Lament for Palestine – Clear case of Genocide!
Palestinians evacuate the wounded following an Israeli aerial bombing on Jabaliya, near Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct.11, 2023 (AP Photo/Mohammad Al Masri)
Dr. Fraser- Point of View
November 3, 2023

Lament for Palestine – Clear case of Genocide!

Persons who have been following the Israel/Hamas war since October 7 would certainly have been disgusted and sickened by the images that amount to a clear case of genocide. Many would have been alarmed and critical of Hamas’ attack on Israel. But what has happened since is repugnant and repulsive, reflective of Israel’s continuing maltreatment of the Palestinians.

Unless TV viewers look at Aljazeera where there is a more balanced account, or perhaps better said, we get other points of view, we find ourselves buying into Israel’s narrative. Right behind them is the US, trumpeting for all the world that Israel has a right to defend itself. This seems to suggest that the Palestinians who had been suffering oppression and persecution from Israel for over 70 years do not have a right to defend themselves. The US has sent warships in the area purportedly to prevent a broadening of the conflict, but in reality, to give Israel support. They are going to provide some US$14 billion in support plus weaponry.

They are, they say, fighting Hamas which they label a terrorist organisation, but Hamas is filling a vacuum that has existed. At least they have put the plight of the Palestinians on the front burner. But having said that, the persons who are suffering are Palestinian children and citizens. The bombing of refugee camps and the other atrocities being carried out in Gaza are in violation of International laws which aim in such conflicts to protect civilians. The US likes to talk about terrorists. The ANC was in their books such an organisation. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation was also so labelled. The Palestinians are not going to forget Biden’s early visit where he hugged Benjamin Netanyahu whom he calls his democratic friend, months after the Israeli PM was trying to put himself and colleagues above the Israeli Supreme Court, leading to large demonstrations in Israel. Only 17 per cent of Arab American voters say they will support Biden in the 2024 elections. Compare this with 59 per cent in 2020. 23 per cent of Arab Americans now identify with the Democrats who had commanded large support from them in the past.

Israel’s slaughter of innocent Palestinian children and citizens, with the images shown around the world, has now provided widespread support for the Palestinians and opposition to Israel. And let us deal with this matter upfront. Criticisms of Israel in the past were stifled by their efforts to equate that criticism with being antisemitic. But they are certainly not the same. Protests critical of Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians have grown around the world, and included in these protests are Jews. We have seen Jews in New York protesting and suggesting that Israel’s brutal acts are certainly “Not in their name”. Bolivia is indicating that it is breaking diplomatic relations with Israel and other Latin American countries are withdrawing their ambassadors with a hint that it might eventually lead to severing diplomatic relations.

Much of my understanding of this longstanding conflict has come from Jewish and Palestine academics. These are Ilan Pappe’, Israeli expatriate historian and activist, Noam Chomsky a Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born to Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia: Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian American historian of the Middle East and Edward Said, Palestinian American academic and activist. He died in 2003. Said was actually born in Jerusalem when it was part of the British mandate that preceded the division of Palestine.

But where will this all end? Israel as is their custom will level Gaza and take full control with the expectation that the US, Britain, and other Europeans will accept it as a fait accompli. But with every Israeli strike other followers of Hamas will emerge, the young children who have seen other children slaughtered for the mere fact that they are Palestinians. I am of the firm belief that the US can stop this carnage. They are the ones supplying Israel with the money and weaponry to carry out this madness. Granted that the two situations are different there is much irony in the US defending Ukraine against Russian invasion but standing with Israel as they attempt to raze Gaza to the ground.

To better understand what is happening in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, one has to go back to more than 100 years when the seeds of the conflict were planted. This existing conflict is only one of many that have rocked that area. We have to go beyond the Israeli narrative that is being preached to us now. I will in my next column attempt to reflect on the origin of the conflict.


  • Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian