Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Bible in Exodus and Deuteronomy talks of God ordering Israel to destroy Amalek for ambushing Israelis while exiting Egypt. “Put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys,” which prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is delivering without remorse. Two months since United Nations General Assembly chamber overwhelming passed a resolution demanding an immediate Israel ceasefire in Gaza Strip and permit humanitarian support to those in need but there is little on ground to show that Israel is a law abiding state it claims to be.

This week’s public announcement by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan in the Hague indicting Netanyahu, and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, alongside Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif commander of Qassam Brigades, and Ismail Haniyeh head political bureau designated as terrorists is another small but necessary step particularly to hold the State of Israel, a UN member to account for its actions. In a sense of poetic justice, the indictment brings Israel and its leaders to the same level as Hamas and their leaders who are non-state actors hitherto considered rogue elements. Netanyahu now enjoys the same abyss league with Liberia’s Charles Taylor and Omar al Bashir of Sudan.

For deliberately causing mass starvation, deprivation to essentials of life, murder, and extermination of Palestinians, Netanyahu must be held accountable. The IDF long ago cut off water, fuel, food, medicines, energy and collectively punished Palestinian civilians in Gaza for alleged crimes attributed to Hamas which could have been individually investigated and punished, therefore failed as a state.

While Netanyahu may not end up in the dock, impunity and cover-ups of heinous crimes may be seeing the beginning of the end, and Western leaders should have cause to worry traveling around the world. Gallant called Palestinians “human animals” as he declared complete siege telling IDF personnel he had lifted all restrictions and restraints on them to do as they wished. IDF Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian mocked Palestinians “You wanted hell, you will get hell”. The US and UK governments ought to be ashamed. 

The endorsements of ICC indictment by unlikely sources Germany, France, Belgium, Norway and Sweeden add much-needed flavour in the evolving political and diplomatic isolation of Israel and Netanyahu, regardless of angry outbursts or sting rebuke from within and Joe Biden. Israel’s invincibility has been shuttered by its spectacular failure so far despite heavy bombardments of thin Gaza Strip to find or rescue one single Israeli soul alive, unless of course the number of 149 hostages allegedly taken by Hamas on 7 October 2023 was a cleverly devised ruse to cover the horrible adventure.

Belatedly, the so-called ‘rules based’ international community has confirmed what many have said since Israel invaded Gaza in October 2023 and turned it into a genocidal crime scene with open and support by US and UK governments that continue to ship heavy armaments for the destruction and annihilation of Palestinians as a people while being egged on by a big section of their media. The numerous mass graves so far uncovered in areas vacated by IDF should be an embarrassment to US, UK and allies. However, looking back to old Vietnam, Laos and Korea drenched in chemical and biological weapons, and recently Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, the world has to accept this as standard US and British war policy.

Netanyahu can keep safely within Israel while hiding behind US “ironclad” protection, after all none of them is a member of the ICC but surely Netanyahu could end up more like Adolf Hitler, the architect of the 1941-45 genocide against Jews in Europe, who, fearing to be captured alive, committed suicide in a dark bunker. Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Japanese Emperor Showa (Hirohito) were staunchest allies under Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis during the holocaust but Hitler and Mussolini are lying in desolate, if not unmarked graves shunned by own country people.