Three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food—those are the survival rule of threes.
On Monday, October 9th, 2023, Israel, which controls the electricity, food, fuel, and water to Gaza, issued a complete siege. Meaning no food, no water, no electricity, and no fuel is to enter the region.
How did we get here?
To understand what is going on today, we need to look at what has been happening historically and over the past few months. The culmination of what we are seeing today is highly complex. Please note, I am not a political commentator, but I am trying to make this as simple as possible, so please be patient and feel free to add constructive criticisms in the comments.
Key actors and factors:
What is happening right now?
Right, this open-air concentration camp known as Gaza is being carpet bombed by the state of Israel for horrendous and heinous actions committed by Hamas. These actions and claims include some war crimes—some claims are true, and some claims are false. It is worth noting that some of the claims are egregious and must be investigated further. Regardless, this was and is a terrorist attack. It is the largest terrorist attack on Israel. Viewer discretion is advised, but please watch the video below which shows some of the carnage.
My heart goes out to all the victims and their families, to those individuals’ held hostage, to all those stranded beneath rubble, and to all those missing. This is an atrocity. Collective punishment is not, nor will it ever be the answer. It is not going to bring back lives lost. It is not going to solve the problem. It will only bring death and destruction.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Gandhi
Israel currently is punishing the people of Gaza. Collective punishment that is condoned and funded by the United States. The POTUS and VP have stated their unconditional support for Israel’s right to defend itself. This is concerning because Israel is launching retaliatory attacks against a captive population. As a US citizen, taxpayer, and voter, I have never been more disappointed and disgusted. I have always believed all life is sacred and am deeply concerned by the violent response.
I am deeply concerned by the genocidal language used by Netanyahu, the Israeli War Ministries, by members of the US Congress, and by individuals who are advocating for further death and destruction. For context, Article II of the Genocide Convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
Where will they go?
This should never be acceptable. This should never be condoned. This should never go non-questioned.
Sensationalism and misinformation are making this entire situation worse. It is playing on emotions and blinding people to their core beliefs, values, and what they inherently know is true. Being angry at injustice and murder is fair and acceptable; being so blind with rage that you willingly subject innocent parties to atrocities is unacceptable. This goes for both Hamas and Israel. I would like to think the majority of rational people would agree with that statement.
The challenge is that for the past few years there has been a critical effort to conflate criticizing Israel with Antisemitism (Antisemitism like Islamophobia, Homophobia, Transphobia, Racism, etc. is unacceptable). Furthermore, there has been conceited efforts to ban all dialogue that criticizes Israel and or support the right of Palestinians to freely live without oppression.
In France, there is a ban on Pro-Palestinians protests. In the United States, there are anti-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) laws that oppose boycotts of Israel, the proponents of this law believe BDS is antisemitic. Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions started as a non-violent form of protest that used to combat apartheid in South Africa. Human Rights Watch instead suggests that “states should encourage, not sanction, companies that avoid contributing to human rights abuses”. Amnesty International in “a damning report” found that Israel’s apartheid over Palestinian people is cruel.
Language is important and it is imperative to speak out against injustice. This includes injustices that are unfairly targeting Israeli citizens. This also includes injustices that have historically and currently are unfairly targeting Palestinian citizens. This history and the existing power dynamics must be acknowledged, examined, and contextualized. But right now, Gaza is at the brink of genocide.
I will not silently watch, and neither should you.
What should we do going forward?
Here are a two actions you can today:
While it can seem like a complex situation to solve, problems must be taken one at a time. It is clear that the current state of Israel and Palestine is not favorable to either population, both must come to the table to create a peaceful future together. Ideas must advocate for:
Things not included in my analysis include Iran, the potential of a wider escalation in the region, Israel's border tensions with Lebanon and Syria, US interests in the Middle East and a historical analysis of US energy policy which has historically driven US presence and policy in the region.
Kindly note, I may come back and update this article periodically as new events and information unfolds.