By Dr. Arun Mitra
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is of the worst kind in the on-going century. Almost 11000 people out of which 70 per cent are women and children, 40 per cent of them children less than 15 years have been killed by the disproportionate aggression and unprecedented bombardment over the densely populated area. In Gaza one child dies every 10 minutes. Most of the infrastructure, including hospitals and refugee camps have been turned into rubbles. Not satisfied with the destruction, the Heritage minister of Israel Amichai Eliyahu has threatened the use of nuclear weapons.
That the Prime Minister Netanyahu has removed him from the cabinet is an eye wash and a step only to save him-self from all round criticism. It would be naïve to believe that the minister’s statement has come without any discussion in the internal circles of the Israeli government. Neither the Prime Minster Netanyahu nor any other official have denied possession of nuclear weapons by Israel. This has confirmed earlier speculations that Israel is a nuclear weapons state. The Israeli aggression on Gaza which is said to have been prompted after the Hamas attack on Israel on 7th October has literally turned into ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
The USA was in the fore front to attack Iraq on the false pretext and unproven evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, has kept quiet on the statement of Israeli minister. The US is always accusing Iran of having nuclear weapons, but now when the Israeli minister has openly threatened the use of nuclear weapons, silence of the US government and its allies is intriguing. The IAEA too has not spoken a word. The International Criminal Court (ICC) which has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, is also silent even after watching thousands of children being massacred by the Netanyahu government with the explicit support of the US.
It is a matter of anguish that the US and allies voted against the Jordan’s resolution for immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestine in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). India’s abstention from voting amounts to siding with Israeli government’s justification of the killings. Israel’s Prime Minister has already praised India’s position. Attack by the Hamas on 7th October can-not be justified; but as has been pointed out by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that “Hamas attacks on Israel did not happen in a vacuum”. Israel and the US have built a narrative that Israel has the right to defend itself, whereas the history is full of events to show that Israel has not only occupied Palestinian land but also pushed them out and made them stateless citizens thus clearly defying the international law and two nation principle of peaceful co-existence as was adopted in 1967 between Israel and Palestine with the intervention of USA and USSR.
False narratives are built by the aggressors to justify their crimes. They demonise the opposite on one pretext or the other. The Nazis blamed Jews for the ills of Germany. They spread the myth that Germany did not lose in the First World War on the battlefield, but through betrayal at the home front. The Jews, Social Democrats, and Communists were held responsible. The prejudices about the role of the Jews in the war were false. Over one hundred thousand German and Austrian Jews had fought for their fatherland. Hitler completely ignored the above facts and used false narrative against the Jews to build mass hysteria and eliminate over 6 million of them.
Such bigots also talk of their being a superior race and justify their right to subjugate, even eliminate the ‘inferior ones’. Churchill held similar views. In 1937, he told the Palestine Royal Commission: “I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”
In 1943, India, then still a British possession, experienced a disastrous famine in the north-eastern region of Bengal. At least three million people are believed to have died. Churchill blamed the Indians for the famine, claiming they “breed like rabbits”. The truth however is that food meant for the people in Bengal was diverted to the British army in Burma.
In 1994 the Hutu ruling tribes in Rwanda spread hatred against the Tutsis minority that left eight lakh people dead in just 100 days.
India faced a serious humanitarian crisis during partition in 1947 in which 25 lakh Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were killed by the fundamentalists on each side. Unfortunately anti-minorities rhetoric is being spread at present as we see the minorities particularly the Muslims being demonised by the Hindu fundamentalists with the overt support of the ruling dispensation at the centre.
We must understand that Zionism has to be differentiated from Jews, Nazism from Germans and Hindutva (Hindu Fundamentalism) from Hindus. All Muslims cannot be equated as terrorists. Such ideology can be disastrous and serve only the war mongers. Therefore the statement of Israeli Heritage Minister’s statement has to be taken seriously. It appears he was made to speak to see the reaction of the world.
The US is trying to resolve its economic crisis through building up the Military Industrial Complex and generating wars in different parts of the world. NATO is already on the door steps of Asia. Organisations like the QUAD and the AUCKUS are a threat to peace in Asia Pacific.
People’s voice is for peace. There have been huge protests all around the world for immediate ceasefire. South Africa’s peace plans for immediate ceasefire are very apt and should be taken seriously. The anti-nuclear movement has to be more vociferous at this moment. (IPA Service)