Israeli state’s extermination of Gaza population must be stopped

Photo from Getty: suffering in Gaza

Contributed by Joe Montero

Israel’s growing political isolation from the world continues. Only the cover provided by Washington and its allies protects the Netanyahu government and the Zionist project. But the brutal attack on Gaza can’t be papered over. The world knows and can’t deny that the target is the civilian population. Evidence that the victims are being purposely targeted mounts. More than 30,000 have been killed, and almost half of them are children.

History will condemn political leaders of those countries who have excused or ignored this. They are no different to those who behaved in the same way when Jews were being killed by Germany during its Third Reich. Saying this is small consolation to those who are suffering now. They need an immediate stop to the killing.

Many Australians don’t know that most of the world is speaking out. Our problem is a combination of a government and opposition dragged along by Washington’s support for the Israeli government’s actions, and sanitised reporting by a tightly controlled media.

Despite this, more than half of the Australian population wants our government to take a stand, and the nation is experiencing its biggest anti-war movement ever. With the existence of the Internet, the reality of Gaza can’t be totally hidden. The truth is coming out.

It’s the same around the World. South Africa has been moved to take a claim of genocide the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The court found that there is credible evidence for a case to be heard, and it will be so in the months ahead.

The extent of Israel’s global isolation and growing pressure on Washington is a major headache for the Biden administration. Its spokespeople have been busy suggesting that they have been talking to Netanyahu and encouraging him to pull back from excesses. At the same time, Wahington is on overdrive, doing everything it can to block criticism of Israel’s actions. The contradiction is damaging the standing of the United States in the global community.

Now evidence is mounting to the fact of a planned starvation of the population. Aid in the form of food, water, and medicine entering Gaza has been stopped to a small drizzle. Many more are facing death from dehydration and starvation. This has caused the United Nations and a range of humanitarian organisations to push towards charging Israel with a new war crime over this. A further application before the ICJ is immanent. Israel has already received what is called a provisional emergency ruling, which has ordered the admittance of life-saving aid into Gaza. Israel has ignored the order.

UN says Israeli restrictions on Gaza food aid may constitute a war crime

Video from The Guardian

The situation is so dire that it compelled the US secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, to warn that the entire population of 2 million is experiencing “severe levels of acute food insecurity.”  This understatement underlines that Washington is continuing to excuse the killing. If not, Blinken would have used the word starvation.

International law is clear. The Rome Statute of the IJC defines intentionally starving civilians by “depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival” including “wilfully impeding relief supplies,” as a crime Under Article 55 of the Geneva Convention, for ‘ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population,” requires the occupier to “bring the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.” What international law demands couldn’t be any clearer.

Evidence provided by a range of experts and agencies on the scene, and the just released findings of the highly regarded Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), found that Palestinians in Gaza are now facing phase 4 (emergency) and phase 5 (catastrophe), levels of malnutrition.

Photo from AFP: Palestinians are already dying from starvation

The World Bank has also found the famine in imminent. The Washington based Bank has called for urgent action within the next two months to prevent widespread deaths. The Bank’s regular update found that of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million, 1.1 million are in the catastrophe category, and 854,000 in the emergency one. This is over half of the total population. The rest is in a position of crisis.

Although the Australian government has reversed its earlier decision to block aid to Gaza, it’s still far too little. Washington continues to help Israel’s starvation ambitions by standing in the way of meaningful action to put a stop to it.

The world must not let up. Even more pressure on Israel and its principal backer is needed. The Australian government must be convinced to take a stand against Israel’s killing spree and support international efforts and cases before the ICJ.

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