Israel’s barbaric attack on Gaza; A shameful episode in the 21st Century
Dr. Fraser- Point of View
May 17, 2024

Israel’s barbaric attack on Gaza; A shameful episode in the 21st Century

“What do they want from us? They’re killing us and our children. Shame on them. What shall we do? We’re staying on the streets. This is so unjust. Have some mercy on us. Arabs, Muslims, Americans, Have some mercy on us. We’re being slaughtered. Shame on you. We’re all being killed. Shame on You. Why are you doing this to us.” The voice of a Palestinian decrying the dreadful situation in which they find themselves. I try to avoid looking too much at what is happening in Palestine for it angers me. How can the rest of the world allow Israel to do what it wants and to carry out before their very eyes what is nothing short of genocide, regardless of how they try to redefine it?

I have lost all respect for the US President Biden. What is being played out is another shameful chapter in American posturing on the world stage, for certainly they are complicit in the slaughtering of innocent persons in the Palestinian world. President Biden has the power, and I am not necessarily speaking about military, although that is very important, to stop what is happening in that part of the world. The US appeared to have drawn a red line where the invasion of Rafah was concerned. This city in the south of Gaza is the last place of refuge for a million Palestinians who have been constantly on the move since Israel began its incursion into that part of the world. The US had originally blocked the shipment of heavy bombs which they felt might have been used in their movement into Rafah. But they are playing games. National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan stated that the US will continue to provide the military assistance provided last month, despite the short pause. He said they did not believe they should be dropped in densely populated cities. They are still not against dropping the bombs despite the number of innocent persons, including children, who have already been murdered. Even more than this Biden suggested that Netanyahu should not invade Rafah “without safeguard for civilians”; this after months into a war that has been marked by destruction and death. Biden, to continue his ridiculous position, was against a ‘major invasion’. If the US had gone along with a ceasefire called upon by most of the world, the slaughter and devastation would not have attained the heights they did. I am not sure where Israel is going with this, except to make Gaza a barren area fit for them to take over despite Biden’s rhetoric he will support them, on the grounds that Israel has to defend itself.

A few good things have been emerging. The protests by University students that started with students at Columbia University has spread across other US College campuses, and over into Europe. The students have been calling for their campuses to divest from Israel and to end ties with those involved in funding the war. Havard has agreed to meet with protestors on the issue of divesting from Israel. The Trustees at Union Theological Seminary which is an affiliate of Columbia University voted to divest from companies that have been benefiting from the war in Palestine. At Johns Hopkins University officials had agreed to consider divesting from Israel. There were some successes at other Universities where the administration had agreed to discuss the issue of divestment and other related matters. Graduation ceremonies were also affected by walkouts and disruptions of different kinds.

At the UN General Assembly, 143 of 193 member countries agreed on a resolution to upgrade the rights of Palestine at the UN but without full membership, since full membership could only be granted by the Security Council. Countries that opposed the resolution were, as to be expected, the US and Israel, along with Argentina, Czechia, Hungary, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Papua New Guinea. Twenty-five countries abstained, among them Canada, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

Another interesting development was Egypt’s agreement to join South Africa in its genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice. The fight for a ceasefire is continuing. Hamas has accepted it, but Israel only wants a temporary ceasefire since it aims to continue the war. The invasion of Gaza has brought together a number of countries that have opposed Israel’s action. Is that country likely to find itself more isolated? The US, of course, will use its power after the war to minimise any isolation of Israel. But the US itself might be affected. President Biden who depends on young voters turning out to vote for him at the November election might find himself in a position where many will stay at home. The big issue is that it provides a gateway to the election of Donald Trump. But to those affected, with relatives in Palestine and families that have been on the run, it will not matter. Biden or Trump, to them might not matter. At this stage in my way of thinking it might be good for the US to confront a President Trump once again; then might there be a purging of American souls as they confront the real man. A Trump presidency might however see the selection of conservative judges to the Supreme Court. Woe betide constitutional rights that have long been accepted. After the next presidential election, one way or the other, America will certainly not be the same again. There are of course broader issues beyond America.


  • Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian