Dr. Mehreen Faruqi: Every single day, we are waking up to scenes of utter horror and devastation in Gaza, as Israel continues its deadly and indiscriminate bombing of civilians. At least 500 people have been killed in a hospital bombing, a hospital in which many women, children, elderly and the sick were taking shelter
Dr. Mehreen Faruqi: Every single day, we are waking up to scenes of utter horror and devastation in Gaza, as Israel continues its deadly and indiscriminate bombing of civilians. At least 500 people have been killed in a hospital bombing, a hospital in which many women, children, elderly and the sick were taking shelter from the deadly bombs raining down on the strip. Gaza is being strangled. Gaza is being bombed to dust. Israel is committing war crimes and collective punishment in plain sight. The hypocrisy of Western governments is also in plain sight. World leaders are silently watching this catastrophe unfold. They should hang their heads in shame forever. Australia’s foreign minister keeps saying ‘all civilian lives matter’ but then refuses to condemn Israel for its war crimes. You refuse to call for a stop to the war on Gaza. You refuse to call for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine. The Labor Party changed its policy just a few months ago to call Israel’s settlements in the West Bank ‘illegal’ and to accept that the territories were occupied. One would think that, after that, it would be a bit more than window-dressing. But, no, we keep hearing these weasel words over and over, without any action on justice for Palestinians. Remove your colonial blinkers for one minute and have a look at what the truth is. The truth is this: Palestinians have been under brutal Israeli oppression for 75 years.
Israel is a nuclear colonial state, armed to the teeth with billions upon billions of dollars in foreign aid, and the people in Gaza are a colonised and besieged people, many of whom are refugees—mostly children with no rights, no land and nowhere to go. Even war has rules, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has said, as Israel is bombing civilians end masse and using white phosphorus. Medicines Sans Frontiers says: ‘Gaza is being flattened. “Unprecedented” doesn’t even cover the medical humanitarian impact of Israel’s assault on Gaza.’ Red Cross says, ‘Mass casualties out of Gaza are unlike anything seen in recent years’. The Commissioner-General of UNRWA released a heartbreaking statement, as they are no longer able to provide humanitarian assistance in Gaza. ‘Gaza is being strangled, and it seems that the world right now has lost its humanity,’ he said. The death toll is now over 3,000 people, and thousands more are injured, with more than half of those killed by Israel and 52 per cent of them women and children. This is excluding the hundreds killed by Israel in the hospital bombing.
As the government and those opposite continue to shield the apartheid state of Israel from all accountability, we see through your lies. We see through your hypocrisy. Which landmarks are being lit up now when Gazan civilians are dying in their thousands, including hundreds of children? Let me tell you: there is no flag or landmark large enough to cover the shame of your silence as innocent civilians are killed. There is no landmark large enough to shield those in here supporting the war crimes of Israel. To quote my courageous friend Randa AbdelFattah, author and academic: Still, there will come a day when this moment will be marked in history books as the shameful rallying of imperial, settler colonial states behind a violent, racist, apartheid settler colony regime, one that is founded and sustained on the domination and oppression of the Indigenous Palestinian people of the land. The people are with Palestine. The world over, tens of thousands are marching, even in the face of police intimidation. They are showing their love, solidarity and care for Palestinians. So, to my Palestinian brothers and sisters, I say: remember, you are not alone. There will come a time when there will be peace, and, when that time comes, history will question not just the silence but the aiding and abetting of war crimes and collective punishment. History will not forget the cheerleaders of war and the cheerleaders of Israel. For violence to end and peace to prevail, there has to be justice, and, for that justice, there must be an end to the siege and blockade of Gaza. There must be an end to Israel’s illegal occupation and oppression. So stop the bombs, stop the war on Gaza and free Palestine.