The World Will Not Be Able To Say ‘We Didn’t Know’ About What Israel Will Do in Rafah
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Author: Odeh Bisharat
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Apart from death, nothing in life is total. Perhaps that is what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meant when he vows time after time that the goal of the war in the Gaza Strip is total victory. Total victory in this case will mean certain death for residents of Gaza who have been herded from all over the Strip into a giant slaughterhouse in Rafah.

Almost 1.5 million people, most of them now homeless, are at the mercy of heaven. Netanyahu once told critics of soaring housing prices that he deals with "life itself." Today, he is dealing with the end of life itself for those Palestinians, "death itself."
Netanyahu will not settle for total victory, he goes one step farther. He berates all those who warn him against conquering Rafah, including important countries that had been supporting Israel up to now. "[T]hey are basically saying lose the war," he says. That's it! Either a massacre or losing the war. Either heaven or hell. History, in all its deviousness, places a people that only recently was a victim of mass extermination on the threshold of a mass extermination of another people.


In the meantime, let us erase the past because at such a momentous time, only the present counts.

What will the Jews do after this victory? After what will certainly be a massacre of thousands of Palestinians? Will the taste of the goulash and hummus remain the same? Will young men and women continue to marry to "the sound of happiness and the sound of joy," and bring more children into the world? Will Shlomo Bar still sing the words of Yehoshua Sobol, "Children are joy, children are a blessing"? How will the Jews behave with the blood of another 30,000 or more Gazans on their hands?

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," Jesus said. But here the Jews know for sure. The whole world says "no," but so what.

But the world will also not be able to say, "We didn't know." Everyone even now is talking about the approaching massacre as if it were an unavoidable natural disaster. The world has been divided into two halves. One is the world of simple people of flesh and blood. They represent the unprecedented level of public opinion opposed to the massacre that was and to the massacre that will be. But there is another world, an indifferent one, that is influenced by the interests of capitalists. And capital, as we know, has no scent, no feelings.

The world that was silent in the face of the horrors of the past is changing its tune, issuing a hesitant condemnation here and a faint warning there. But the march to massacre goes ahead to its final destination.

These warnings from European leaders are meant for the record, for the history books. They are meant to say, "It wasn't we who caused such bloodshed." But while they issue warnings and shed crocodile tears, these same leaders continue to supply Israel with weapons, money and diplomatic backing.
It will not help. Even today, long before the historians reach their conclusions, it is clear that their hands are drenched in Palestinian blood up to the elbows. Yes, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau," but TikTok in its youthful innocence explains to all that the hands of Britain's Rishi Sunak, Germany's Olaf Scholz and France's Emmanuel Macron indeed share in the bloodshed.

Finally, the Kafkaesque aspect of all of this. U.S. President Joe Biden imposes sanctions on four settler bullies as if they were tax evaders, and the whole world rises to its feet as if he had dropped a stink bomb on Israel. At a time when he is giving billions of dollars of weapons and ammunition in the service of the occupation of the West Bank and the massacre in the Gaza Strip and cannot seem to force Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich to release hundreds of millions of dollars that Israel owes the Palestinian Authority. Can there be a more dubious business than this?

Later, Biden will claim that he does not remember what his role was in the Gaza Strip. He will say that his memory betrays him, his age, you know, his age. But we will remember. And those who will remain alive in Gaza will remember, and then some.


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