The United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has revealed the 2014 list that names governments and insurgent groups whose actions lead to children’s rights being violated. This list is the result of the Security Council resolution established in 2009 to “take action” against those that continue to violate international laws on the rights and protection of children in armed conflicts. It is a crucial resolution indeed considering the unfathomable abuses that children deal with as an immediate result of wars, therefore when one goes through the list which includes groups in Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Syria, Yemen to name a few and does not find Israel among them, one is compelled to question this ludicrous decision.
In 2014 alone the Israeli government’s seven-week bombardment of Gaza under the guise of ‘Operation Protective Edge’, according to UNICEF, has resulted in the deaths of 557 children, leaving 4,249 injured of which more than 1,000 were permanently disabled. Israel’s ruthless attack on Gaza civilians had seen 22 schools destroyed and 200 others damaged. The chief of UNICEF’s Gaza field office, Pernilla Ironside, had said in a press conference during the bombardment “there isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage or displacement.”
Considering the staggering documented facts of injustices and abuse that the Israeli government has inflicted on the children of Gaza in the past year alone it is nothing but logical to question the non-inclusion of this brutal government on the UN list. UN officials have cited the reason for Israel’s exclusion from the list was due to “difference of opinion among those on the ground.” How can opinions differ when faced with facts? How can they have more weight than lives?
Political issues, which involve Israel, are always shrouded with a universal hypocrisy that sees the world blind to all that it otherwise stands for. Human rights are addressed everywhere but in Israel, international laws take severe effect everywhere except with Israel, humanity responds to all disasters except when they are committed by Israel. Why?
Because the Israeli government’s victim mentality maintains its same tired excuse that its actions are always a response to attacks, dodging accountability and whitewashing facts. The scale of these attacks does not matter for even if said attacks constitute a few aimless rockets, it warrants a magnificent Israeli retaliation with the most advanced military weaponry in the world and the death of children and civilians is nothing but collateral damage.
It has been reported that Israel supporters have done some intense lobbying before the report’s release, which seems to have paid off because all those Palestinian children who were killed in the world’s largest open-air prison have not been counted, it is as if they had never lived.
Crucial as it may be to name and shame those groups and countries who mercilessly massacre, traffic and abuse children but if it is to be influenced by outside powers then it is meaningless. What use is it for the parents of those children that their names have been erased, what “action” is to be taken when the government committing these heinous acts is unequivocally immune to international laws? For every damage the Israeli government has caused, for every life it has taken we hear the excuse that it was a mere unintended consequence of a military action, but does intent excuse death, and does it undo law?
All this list has done is prove once more that some lives matter more than others but we are here to say to the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki Moon, and to the world that the blood of Gaza’s children and the people of Palestine is the blood of the entire Arab nation and it shall never be erased or forgotten.
This article was first published in The Gulf Today newspaper on 14 June, 2015 http://bit.ly/1JNlsku
Arabic version of this article appeared in Al Khaleej newspaper http://bit.ly/1SekdMF