Israel should stop assaulting Gaza

by Badi Ali

As Americans we must demand an end to Israel’s assaultive genocide against the people of Gaza and its continued bombing of homes, schools and places of worship. Israel must be held accountable for the loss of lives, injury and trauma against the population of Gaza. The American government must demand an immediate cease fire, coordinate a humanitarian aid shipment to Gaza and conduct investigations into Israel’s misuse of American-supplied weapons. The international community must demand an immediate and impartial investigation into the violation of international humanitarian law prohibiting the bombing of schools, health centers and UN facilities; and also call for an immediate and impartial investigation of Israel’s use of chemical warfare — white phosphorus — against the civilian population of Gaza. Obviously, the attack against Gaza is an attack against the weakened civilians who are walled in the openair prison and have no way to escape. The population of Gaza is concentrated in one of the most densely populated areas of the world. More than 50 percent of the population are children under the age of 16. Of the more than 700 Palestinian deaths, 219 are children and 89 are women. More than one out of four deaths is a child. Of the 5,085 injured, over 46 percent are women and children. The attack against the Palestinians is disproportionate and severe. A BBC reporter interviewing the head of UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza commented that Israel would end the assault on its terms thus accenting the “impotence of the international community.” How many times has Israel been cited for violations against humanitarian law? How many times has their aggression been abhorrent? The Israelis do not allow foreign journalists, UN observers or the Red Cross into the war zone. Keeping journalists out of Gaza is in violation of a Supreme Court ruling. The United States must stop funding genocide. The US gives Israel 3.2 billion tax dollars every year. Rep. Dennis Kucinich from Ohio has requested an investigation of Israel’s use of military articles or services provided by the US for possible violation of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976. Israel must also comply with the 1952 US Israel Treaty regarding arms sales. Outrage over the Israeli strikes and calls for an immediate cease fire are understandable. Israel has the legal responsibility as the occupying force to protect and avoid harm to Gazans. Israel is and has been in violation of international humanitarian law. The Israelis are waging an attack against a population that is walled in and cannot leave the area. The population has been starved. Families do not have clean water, food and medical care. Cholera is present when there is no clean drinking water. Families do not have electricity or heat, and it is winter there. The desperate conditions in Gaza have exacerbated since the Israeli blockade in 2006. Like Iraq, the population is frail and weakened. What kind of aggressor wages war against children and a frail population? A large extended family has been killed. The story is particularly tragic: Soldiers entered the home in the early morning. Three teenagers were taken away for questioning. Israeli soldiers put 100 members of the family into one house, took away their cell phones and then the house was hit. The bodies lie in the rubble. The Red Cross has not been allowed access to the site. Unlike Lebanon, foreign journalists cannot tell the story. This time, it has been reported, Israel plans to manage the news better. The terrorist state of Israel has lost her moral compass. The international community must demand accountability. We, as taxpayers, must contact our representatives and stop all aid to Israel until there is compliance with international law and US arms agreements. Military aggression cannot create peace. Are we the people not better than this? Checks and balances apply to everyone, especially Israel. To whom much is given much is expected.

Badi Ali is imam of the Islamic Center of the Triad. He lives in Jamestown.

by Badi Ali