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Opinion: The children of Gaza are crying out. Is there any response?

US Vice President Kamala Harris’ assertion that the US will stand by Israel has left many observers, myself included, flabbergasted.

Harris, proud of America’s democracy and human rights, declared that the US will stand by Israel so long as Hamas controls Gaza. She also affirmed her support in giving US$38 billion in military assistance to Israel.

In a world devoid of double standards, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians would provoke condemnations by supporters of animal rights.

One need not look beyond the serious escalation and systemic persistence of the Israeli occupation army in the killing of Palestinian children. So far, 59 children have lost their lives, without anyone so much as lifting a finger to stop this massacre.

Harris’ statement is born of a policy of double standards exercised by Western democracies. As a keen follower of the global situation of human rights, I recognize selective statements issued by governments, parliaments, and civil society organizations, especially those that criticizes the human rights situation in the Arab and Islamic countries.

I am stunned by the current mysterious silence of the West. Not a single statement of condemnation, not a voice of solidarity with the lives of Palestinian children, lost at the hands of the Israeli occupation army.

This begs the question of what happened to international humanitarian law.  Where does international human rights law stand in the wake of such shocking violation of the rights to life, an inalienable human right.

It leaves me wondering about the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, not to mention the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1612 on children in armed conflict. The silence of both the European Parliament and UNSC vis-a vis Israeli Scorn for and violation of the rights of Palestinian children are baffling.

Not long ago the world celebrated signing the Abraham Accords, a Machiavellian label championed by Donald Trump. He offered Israel the recognition of Jerusalem as its capital and sovereignty over the Syria’s Golan Heights. It leaves me wondering about the whereabouts of Arab countries, not to mention the league of Arab states that is held hostage by the sovereignty of its member states.

In the midst of such a grave situation, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened the Egyptian borders to enable the crossing of injured Palestinians to receive medical treatment at Egyptian hospitals. Sisi also offered US$500 million and five scholarships towards the reconstruction of Gaza.

For those keen on human rights and democracy, I ask, is it not the time for the global community to:

– Exert pressure towards restoring confidence in international law and to stop assault on the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank?

– Stop impunity, and for the Human Rights Council, UN Security Council, UN High Commission for Human Rights and the European Parliament and Western democracies to prove that all are equal in the enjoyment of their human rights without any discrimination based on religion, gender, race, or any other ground.

– End the Israeli occupation of Arab territories, and end the 14-year-old blockade of Gaza strip? It is the worst form of collective punishment prohibited by international law.

Is it not the time to restore international accountability for violating international law, both at the political and economic levels? Is it not time for the United Nations to bear its responsibility to provide shelter and emergency assistance for civilians afflicted by Israeli attacks on Gaza, enabling them to live with dignity?

All of this leaves me pondering the importance of immediate and direct action to halt the surge of Israeli settlers, and to halt the violence of the Israeli government, along with its measures to evict the population of Sheikh Gerah in the occupied East Jerusalem.

My excruciating pain leads me to wonder, along with other peace lovers across the globe: when will the West realize the value of abandoning imperialist policies and practices? When will it abandon double standards when it comes to the aggressor, instead of abiding by international law as a reference to guarantee the rights of the victims?

At any rate, and in typical Middle Eastern fashion, only God will protect Palestine. In God we trust.

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