Today the struggle for people of conscience appears to be less about convincing people that Israel is committing war crimes against Palestinians or grossly violating international law. Instead the struggle has become about convincing the world that Palestinians are human beings too. The ongoing televised genocidal attack of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli army makes one wonder what the situation would have been like if global powers and mainstream voices saw Palestinians as human beings.
If Palestinians were human beings, they would not lay scattered in the hundreds on the grounds of a crowded marketplace in Shuja’iya after IDF shelling during a four-hour ceasefire declared by Israel.
If Palestinians were human beings, the corpses of those killed in Khuza’a, with skins melted from the intensity of U.S.-made Israeli bombs, would not have been found piled on top of one another in the corner of the bathroom of a house. Many of them have not been identified as their bodies were completely burnt.
If Palestinians were human beings, the medical crews would not have been denied access by Israeli tanks to the dozens of civilian casualties in Khuza’a. These victims of missiles fired from Israeli drones would have been buried instead of scattered in the streets and reportedly eaten by nearby animals.
If Palestinians were human beings, Israel would not have launched a massive campaign with artillery shelling in Rafah with explosions everywhere, cars flying up in flames, and a barrage of bombs killing entire families prevented from evacuating their villages, only to be literally crushed to death by their collapsing homes.
If Palestinians were human beings, they would not have been bombed to death by Israel while taking shelter in one of the seven UN schools attacked thus far, including in Beit Hanoun, in Jabaliya as families lay sleeping on the floor of a classroom, and most recently in Rafah as children queued for sweets and biscuits.
If Palestinians were human beings, then their cities, villages and towns, including Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun, Shuja’iya, Khuza’a, and Zanaa would not have been razed and flattened by the Israeli army, with buildings pulverized into sand and pieces of bodies visible beneath the rubble.
If Palestinians were human beings, whole portions of single families would not have been erased by targeted Israeli military strikes, while sitting together in their homes. There would not be a globally institutionalized disregard for their lives.
If Palestinian parents were human beings, they wouldn’t have to experience searching for, collecting, and carrying in plastic bags the remaining pieces of their children’s bodies blown up by Israeli shells.
If Palestinian children were human beings, they would not lose their entire families to Israeli bombs while suffering shrapnel wounds at 2-years old, or be prematurely born as orphans like Shaymaa al-Sheikh only to be buried next to her dead mother at a mere one week-old. If they were human beings Palestinian children would not be killed by airstrikes while playing on the beach, sleeping, eating, or even while undergoing surgery in a hospital. They would not be the main targets of Israel’s ‘precision war’.
If Palestinians were human beings, Israeli leaders and public figures would not publicly fantasize for years about their mass extermination and concentration camps, or to extinguish them en masse by having Gaza grazed, painted red, turned into rubble and flattened, reformatted and wiped clean, and sent back to the Middle Ages.
If Palestinians were human beings in the eyes of Israel and global powers, their killers in the IDF would be held accountable under international law. They would be allowed to flee a war zone contained by concrete walls where thousands of tons of Israeli bombs rain down on them, be protected in UN schools, and access clean water, electricity and basic medicine. They would be able to watch their children grow up in peace and live with dignity. We would know their names, what they did, what they liked and what they dreamed.
If Palestinians were seen as human beings, the world would follow in the footsteps of their extreme resilience, care and compassion, with which they refuse to give in to their utterly inhumane conditions. •
Shourideh C. Molavi is a Ph.D. student and writer based in Toronto, Canada. She is author of Stateless Citizenship: The Palestinian-Arab Citizens of Israel (Brill, 2013), which explores the dynamics of Israel’s multifaceted legal, political and structural system of control through the lens of citizenship. Thanks to Justin Podur and Fabian Voegeli for their comments.
For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:
The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine
- Special Topic – All Israeli Massacres on Palestinians
- iRemember… – Confirmed Names of Martyrs Occupation (*)
- Special Topic – Ethnic Cleansing
- Israeli escalation in Gaza – A cover-up for settlement activity
- “Slow Death” -International report: Collective punishment of Gaza has reached critical stage – Incl Full Report PDF
- A “Leaflet” to the World about it’s own “forgotten” Extermination Camp called Gaza
- Gaza Siege Harshness Continues. Israel’s committing slow-motion genocide ~ by Stephen Lendman
THE LEGAL RIGHT OF RESISTANCE
81 Notre Dame Law Review1275(2006). Conducting an in-depth study of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and also discussing other genocides, this article details the inadequacy of many of the international community’s response to genocides, such as “targeted sanctions” or international peacekeeping forces. Examining international legal authorities such as the Genocide Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Court of Justice, the article demonstrates that groups which are being subjected to genocide have a legal right of self-defense. International treaties, Security Council arms embargoes, or national gun control laws cannot lawfully be enforced in a manner which prevents self-defense resistance to a genocide in progress, because under international law, the prohibition against any form of complicity in genocide takes legal precedence over lesser laws. With Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen. In PDF.
- The Palestinian Right of Self Defense
- Brayer: The Absolute Right of Palestinian Resistance – Source
- No. Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory – Source
- If Jews in WWII Warsaw would have had rockets: They would have fired them too – by occpal
MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT THE ROCKETS FROM GAZA
- The “Rocket” from Gaza Myth – Photography
- More facts about the Rocket from Gaza Myths – Storify
- Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Israel and #Gaza: Context Behind Projectile Fire ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Truths and lies behind Israel’s attacks on Gaza and its whining about rockets ~ by @AliAbunimah
- Israel is not looking for peace. Nor talks. But: This
* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.
Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.
How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.