Gaza's Genocide Unveiled: A Collective Responsibility of Israel and The West

On October 20, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, stood on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing. That's between Egypt and besieged Gaza. Guterres was not the only international figure to travel to the Gaza border. He was hoping to mobilize the international community in the face of an ongoing genocide, in an already impoverished and besieged Strip.

“Behind these walls, we have two million people that is suffering (sic) enormously,”
Guterres said.

These efforts, however, paid little dividends.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qudra, said in a statement on October 24, that the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza is “too slow (for it to) change the reality” on the ground.

A Systematic Failure

The endless UN debates, resolutions, and calls for action had minimal impact on the tragic situation in Gaza. This begs the question, what is the use of the elaborate international political, humanitarian and legal systems. When they are unable to stop, or even slow down a genocide that is being aired live on TV screens all across the world?

Previous genocides, like those during the Great Wars, offered justifications for delayed actions. In the case of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, some pleaded ignorance. In some instances, no Geneva Conventions existed.

Increasing Casualties

But, in Gaza, no excuse is acceptable. Every international news company has correspondents or some presence in the Strip. Hundreds of journalists, reporters, bloggers, photographers and cameramen are documenting and counting every event, every massacre and every bomb dropped on civilian homes. It is important here to note that scores of journalists have already been killed in Israeli attacks.

Scientific approximations are telling us, for example, that nearly 25,000 tons of explosives have been dropped on Gaza by Israel in the first 27 days of war. It is equivalent to two atomic bombs, like those dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

When US President Joe Biden callously tried to question the numbers of the Palestinian dead. The Gaza medical staff, are forced to perform life-saving surgeries on the dirty grounds of hospitals. They took the time to prove him wrong. On October 26, they produced a list containing the names of 6,747 Palestinian casualties. That were killed in the first 19 days of war.

Thousands have been killed and wounded since then, yet Washington and its Western allies insist that “Israel has the right to defend itself” even if this comes at the expense of a whole nation.

Nuclear Threats Escalate

The Israelis are not masking their language in any way. The New York Times reported on October 30 that “in private conversations with American counterparts. Israeli officials referred to how the United States and other allied powers resorted to devastating bombings in Germany and Japan during World War II … to try to defeat those countries.”

A few days later, Israeli Minister Amichai … has openly declared that nuking Gaza is an option in his country’s genocidal war on the Palestinian people.

On the day the NYT report appeared, Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), arrived at the Egyptian side of the Rafah border.

He still used the same guarded language. As if not to offend the sensibilities of Israel and its Western allies.  “Crimes allegedly committed in both places have to be looked into,” he said, referring to both Israel and Gaza.

One could excuse Khan by arguing that legal jargon must be restrained until a thorough investigation is conducted. But thorough investigations are rarely conducted when it comes to Israeli crimes in Gaza or anywhere else in Palestine.

Holding Back the Legal Lens?

During investigations, international judges often face accusations of bias or even anti-Semitism from the US and Israel. In 2009, a respected South African judge, Richard Goldstone, was compelled to retract part of his report in a case he spearheaded. The scrutiny faced by judges reveals the challenges of maintaining impartiality in investigations involving Israel.

Khan knows this too well because he is currently sitting on a large and growing file of Israeli war crimes in Palestine. He is insisting on delaying the procedure under various excuses. Obviously, the US does not favorably view ICC judges who advance war crime cases against Israel. The anti-ICC sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration in 2020 are an example.

Many officials in Western institutions are becoming aware of this hypocrisy. On October 28, Craig Mokhiber resigned from his position as the Director of the New York office of the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights in protest of the UN’s failure to stop “a genocide unfolding before our eyes in Gaza.”

The Depths of Western Hypocrisy

On October 20, around 850 members of the EU staff signed a letter to EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, criticizing her “unconditional support” for Israel.

The letter was polite and diplomatic, considering the horrendous moral failure of Von der Leyen. Especially when her gung-ho approach to the Russian war in Ukraine is compared to her blind support of Israeli crimes in Gaza. “Only if we acknowledge Israel's pain, and its right to defend itself, will we have the credibility to say that Israel should react ... in line with international humanitarian law,” she said.

The International Olympic Committee, advocating for the separation of politics and sports, readily meddles in politics when it involves Palestinians.

The IOC issued a statement on November 1, warning any participant in the Paris Olympics, scheduled for 2024, from engaging in any “discriminatory behavior” against Israeli athletes, because “athletes cannot be held responsible for the actions of their governments”.

The term 'hypocrisy' falls short in capturing the gravity of events unfolding in Gaza. The repercussions of this moral failure will resonate globally for years to come. The West should no longer assume roles of mediator, impartial politician, judge, or self-serving humanitarian.

Gaza's Haunting Resemblance to Hiroshima

This is not a difficult conclusion to reach. Gaza has been turned into a Hiroshima. As a result of Western bombs and the blank political check handed to Israel by Western governments and leaders from the onset of the war.

Nothing will ever alter this fact. No ‘strongly worded’ future statements will ever help the West redeem its collective moral failure.

- Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is ‘Our Vision for
Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out’. His other books include ‘My Father was a Freedom Fighter’ and ‘The Last Earth’. Baroud is a Non- resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is

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