This Holocaust Remembrance Day, ‘Never Again’ Is Now

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 29 Jan 2024

The Wire | Jewish Voice for Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

27 Jan 2024 – As we celebrate today the ‘International Holocaust Remembrance Day,’ we are confronted with a devastating truth: What we vowed never to allow to happen again is happening, right now.

Today, Gaza is a shell of its former self. Entire neighborhoods have been wiped from the face of the Earth, replaced by a gray wasteland unfit for human life: bustling markets and crowded cafes, libraries home to thousands of precious books, bakeries filled with the smell of fresh bread — all of it turned to ash.

This Saturday, Israel and the U.S. will share solemn words about the Holocaust. They will tell us that we must never again allow this kind of evil to occur — even as both countries stand trial, respectively, for carrying out and complicity in the genocide of Palestinians.

One of the worst truths of the Holocaust is that such horrors can happen. It is entirely possible for a genocide to be carried out while the world watches, and it’s happened more than once since the world vowed “never again.”

Nearly four months into the genocide in Gaza, this is what we know.

  1. The Israeli military has killed over 1 percent of Gaza’s population. Far more could die of disease and starvation.

In a matter of months, the Israeli military has killed over 25,000 Palestinians, including more than 10,000 children. Thousands more are buried under the rubble, presumed dead.

Nothing has been left untouched. The Israeli military has carried out hundreds of attacks on hospitals and essential medical infrastructure, leaving Gaza’s healthcare system in ruins. It has bombed schools, heritage sites, universities, libraries, and places of worship. Nearly two million people — 85 percent of Gaza’s population — have been forced to flee their homes.

But far more Palestinians could die of disease and starvation than have been killed by Israeli bombs. That’s because the Israeli military has destroyed Gaza’s healthcare system, turned access to clean drinking water into a “weapon of war” and restricted aid to a trickle. Today, miscarriages are up 300% and a quarter of Gaza’s population is starving — and half a million people could die within a year if these conditions persist.

  1. The Israeli government’s indiscriminate bombing campaign explains the scale and scope of the devastation in Gaza — and the massive civilian death toll.

The Israeli state is waging a war against the entire civilian population of Gaza. The evidence is clear: Almost half of the 29,000 Israeli munitions used in Gaza have been imprecise “dumb bombs,” according to a U.S. intelligence assessment from mid-December, and it has also dropped hundreds of 2,000-pound bombs on Gaza, which are capable of injuring or killing someone over 1,000 feet away. For reference, the U.S. military used only one of these bombs during its war against ISIS.

The result? The Israeli military has now wreaked more destruction in Gaza, proportionally, than the Allied bombing of Germany did during WWII.

Over 70 percent of homes in Gaza and over half of all of its buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble. The Israeli military’s onslaught has made Gaza uninhabitable.

  1. Violence against Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank has reached a fever pitch.

More Palestinians in the West Bank were killed by the Israeli military in 2023 — at least 492 people — than were killed in any year since the U.N. began keeping records in 2005. Over half of them were killed in the period following October 7. Settler violence is also on the rise: At least 17 Palestinians were murdered by Israeli settlers in 2023, compared with two such killings in 2022, according to the U.N.

Now, as Israeli troops are gradually pulled out of Gaza, they’ll be relocated to the Occupied West Bank — and we can expect violence against Palestinians there to get even worse.

It’s clearer now than it’s ever been: Zionism’s end-game is the total destruction of Palestinian life. But this mountain of statistics only tells part of the story. 

For Palestinians, this is what Zionism looks like. It is armed settlers, flanked by the Israeli military, gunning down a 17-year-old Palestinian American because they can. It is starving Palestinians in Gaza grinding animal fodder for food, children searching the rubble for something to eat, a teenage girl using scraps of tent in place of menstrual products. It is a lone baby boy, born at the beginning of the genocide, who today is the sole survivor of his entire family. His future, like so many others’ in Gaza, hangs in the balance.

This is where we go from here.

Palestinians are taking Biden to federal court for abetting genocide.

In November, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit accusing President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin of not only failing to prevent, but also complicity in, the Israeli government’s genocide. The first hearing in the lawsuit is taking place this Friday, January 26. You can watch the livestream here.

CCR’s lawsuit is separate from South Africa’s genocide case against Israel, which is currently being heard at the Hague. Amid decades of impunity for Israeli state crimes, both of these cases represent welcome steps towards justice for Palestinians.

We’re not slowing down now. 

CCR’s lawsuit and the historic genocide case against the Israeli government aren’t just pathways to legal accountability; they’re tools the movement for Palestinian liberation can use to escalate our organizing beyond a ceasefire, which is the bare minimum demand. We want to end all U.S. support for Israel’s apartheid regime — and the Israeli government being on trial for genocide makes the case for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) that much stronger.  

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Jewish Voice for Peace: We envision a world where all people — from the U.S. to Palestine — live in freedom, justice, equality, and dignity. Like generations of Jewish leftists before us, we fight for the liberation of all people. We believe that through organizing, we can and will dismantle the institutions and structures that sustain injustice and grow something new, joyful, beautiful, and life-sustaining in their place…

 

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Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.

DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WHOSE BARCODE STARTS WITH 729, which indicates that it is produced in Israel. DO YOUR PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

7 2 9: BOYCOTT FOR JUSTICE!


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