Sharpsville. Soweto. Now Gaza. These are massacres perpetrated by rotten regimes absolutely corrupted by power against people whose only weapon is moral righteousness. And after the events at Israel’s frontier fence that isolates the Gaza Strip and condemns 1.8 million Palestinians to live there in an open prison, the name of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can now be uttered in the same contemptuous company as Pol Pot, Josef Stalin and Pik Botha.
Few words can describe the barbarity of Israel’s occupation forces who unleashed live fire on protesting civilians. Children, a man in a wheelchair and women were among the more than 50 shot dead and hundreds more injured by snipers and soldiers. In these past six weeks, more than 100 Palestinians have been murdered by Israeli occupation forces. And not a single charge has been brought against a soldier.
Seventy years ago, Israelis illegally took control of Palestinian homes and homeland, condemning 700,000 into exile. And 70 years on, Israelis illegally claimed occupied Jerusalem as their capital, exalting in the opening of the United States embassy there. But now, as then, Palestinians continue to fight to reclaim what is rightfully theirs, what has been pillaged and plundered, seeking justice and dignity. That is a call that has been answered by Israeli conscripts who can appease their conscience with the phrase that resonates from 70 years ago — we were just following orders — orders sanctioned by the blood-soaked regime of Netanyahu.
Kuwait’s efforts to have the massacre raised at the United Nations Security Council has been blocked by Washington — and that is a pitiful shame. But let the clarion calls of condemnation ring loudly and long from every corner of this planet. Israel has committed a heinous act against the people of Gaza. It has acted with barbaric brutality against those who dare protest; and it has shown itself to be an active and willing sponsor of state-sanctioned murder against men, women and children.
While those at the US embassy opening talked of a desire for peace, their actions could not hide their lies. There is no path to peace at the end of a barrel on unarmed demonstrators, there is no peace to be won by the massacre of many, and there is no peace deal that can conveniently mop up the blood of so many.
This is a pivotal moment. It is one where the world must unite in condemnation and action against Israel. One hundred dead Palestinians is too many. And 70 years is too long a time.