“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” A saying by Martin Luther King that sets out the basic standards of justice. Justice is served when it is practiced universally–when every single person out there enjoys the same level of liberty regardless of race, creed, caste, or religion. Selective application of justice is clear injustice. Selective application of the law is lawlessness, and selective empathy is antipathy. While the international community and world leaders constantly advocate utopian ideas like justice, equality, freedom of speech, the right to self-determination, etc., real-world conflicts and wars show how skewed and biased these ideas are in actuality. The recent conflict escalation between Israel and Palestine has once again revealed the real faces of the so-called advocators of democracy, justice, and world peace.
One of the world’s most densely inhabited areas, the Gaza Strip is home to approximately 2 million people and occupies an area of 365 square kilometers. Since 2007, it has been under a land, sea, and air blockade enforced by Israel with the Israeli soldiers and government constantly violating basic human rights there. On October 7, 2023, HAMAS, a Palestinian armed resistance movement against Israel’s atrocities, reacted with a well-coordinated strike for the first time in decades. Almost 5,000 rockets were fired initially, thereby; making it the worst attack Israel has experienced since the 1973 Arab-Israel War.
Regarding the whole event as their 9/11, Israel has tightened its grip on Gaza and imposed a total siege. Around 8000 Palestinians have been killed in the past 3 weeks with the majority of them being women and children. In just six days after Hamas’s surprise attack, Israel dropped 6000 bombs on Gaza which is equivalent to bombs dropped on Afghanistan by the US in a year. The carpet bombing by the Israeli forces continues with large areas being completely wiped out. While the Israeli forces regard this as a retaliation to the actions of Hamas, it is more than just a response. It is a full-scale assault, massacre, and genocide of innocent Palestinians. Israel is on a mission to destroy the Gaza Strip while using the actions of Hamas as an excuse to legitimize its illegitimate actions. The hospitals have turned into graveyards, and people there have no fuel, power, or electricity. Prime Minister Netanyahu has openly threatened to turn Gaza into a deserted land, while Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has labeled the innocent Palestinians as human animals. What is happening in Gaza is pure terrorism and ethnic cleansing.
The purposeful targeting of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, the slaughter of innocent civilians, and the deployment of internationally prohibited white phosphorous gas are all violations of international law. Israel is currently violating every single article of the UN charter, and the world leaders are letting Israel do this. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the US responded by imposing a large number of sanctions on Russia and providing military aid to Ukraine, but now in the case of Israel’s brutal actions, the US president, Joe Biden, has again and again expressed the unwavering support of the US for Israel. In reaction to Russia’s bombing of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, French President Macron called the strikes a war crime, however; in the case of Israeli bombardment, France has fully supported Israel.
A large number of countries including Germany, Greece, Brazil, Belgium, and India have condemned the air strikes by Hamas but opted for silence on the killing of innocent Palestinians. All of these peace-loving democratic countries have the audacity to call Israelis innocent, but a small group of freedom fighters, Hamas, terrorists. While the Palestinian people are being bombed and massacred in their homeland, these nations support Israel’s right to defend itself, ignoring the fact that the state of Israel is an unjust and illegitimate entity that was created by stripping Palestinians of their rights and territory, and it has no right to exist.
The recent war crimes by Israel have also removed the masks of the faces of reputable media houses. Inviting Palestinians and asking them to condemn the actions of Hamas while completely ignoring the actions of Israeli forces just shows how public perceptions are manipulated and how a particular agenda is carried out. Do these media houses ever invite Americans and ask them to condemn what they did to Iraq or Afghanistan? Do they ever invite Israelis and ask them to condemn the killing of innocent Palestinians? Why is it always the Muslims who are asked this question as if it is some morality test they have to pass? Media, just like international law, just serves the interests of the powerful while the innocent people continue to suffer.
The world is currently not only witnessing a genocide but is willingly letting it happen. While we are living our normal lives, the people of Palestine are being bombed and massacred. The inadequate response of Muslim leaders, the dual standards of Western leaders, and the lack of any type of sanction on Israel by the UN are actively allowing the death of innocent people of Gaza. The United Nations was created to save future generations from the scourge of war, but is this promise limited to a particular set of states? What about the children and people of Palestine? How many more Palestinians have to die before the world takes a stand for them? Now is the time to act. How can we all just sit there and do nothing?