Gaza Strip

Complicity & Impunity: The Two Most Powerful Enablers of Israel’s Genocide

Many words and phrases have been used to describe the genocide that has been unfolding in occupied Palestine, particularly Gaza, since October 08, 2023. Asymmetrical, horrific, insane, unhinged, unfathomable, indescribable, complicity, impunity, the right to exist, the right to self-defense, only democracy in the region are some notable ones. The barbarism that Israel has been unleashing on the Palestinians since October 8 of 2023 stuns even people who have never empathized with the sufferings of the Palestinians. With all the trappings of Nazism that produced the Holocaust, the darkest stain on humanity in the 20th century, this current barbarism will inexorably lead to another Nakba or Holocaust unless an end is put to the evils of complicity and impunity.

Israel’s Supporters Lack Morality

What is there to curb Israel’s penchant for lying, stealing, maiming, and murdering Palestinians when it has been endowed with a licence to operate in an environment of complicity and impunity from accountability and retribution for its crimes against humanity, and a modern-day genocide? Bereft of conscience and humanity, it unabashedly seeks and gets all the help it needs to commit ethnic cleansing and genocide in occupied Palestine. The defenseless and innocent people of Gaza are abused horribly and carpet -bombed into near oblivion by this unhinged and racist state.

However, the horrendousness of Israel’s crimes, which include the savage killings of countless journalists and the slaughter of many aid workers, speaks not only to its moral depravity but also to the lack of morality of those who turn a blind eye or actively support it. Yes, complicity is the linchpin for this asymmetrical war that has snuffed out the lives of thousands of innocent and helpless Palestinians, the majority of whom are women and children. In many cases, entire families have been obliterated, which reminds us of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda where close to one million Tutsis were massacred. “We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families” was the caption of a book by Philip Gourevitch that essentially captured the bleakness, despair, and resignation of the Tutsis to the reality of obliteration.

The Shades of Complicity

Complicity, of course, has many shades, some seemingly innocuous. Displaying silence in the face of crimes against humanity, hosting sport events close to the arena where the genocide is unfolding, maintaining trade and diplomatic ties, stopping citizens from showing solidarity, labelling protesters who call for divestment from Israel antisemite and terrorists are some examples of this. Each of these is reprehensible from a moral and humanitarian perspective and is antithetical to the very concept of justice and peace. Justice and peace -denied to the Palestinians for over seventy-five years-are not abstract concepts. They are universal values that are rooted in and predicated on a common understanding of right and wrong. As such, they need people’s voices and institutions to uphold them.

However, where the Palestinians are concerned, the supporters of the genocide would have us construct our understanding of, and response to the horrors inflicted on the Palestinians in a rather peculiar and twisted way. Genocide is a figment of the imagination; it is not real. Israel is the victim.  Israel’s actions are motivated by self-defense. So those who speak and demonstrate against the genocide in occupied Palestine and call for divestment are nothing but terrorists and antisemites. This is the narrative of the West – the fulcrum of their unwavering and unapologetic support for Israel. What an affront!

However, disgraceful as this facile argument is, it is the unequivocal support -military, financial and diplomatic – the West gives to Israel that forms the backbone of its genocidal campaign. Without these, Israel would not be able to execute its program of extermination. And it is this support that has formed the cornerstone of the demonstrations we see everywhere-in the streets of major cities, on college campuses, etc.  For this, demonstrators and activists for peace have been given the worst characterizations-racists, troublemakers, antisemites. Short of branding them subversive, everything is done to make them appear as hate-mongers and violators of law and order.

South Africa’s Bold Stand for Justice

However, to the consternation of the supporters of the Zionist state, more and more people from diverse backgrounds and cultures are speaking out as never before. In this, they share a profound sense of responsibility with some state actors as far as holding those responsible for what is happening in Gaza accountable. South Africa stands out preeminently in this regard.

south african representatives at the international court of justice

Victims of decades-long double standards of the West and casualties of abandonment by their Arab neighbors- Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudia Arabia – the Palestinians will forever be grateful to some countries in the Global South for championing their cause of liberation. South Africa – a brave, unapologetic and empathetic nation-is at the forefront in this. Refusing to accept that the Palestinians must “acquiesce in being” forever the subjects of an insane and racist state, South Africa took the unprecedented step of taking Israel to the World Court of Justice (the ICJ) for its egregious abuses of the Palestinians, for its violation of international law, for its crimes against humanity and for genocide against an occupied people.

In taking Israel to ICJ, South Africa clearly seeks justice for the Palestinians and an end to Israel’s impunity -without which it could not execute its genocidal program. But for the US vetoing of all of resolutions of the Security Council calling for actions against Israel, the continuity of Israel’s impunity would have been broken already. The veto power of the US has shielded Israel for decades. This has made Israel unrestrained and unhinged. Proof of this is its contempt for the ICJ which ordered that Israel must halt its military offensive and any other actions in Rafah and withdraw from the enclave. The ruling, however, has made no difference. Israel is as relentless as ever in its bombings of civilians.

 Similarly, the request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant has had no impact on Israel’s genocidal activities. It seems totally inconsequential as the slaughter of Palestinians continues daily. Further underscoring its disdain for the United Nations, Israel has publicly declared that it is preparing to invade Lebanon. This should surprise no one.

When the normalization and abetment of evil become accepted as part of our World Order, the logical outcome will be the upending of international law. Destruction will follow destruction if a large segment of humanity continues to acquiesce in Israel’s racist and expansionist plans. As we know, the Palestinians have been the forever victims of this.

South Africa’s celebrated entry into the international legal arena on behalf of Palestine is, among other things, an indictment of the complicity and impunity that define this asymmetrical war, nay the entire history of occupation by Israel. It is hoped that South Africa’s stance, coupled with the phenomena of mass protests in major cities around the world and students’ demonstrations on many campuses in the US, will help to put an end to this axis of evil – complicity and impunity.  

Sh. Sheik M Ayube

Sheik Muntaz Ayube graduated from American Military University (AMU) in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He also earned a certificate from the University of Guyana (extramural department) in print journalism and broadcasting techniques in 1981. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida. He enjoys writing on a wide range of topics and has been published by The Guyana Times, Inbound Logistics Magazine, Caribbean Muslims, and LinkedIn.

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