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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeCommentaryCommentary: Genocide Should Never Be Justified as Self-Defense

Commentary: Genocide Should Never Be Justified as Self-Defense

It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who opined from the Birmingham Jail that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Israel’s recent bombardment of the Jabalia Refugee Camp resulted in utter devastation, with over 500 innocent lives lost in one attack. Hospitals, densely populated neighborhoods, U.N. schools and aid agencies have all been struck.

As a strong advocate for human rights, diversity and inclusion, I am outraged and sickened by the relentless killing of innocent civilian Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. For anyone to assume that all Palestinians are “terrorists” is prejudiced and ill-informed at best. Further, utilizing such ideologies to commit or condone modern-day genocide against any specific group is unjust and a travesty against humanity.

Defined in international law, “crimes against humanity” are widespread or systemic criminal acts that are committed by or on behalf of a de facto authority, usually by or on behalf of a state that grossly violates human rights.

While many may argue and some will agree that Israel has the right to self-defense, its recent onslaught on Gaza, which to date has led to the disenfranchisement of many, and has left approximately 10,000 innocents, the majority being women, as well as over 3,000 children in a territory of just over 2 million, not excluding the pregnant, and handicapped, dead; is gravely dis-proportioned and unbalanced based on what some would call Israel’s bulletproof sophisticated defense mechanisms.

In its attempt to irrevocably decimate Gaza, it is reported that Israel has cut off the Palestinians’ access to water, food, as well as electricity and fuel.

Zionism in this form is nothing short of genocidal racism.

The inequalities and injustices are many and perpetual. As a result, the imbalance of power and response must be combatted without giving consideration of cause neither presumed nor stated.

No matter on what end of the spectrum of this conflagration one finds themselves, children are dying on both sides of this war. It’s fair to assume that no one would willingly agree or subscribe to the mass killings of innocent civilians, be it women and or children.

The international community’s silence is deafening. How could the world just sit idly by and allow this to happen? Or are we to pretend we do not see?

To those who argue that this is not our business. I remind you of the civil rights era in the United States, the bombing of Dresden in World War II, and apartheid in South Africa.

The atrocities unfolding in Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank demand immediate global attention. While we may not be able to bring resolve to all the world’s geopolitical issues, nor is this an attempt at taking sides, rendering aid to the disenfranchised and civilian population should remain paramount. In the absence of such efforts, we falter.

— Jelani Ritter, St. Croix

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