The Genocide of Gaza and the Emptiness of ‘Western Values’

Gaza reels under new massacres carried out by the Israeli army. (Photo: via QNN)

By Roger Sheety

The peoples of the collective West, in open defiance of their failed and corrupt governments, have overwhelmingly come out in the millions in support of the Palestinian people.

It is exceedingly difficult to put into mere words what we are currently witnessing in Gaza. It should be clear to even the densest of Western corporate media “journalists” that we are seeing a genocide unfolding before the world in real time. The images we are viewing daily on various social media from Gazans are unspeakably horrific and belie the staid, false reporting in so-called mainstream media.

As of this writing, 11,240 Palestinians in Gaza alone (including many entire families) have been killed by the savage Israeli war machine using American-made bombs and dropped by American-made war jets since October 7, 2023. The death toll includes 4630 children and more than 3000 women. The number of injured is some 29,000, the majority of which are children.

The United States and its various pathetic cowardly vassals, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, and Canada, are fully onboard and complicit with the genocide as they have either armed Israel and/or repeatedly blocked UN resolutions for a full ceasefire.

The Legal Definition of Genocide

If anyone still doubts that the term genocide is applicable to Gaza, here is the full legal definition:

“According to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide includes various acts ‘committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group’ as such, including:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”

Israel, which has continually carpet-bombed Gazan residential areas, mosques, churches, refugee camps, hospitals, schools, bakeries, and business districts, for example, is in clear violation of all sections of this textbook definition.

Israel, the occupying power, has also cut off water and electricity to Gaza and is attempting to starve its entire population, while simultaneously preventing aid from entering through the Rafah border crossing.

Additionally, Raz Segal, an Israeli associate professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at Stockton University and the endowed professor in the study of modern genocide, has stated:

“Israel’s campaign to displace Gazans—and potentially expel them altogether into Egypt—is yet another chapter in the Nakba, in which an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes during the 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel. But the assault on Gaza can also be understood in other terms: as a textbook case of genocide unfolding in front of our eyes. I say this as a scholar of genocide, who has spent many years writing about Israeli mass violence against Palestinians.”

The Intent to Commit Genocide

According to the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, “The definition of Genocide is made up of two elements, the physical element—the acts committed; and the mental element—the intent. Intent is the most difficult element to determine. To constitute genocide, there must be a proven intent on the part of perpetrators to physically destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

However, various Israeli government and military officials have made several public statements since October 7, 2023 that deliberately erase the line between combatants and civilians, and make clear their intent to utterly destroy Palestinian life in Gaza and the West Bank. Here are only a few:

  • “It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible. This rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved, it’s absolutely not true. They could’ve risen up, they could have fought against that evil regime…we will fight until we break their backbone,” said Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
  • “I ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
  • “Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of [19]48. Nakba in Gaza and Nakba to anyone who dares to join!” said Ariel Kallner, member of parliament from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.
  • According to The Times of Israel, Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu has suggested dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza. “That’s one way,” said Additionally, he justified denying humanitarian aid to Gaza: “We wouldn’t hand the Nazis humanitarian aid…there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.” As well, Palestinians “can go to Ireland or deserts, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.” Also, anyone waving a Palestinian or Hamas flag “shouldn’t continue living on the face of the earth.”
  • Benjamin Netanyahu has compared all Palestinians to the biblical “Amalek” nation: “You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible.” According to religious scholar Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, “The biblical reference to Amalek is genocidal. The Bible commands to wipe out Amalek, including women, babies, children, and animals.”

Furthermore, Israel (and its US sponsor) has stated that it plans to ethnically cleanse all of Gaza, pushing its 2.3 million residents into the Sinai desert and stealing even more Palestinian land including, of course, its offshore assets.

The Moral Emptiness of ‘The West’

The governments of the collective West led by the United States have long claimed a moral superiority to the Global South, pretending to represent democratic, progressive, and humanitarian values even as they bomb and destroy one country after another for year after year and decade after decade, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen among so many others. Several of these countries have yet to recover from the devastation.

As for Israel, Palestinian human rights lawyers, legal experts, and activists have for decades tried to hold the Zionist regime accountable for its apartheid and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) only to be met with obstructions and silence.

As the Palestinian human rights lawyer Noura Erakat said recently, “It was this fundamental failure that has led us to this moment and an ongoing crisis of a lack of accountability, of an imposition of two types of law—one for the Global North, one for the Global South. This is a hypocrisy on the part of Western governments and demonstrates that there is no such thing as Western universalism, but instead continues to be two sets of laws on two sets of people.”

Of course, the current destruction of Gaza did not occur in a vacuum, and only a child (and silly corporate news media outlets) can believe that the so-called Israel/Palestine “conflict” began on October 7, 2023. Yet, somehow, that is what most political leaders of the collective West insist.  History, according to these deluded figures, only begins when they say so and not a moment before.

In stark contrast, the peoples of the collective West, in open defiance of their failed and corrupt governments, have overwhelmingly come out in the millions in support of the Palestinian people, calling for a full ceasefire and an end to Israel’s apartheid and military occupation.

Indeed, if there is any hope to be had in these truly dark times, other than the remarkable indigenous Palestinian resistance and steadfastness, it is in the free peoples of both the Global North and South.

– Roger Sheety is an editor and writer, and has published essays and articles for The Palestine Chronicle and the Middle East Eye focusing on Palestine. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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