A holocaust is defined as a systematic and mass slaughter of a people, generally based on their ethnicity. And that is precisely what is being rained on the people of Gaza. They have been systematically slaughtered in cold blood in carefully administered increments by the mightily armed Israeli Forces. The killing of Palestinian civilians goes on every day but in numbers not to draw excessive attention or international condemnation. It is a holocaust nevertheless as it singles out a people based on their ethnicity and targets them for destruction.
It is unfortunate that the United States, a country that proudly promotes its democratic principles has made every excuse to shield the Israeli killing machine on the world stage by continuously shifting the blame on the Palestinians. They are blamed for resisting violence against them, against bullets bringing down their families by the numbers, by evictions and watching their homes bulldozed and by imprisonment of their women and children. This also includes mass bombings on civilian targets by the Israeli air force against a defenceless people.
It’s not very difficult to understand US support as most media in that country is historically tolerant, sympathetic and encouraging of all Israeli actions against what are the legal occupants of the land. American democracy is turning a blind eye to Israeli apartheid of Palestine.
Many US politicians owe their seats to massive underhanded donations and support by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) whose mission statement is to help and facilitate only Israeli-sympathetic politicians in key areas. There have been recorded instances in the past when a brave American politician went against this stranglehold, only to find himself or herself quickly booted out of office by intensified and coordinated lobbying against him.
The mainstream media by and large provides a completely one-sided bias against Palestinians, and if I were a resident of Gaza, I should not expect God-fearing Americans to rise up and notice the ongoing holocaust in the 21st century and come to my rescue. The majority of Americans cannot be blamed as they are prudently kept ignorant of the real realities on the ground in the Middle East and who the real bad guys are.
Even Hollywood gives Israel the assistance it needs to carry out their vicious plans as Arabs are generally portrayed as being either evil or terrorists out to destroy the western world. For an American whose knowledge of the outside world is limited to a two-minute clip on TV that shows Palestinians in bad light or Hollywood with its own flair, there lies no hope for democratic justice from the Americans.
US government figures proudly and publicly embrace values dictated by AIPAC or Israel, publicly touting their support and administration for Israel. Even in the UN where one would expect some semblance of fairness, such values have vanished. Recently when the Security Council was holding an emergency meeting to discuss the violence in Gaza. Israeli forces killed at least 103 Palestinians protesting along the border fence, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. That number included several children, one of whom was just 8 months old. More than 3,100 others were wounded. The US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley walked out of the meeting when the Palestinian envoy began to speak, just hours after she praised Israel for acting with “restraint” in handling the protests in Gaza.
More recently she said that the United States will “unquestionably veto” a UN draft resolution calling for the protection of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, on the eve of a Security Council vote on Friday. Haley described the proposition put forward by Kuwait on behalf of Arab countries as a “grossly one-sided approach that is morally bankrupt and would only serve to undermine ongoing efforts toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.” What seems to be morally bankrupt and obvious in this case is Nikki Haley’s conscience and the poor image of American democracy that she projects.
So is there any hope for the Palestinians from this ongoing holocaust by an intervention of American politicians? Very recently, 76 brave members of the US Congress sent a letter to the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu urging his government to abandon plans to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya in South Hebron. This demolition was to further expand illegal Israeli colonies in the area.
The letter added that “The forcible eviction of Palestinian communities and the expansion of colonies in areas of the West Bank which would become part of a future Palestinian state, abandon our two countries’ shared values of justice and respect for human rights. These actions unilaterally change facts on the ground and jeopardise the prospects for a two-state solution.” What was refreshing was that a number of Jewish lawmakers with conscience signed the letter, making it “the most significant criticism of settlement expansion ever by Congress”.
Perhaps this is just a start, albeit a small one. For the despairing Palestinians, this may just buy them some hope to hang on to.
Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. You can follow him on Twitter: @talmaeena