THE summer holidays! Picnics and barbecues. Sunshine and beaches. Bombs and missiles. On the beach with my son the other day I wonder what it was like for those boys on the beach in Gaza, the bloodied ones running for their lives when the Israelis dropped the second bomb that killed them.
I wonder what it could be like to be one of the 1.8 million people crammed into the Gaza strip, especially the 10,000 people who had leaflets dropped on their heads from Israeli helicopters suggesting they relocate before actual bombs started dropping on their heads. And their kids.
Where do you go, when you are already squeezed in like sardines? What do you do when tanks appear at the top of your street, and soldiers open fire? Where do you hide, how do you protect your children? What do you do when your children are injured, but the Israelis have just blown up the hospital? The water pipes? The electricity? As Gaza is decimated, nobody does anything, says anything. Sure, a few politicians bluster a bit, but they are too busy being cross with Mr Putin for selling those rebel Ukrainians the missile that shot the passenger jet out of the sky, killing more children, killing more ordinary people. Tut, tut Mr Putin, says everyone, wringing their hands, wondering how on earth to make Russia behave without alienating our gas supply. How dare you provide those rebels with the deadly weapons we sold to you in the first place?
Meanwhile, it’s as if Israel has a get-out-of-genocide-free card. When I say Israel, obviously I don’t mean all the ordinary Israelis who are probably as horrified at what their government and military are doing in Gaza as you and I, but still.
Why, when this latest Israeli atrocity is being reported, does nobody in politics or the media refer to Netanyahu’s “regime”? This is what we normally call governments who indiscriminately kill civilians on a grand scale — a regime. Assad’s regime. Gadaffi’s regime. Saddam’s regime. Nota peep about Netanyahu’s regime.
This is not semantics — it is a stark fact that Israel remains above international law, above the Geneva Convention, above the basic rule of thou shalt not blow up children playing on beaches, or their mothers, or their grannies, or anyone else related to them. 20 killed from one Gaza family. 20 people from one family! Who will be prosecuted? Nobody. Who will be held to account? Still nobody.
And the weapons trade flourishes, lapping up the blood of children and turning it into fat wedges of profit. Far from the war zones, in rich, quiet, comfortable places, the arms dealers stretch out, smiling, and lick their thumbs to count their billions.
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