Politics Analysis

Western world forsakes victims of Gaza genocide

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Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia was 'deeply concerned' for Gaza on social media (Screenshots via YouTube)

As the Palestinian population continues to endure hell on Earth, nothing more is being done by political leaders other than offering "deep concern", writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.

OF THE POPULATION of Gaza, 47.3 per cent is under 18. There are more children in Gaza than almost anywhere else according to ABC global affairs editor, John Lyons.

UNICEF's James Elder says:

“The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. And day after day, that brutal reality is reinforced.”

Israel has now kettled more than half of Gaza’s population, some 1.4 million people including over 600,000 children, in Rafah — a 64 square kilometre area that straddles the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has ordered his military to draw up “evacuation plans” for the 1.4 million Palestinians as he prepares to begin a ground invasion into Rafah in his efforts to “win” the war against Hamas.

According to ABC News:

Mr Netanyahu said a “massive operation” was needed in Rafah.


He said he asked security officials to present a “double plan” that would include the evacuation of civilians and a military operation to “collapse” remaining Hamas militant units.

Netanyahu’s talk of “evacuation plans” is blatantly mendacious, as there is absolutely nowhere for the 1.4 million people to go. Blatant mendacity is arguably the hallmark of Netanyahu’s pronouncements, as his vow to win total victory over Hamas is unrealisable and indeed, inexplicable as a goal.

According to Washington Post columnist Ishan Tharoor:

‘When asked by a reporter to further explain what “total victory” meant in the current context, Netanyahu invoked a chilling metaphor, citing how one smashes glass “into small pieces, and then you continue to smash it into even smaller pieces and you continue hitting them”.’

It has been unnervingly clear to anyone watching events unfold since October 2023, that it is Netanyahu’s intention to ethnically cleanse Gaza, as he continues to force its population further south until there is nowhere left for them to go. Many Palestinians now stranded in Rafah have already been internally displaced. Netanyahu can either force them into the sea, or across the border into Egypt.

According to NPR:

‘Egypt, which already hosts 9 million refugees, according to UN figures, has repeatedly insisted an exodus of besieged Palestinians will not be allowed. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has called the prospect “totally unacceptable”.’

Because Palestinians have no right of return to Gaza, they will not be allowed back if Netanyahu succeeds in his unlikely mission to annihilate Hamas. In December 2023, Israeli intelligence drafted a “concept paper” proposing temporary tent encampments in Egypt’s northern Sinai. However, Egypt recognises that the expulsion of citizens from Gaza would be permanent.

Imad Harb, director of research and analysis at the Arab Center Washington DC, asked:

“If they do go to Sinai, how is the regime going to accommodate them there? And [is] there any ironclad commitment that they would return to Gaza, given that the Gaza Strip... has already been destroyed?”

Egypt has also threatened that a ground assault on Rafah will have politically disastrous consequences, stating that:

“Israel’s aim to force the Palestinians out of their land would threaten the 40-year-old Camp David peace accord between the two countries.”

Conditions in Rafah are catastrophic. There is insufficient food and water, and disease is rampant. There is inadequate medical aid. Food is so scarce that according to ActionAid, people are eating grass.

Riham Jafari, advocacy and communications coordinator at ActionAid Palestine, said:

“People are now so desperate that they’re eating grass in a last attempt to stave off hunger. Meanwhile, infections and diseases are running rampant amid such overcrowded conditions. The only thing that will stop this situation spinning even further out of control is an immediate and permanent ceasefire — it’s the only way to stop more lives being lost and to allow enough lifesaving aid to enter the territory.” 

No one, not even the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been able to prevent or dissuade Netanyahu from realising his intention to destroy civilian infrastructure and civilian lives, under the guise of annihilating Hamas.

According to Israel’s daily newspaper, Haaretz:

Most of the Gaza Strip residents, some 1.4 million people, are concentrated in Rafah. Tens of thousands are still fleeing into the city from Khan Yunis, where the fighting continues. The thought that Israel will invade Rafah and that fighting will take place between and near civilians terrifies the city's residents and the internally displaced persons. The terror they feel is augmented by the conclusion that nobody can prevent Israel from carrying out its intention — not even the ICJ ruling that orders Israel to take all measures to avoid acts of genocide.

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, over the weekend, tweeted that she is ‘deeply concerned’ about the catastrophic situation in Rafah.

This seems to be the agreed phrase of the week for Western countries who have so far insisted on Israel’s “right to defend itself” (a misleading statement, Israel as an occupier does not have the right to militarily “defend itself” against those it occupies) despite the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians, the majority of whom are women and children.

It’s unlikely that Netanyahu will discontinue his policy of ethnic cleansing, which means Israel will perpetrate an absolute bloodbath, with those not slaughtered being forced into the Sinai desert with no hope of ever returning.

It is a situation of such apocalyptic potential that it’s difficult to imagine from the safety of a country such as Australia. Limited coverage by mainstream Australian media is, of course, a deliberate attempt to conceal and minimise events that ought to outrage everyone with a scrap of human feeling.

Outrage is what ought to be expressed by Wong and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. One can only conclude that Palestinians are not regarded by our leaders as fully human, in keeping with Israel’s government which considers them human animals.

How else can our leaders justify expressing only “deep concern” about the plausible genocide of over 2 million people?

Dr Jennifer Wilson is an IA columnist, a psychotherapist and an academic. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter @NoPlaceForSheep.

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