Indian analyst and commentator on global affairs