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Vandals of the Middle East

A United Nations report quoted by BBC says that clearing the rubble that Gaza has become will take 14 years to accomplish. With this estimate, it…

A United Nations report quoted by BBC says that clearing the rubble that Gaza has become will take 14 years to accomplish. With this estimate, it will take quite far into the century, the 2070s before Gaza resembles anything near its old self.

Israel has thus made good its promise to bomb any Arab state that confronted it militarily back in the Stone Age. And the world, mainly Arab states, coaxed by the United States, rather than Israel, will pay for the reconstruction. Next target is Lebanon where the Hezbollah challenge is an affront to “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

The reaction of leaders in the United States and Europe to the Israeli war on Gaza and Palestinians has laid bare a fact long known to international observers: that the United States is in the service of Israel and Europe in fear. Europe and America rely on the inane refrain that Israel “has the right to defend itself” to offer it unconditional support in its regular rampages across Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territory. Is the right to self-defence universal or exclusive to Israel or is it available to an occupying power whose open aim is acquisition of territory by force?

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Britain’s David Cameron have offered that Israel’s proposals at the latest negotiations with Hamas were “extraordinarily generous” vis-a-vis Hamas demands – an exchange of hostages and prisoners, a forty-day ceasefire and improved supply of humanitarian aid. A ceasefire during which Palestinians will be fattened for slaughter in Israel’s coming invasion of Rafah.

President Biden says he opposes the invasion until he sees a plan that will protect civilians. An impossibility, given the savagery Israeli forces are exhibiting. At the end of the day, Israel will invade Rafah and a befuddled Biden will find reason to declare that civilian safety has been taken into consideration.

Demonstrations on college campuses across America in opposition to Israel’s war on Gaza and the United States involvement as the weapons supplier has riled Israel’s supporters to no end. The cherished First Amendment right to freedom of expression is being assailed by local authorities and even Congress: the latter has already designated opposition to Israel as antisemitism. Criticism may soon be criminalised.

South Africa saved the world’s blushes when it hauled Israel before the International Court of Justice over genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to its Gaza war while the United States and Western Europe continue to prioritise Israeli “security” over Palestinian freedom.

Whatever the eventual ruling of the ICJ, a new free world is emerging from the current crisis: one that confronts the dogmas of the old which protects injustice and oppression around the world.


T.Usman wrote from Kaduna.

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