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Finish them! Level the place – These are calls for genocide rarely heard so openly in the West. Israel is pounding Gaza – a densely-populated open-air prison where mostly refugees live in a veritable concentration camp.
It’s an area populated with 2.3 million people, 50% of whom are children, and Israel is using U.S.-supplied bombs to do what it calls “mowing the grass,” committing war crimes in real-time, and American politicians and the media are enabling it.
In a matter of just seven days, Israel bombed the Baptist al-Ahli Hospital – the oldest Christian-led church in Gaza, two UN schools and shelters and 18 other health facilities across the strip. This has resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people just this week, most of whom are women and children. These numbers increase by the day as bodies are pulled from the rubble.
The total death toll in Gaza is nearing 4,000, including over 1,000 children, 500 of whom are still infants.
And when influential leaders like Jordan Peterson, a personal friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, tweeted out, “Give em Hell Netanyahu,” he was essentially giving Israel carte blanche to turn Gaza into a graveyard. It’s clear that Western politicians, pundits, influencers and media alike are enabling the slaughter of Gaza by giving Israel the green light to commit major war crimes with impunity.
Take CNN and the BBC, for example, who for the last nine days have been giving around-the-clock coverage to alleged Hamas tunnels, claiming that they are beneath the feet of every Palestinian, including under schools and hospitals. The deceptive claim is an Israeli military talking point that has been debunked time and time again, and yet it’s being reported as fact without question for countless hours to millions of viewers.
What this does is brush off and attempt to justify civilian casualties, framing victims as legitimate targets and blaming Palestinians for their own deaths. But it is little more than gaslighting.
President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen, for example, affirmed Israel’s right to “defend itself” and repeated the tired trope that Hamas uses human shields.
We are friends of Israel.
When friends are under attack, we stand by them.
Israel has the right and duty to respond to Hamas’ act of war.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) October 13, 2023
There is, in fact, no evidence of Hamas using human shields. Yet multiple human rights reports have found that Israel consistently uses Palestinians – including children – as human shields.
It’s a blatant lie that the media pushes, which inevitably aids Israel’s agenda of ethnically cleansing Gaza, an agenda loudly and publicly proclaimed by Israel’s own leaders. In a message broadcast to the world on X (formerly Twitter), Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced that Palestinians are human animals.
— Naziya Ayesha (@aisha_naziya) October 14, 2023
And despite over half of Gaza’s population being children, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said recently, “There are “no innocents” in the Gaza Strip.”
Israel’s President: “There are “no innocents” in the Gaza Strip”.
50% of the population of 2 MILLION people in the Gaza strip are CHILDREN!
— Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis (@DrLoupis) October 14, 2023
This is the rhetoric of genocide. And if that wasn’t clear enough, member of the Knesset Ariel Kallner spelled it out openly:
Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48. Nakba in Gaza and Nakba to anyone who dares to join! Nakba, because like then in 1948, the alternative is clear.”
Kallner was referencing the 1948 ethnic cleansing of three-quarters of a million Palestinians to create the state of Israel.
While the world watches in horror and tries to stop the slaughter, the West is actively stopping any peaceful solution or calls for a ceasefire. A Russian and Chinese-supported ceasefire plan was blocked at the United Nations by the U.S., Britain and France, while American Jews calling for a ceasefire outside the White House were arrested en masse.
In Europe, the message from top politicians has been much the same. Israel can do whatever it wants. UK Labour leader Keir Starmer – a professional human rights lawyer, no less – was asked what he thinks about Israel cutting off food, water and electricity to over two million people. Here was his response:
“I think that Israel does have that right.”
— LBC (@LBC) October 11, 2023
So, Labour’s position is that major, genocidal war crimes like starving a huge civilian population are A-OK! And that is the message Israel receives every time a Western politician vacuously demands we stand united with Israel and uphold its right to self-defense.
Meanwhile, at home, this demonization of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims and associating us all with terrorism as unworthy victims is fuelling a wave of Islamophobic hate. In Illinois, a six-year-old Palestinian child was stabbed 26 times by a hate-filled landlord who had been radicalized by watching corporate media.
Now, Politicians are trying to save face by showing faux concern for Palestinian children after an entire week and a half of giving unequivocal support for Israel to take whatever action it wanted in Gaza.
While Western politicians will cry crocodile tears over the Palestinians slaughtered in the coming days and weeks, let’s never forget that it was them who enabled these massacres in the first place.
Mnar Adley is an award-winning journalist and editor and is the founder and director of MintPress News. She is also president and director of the non-profit media organization Behind the Headlines. Adley also co-hosts the MintCast podcast and is a producer and host of the video series Behind The Headlines. Contact Mnar at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @mnarmuh