This Is a War on ChildrenBy Marcia Merry Baker
Dec. 2—It seems unimaginable that worse things can happen than the destruction in Gaza underway before the seven-day humanitarian pause began Nov. 24 at 7:00 a.m.; but after it ended Dec. 1 at 7:00 am, unimaginable horrors are taking place. Over the first 24 hours of assault on the Gaza Strip, Israel conducted 400 strikes, and the official death toll was 240 people, with 650 injured and thousands more dislocated or missing altogether. The Israel Defense Forces are now expanding ground operations in the south as well as the north.
Ground zero on Day One of the resumed killing is the city of Khan Younis, in south Gaza, where only weeks earlier, northern Gazans had been told to go. Khan Younis is the second largest city in the Gaza Strip. Israeli leaflets were dropped in recent hours, directing residents to leave—which means into the sea, or farther to the south, which was also being bombed. The damage is dreadful. Residents guess a thousand people may be trapped under rubble. With no civil defense, residents are digging for loved ones with their hands and hammers.
How this brutal bomb targeting is mapped out is the subject of a Nov. 30 exposé, titled “‘A Mass Assassination Factory’: Inside Israel’s Calculated Bombing of Gaza,” by Yuval Abraham, in +972 Magazine. It reports on “power targets” chosen for shock effect, and otherwise AI-chosen targets, designed to hit relatives, homes, and other associated points.
Today the Israeli government pulled its delegation out of Doha altogether, stopping any negotiations that might go on between Qatar, the United States, U.A.E., and Hamas. There is an explanation offered by Israel—the charge that Hamas has not released all Israeli women, but the impasse is contrived. Israel denounced talks as at a “dead end,” and pulled out.
Meantime, Israel stopped any relief trucks from crossing into Gaza from Egypt for 24 hours, and today permitted only 50 trucks to enter. Consider that, during the seven-day humanitarian pause, some 208 trucks entered daily, which in any case is woefully below the daily tally of 500 trucks over the past year, whose cargo volume was barely enough for minimal economic support.
The words of a UNICEF official about the situation have made world headlines in the last 24 hours: “This is a war on children,” said James Elder said on Dec. 1, speaking from a hospital in the Gaza Strip, where an explosion hit 50 meters from its premises. “The ceasefire is over. We can already hear the bombing…. This is the biggest, still functioning hospital in Gaza. It’s at 200% capacity.” Elder’s words offer a working definition of genocide: acting to destroy children—which means the very existence and future of a people.
What needs neither definition, nor imagination, is the conspicuous truth, that if the United States should move to intervene against Israel’s actions, the killing can stop. Reconstruction and development as the basis for peace can take place. The moral force to bring this about is now manifest in demonstrations and street actions around the world. After Friday prayers yesterday, there were rallies and marches in the immediate region. There were actions in Amman, Jordan; Sana’a, Yemen; as well in Hebron on the West Bank.
In the United States on Sunday, there will be a demonstration in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the hometown of President Joe Biden. A coalition of groups will hold a demonstration near a General Dynamics ammunition plant to protest the U.S. continuing to arm Israel. They condemn members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation for “providing rhetorical cover for the genocide of Palestinians. We condemn President Biden, who could stop this genocide with a phone call….”
Yesterday, the International Peace Coalition, whose collaborators are now conducting multiple actions, from concerts to rallies, took up, among many of its discussion topics, the need to put forward an “Oasis Plan” development approach for the Palestine-Israel location and greater region. A new video is in the works to detail it and to further its mobilization. Statesman and economist Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. launched the concept in the mid-1970s as the way for peace through common interest development.
The nature and urgency of what we must accomplish can be understood by considering the remarks by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris today, speaking in the United Arab Emirates, at a press conference in connection with her meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, on the sidelines of the Dubai COP28. While the White House readout said Harris stressed that the U.S. will not tolerate “the relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza,” nevertheless Harris said to the media that the U.S. supports Israel’s “legitimate military objectives” in Gaza. “Legitimate” targets? That is exactly the terminology Israel is using for conducting genocide. This must stop.
A key international day-long event will take place online Dec. 9-10, hosted in Nicaragua, on the theme of “A New International Security and Development Architecture.” Plan to attend. (Simultaneous translation in English, French, German and Spanish). The sponsor is the Central American Critical Thought Organization (CPCCC). Activate in every way to bring others to attend.