Gaza: Why the International Community must no longer take a backseat
- 1 Article
- Age 24
Traumatised by the daily display on our news-screens I took it upon myself to do the only thing I knew I had the power to do, which is to voice my opinion. Last night, the video portraying a young boy lying lifeless on a hospital bed in Gaza, the doctors opening his limp lids to pupils fixed and dilated, was deeply disturbing. This image will forever be implanted in by mind and never forgotten, but we individuals can stop this in its footsteps. This is an article prompted by that image and my pleas for the powerful politicians to hear the cries and echo the voices of the wounded and dead in Gaza.
The International Community can no longer remain a passive observer of the daily bloodshed of innocent Palestinian civilian lives. Immediate action must be taken to bring to an end this ongoing dispute between Hamas and Israeli forces. With the international community choosing to remain - excuse the pun – diplomatic, their inaction is much to blame for the deaths of children, mothers, fathers, aid workers all going about their daily lives in the doomed Gaza Strip. Their blood is as much on their hands as is on the Israeli forces. Concern is to be voiced over the silence of the politicians. It is not the time to pick political ties and alliances but a time to reflect on the context of the political pool in which innocent people are made to suffer and forced to live in fear and terror.
As a graduate of law, having studied public international law, I was constantly contradicted by the question of ‘does international law exist’ or ‘is international law really law’. Critics and cynics of international law would answer this question without hesitation opting for the easier opt-out route replying with a simple cowardly ‘no’. Whether or not international law exists is not a question of policy, but a question of moral obligation. Supporters of Israel’s actions against Gaza uphold Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’. I counter this with the typical international law response by asking, does such a right exist? If so, does this right allow the ‘victim’ state to exterminate their enemy by attacking innocent civilians? No, it does not and should not. A right to defend your country does not entail an entitlement to ruthlessly and brutally tear apart another. This is ‘a moral outrage and a criminal act’ (Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General) that must be stopped immediately.
With war, do the means ever justify the ends? Israel’s aim is ultimately at stake, however they are going the wrong way about achieving this final result and the international community must recognise this. By the international community choosing to take a backseat and remain the silent observer of this tragedy, it is unfortunately condemning Gaza to an imminent death sentence. It is not a time for power politics. It is a time for the world leaders to unite on the global stage and recognise the anguish and pain of innocent civilians. I call for the greatest and most powerful leaders in the world to have compassion and sympathy at this time. I urge for these great men to stand and support the end of this blood bath in Gaza. This is neither a time for neutrality nor a time for alliances; this is a time for honourable humanity.