On 17 October, The Electronic Intifada reported that more Palestinian children had been killed in Gaza in just a few days of Israeli military strikes than Ukrainian children in 18 months of Russia’s fighting in Ukraine.
Today, three weeks later, Israel has killed more than 4,000 children, or more than seven times the verified number of children that Russia has slain in Ukraine.
Both numbers for Ukrainian and Palestinian children are appalling. In the Palestinian case, however, the US is arming and rearming Israel.President Joe Biden doubts the veracity of the Palestinian health ministry figures, though Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post has since done a fact check confirming the general historical accuracy of these figures.
Civilians of all ages
Now, more Palestinian civilians of all ages are thought to have been killed over the past month than those civilians reported killed in Ukraine since February 2022.
The Palestinian health ministry does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, but the number of children, women and elderly killed, when added to the fact that most men in Gaza are not combatants, strongly indicates the number of civilians killed during a month of Israeli bombardment is above 10,000.
The number of Palestinians killed in Gaza passed 10,000 early this week according to the Palestinian health ministry.
In both Ukraine and Gaza, not all deaths have been tabulated. In Gaza, over 2,000 people still lie under the rubble and have not yet been confirmed dead. Some may yet have a chance of escaping the horror of being buried alive, but most are likely to have perished beneath the concrete.
The number buried under the rubble is another reason to believe Palestinian civilian casualties are above 10,000.
Ramesh Rajasingham, Director of the Coordination Division, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, asserted in late October that more than 9,900 civilians had been killed in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.
One important caveat for Ukraine is that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights “believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration.” How high those final tallies will go for both Ukraine and Gaza is uncertain.
The response of Western officials, particularly American officials, has been vastly different in the two cases, highly critical of Russia and extremely indulgent of Israel’s actions.But you won’t see mainstream Western media like CNN frequently reminding their viewers how much deadlier the situation is for civilians in Gaza. Instead, it turns out this sort of information is best found by turning to Al Jazeera and even Chinese state-owned CGTN. The numbers in Gaza are staggering. The equivalent number of Americans killed would be some 1.4 million in approximately one month. Soon, one in 200 Palestinian civilians in Gaza will have been killed in this Israeli onslaught. It’s possible the number has already been reached.
No wonder that the Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestine Legal and the National Lawyers Guild have put members of Congress on notice that “should you vote in favor of [the emergency military assistance package to Israel], you risk facing criminal and civil liability for aiding and abetting genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law, and may face investigation.”Most in Washington, however, seem determined to disregard such warnings and vote for further military aid to Israel.
House highlights its racism
Congress voted Tuesday to censure Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for saying, among other profoundly misrepresented statements, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The resolution further asserted that “Israel has existed on its lands for millennia and the United States played a critical role in returning Israel to those lands in 1948,” while making no reference to the 800,000 Palestinians that Zionist militias and then Israel dispossessed that very year.
Her support for equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis made no difference. She was simply accused of promoting what was termed “a genocidal call to violence,” all evidence to the contrary about what she actually supports and understands the slogan to assert being ignored.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee stated in a press release Tuesday night that the congressional censure “is yet another example of Palestinians being targeted, harassed and silenced not just on school campuses and on social media, but also at the highest level of government. This censure also constitutes an attack on free speech and has established a shameful precedent of punishing Members who stand up for basic human dignity.”
The fact that Israel has itself claimed all the land between the river and the sea did not seem to matter.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s map at the United Nations in September taking for Israel all the land between the river and the sea, along with the occupied Golan Heights – in an apartheid arrangement vastly different from Tlaib’s preference for equal rights – certainly did not deter them.
Israel’s expansionist apartheid is not nearly so alarming to the anti-Palestinian racists in Congress as a Palestinian American on Capitol Hill.Republican Congressman Max Miller of Ohio, who was among those pushing for censure against Tlaib, faced very little scrutiny prior to the vote for his racism, though Congresswoman Ilhan Omar raised concerns over his genocidal call to turn Gaza into a “parking lot.”
Top Democratic leaders don’t highlight his violent statement, or his demagogic rhetoric, perhaps fearing they might slow the war machine unleashed on Palestinians in Gaza. Democratic voters, though, are taking note.With 22 Democrats broadcasting their anti-Palestinian animus and crossing over to support Republicans, they signaled that Tlaib calling for equal rights is more dangerous in their eyes than Republican politicians making genocidal calls against the Palestinian people.
Some years from now, Congress may well apologize to Tlaib, though that does her and the Palestinian people no good currently. Nevertheless, she should wear as a badge of honor the racism they have directed at her.
Anti-Palestinian racism grows by leaps and bounds in Washington as Israel and the United States pursue a brutal onslaught against the children of Gaza.
These are violent people.
Many voters will remember this in the next presidential election and quite possibly for years to come.
- Palestinian children
- Ramesh Rajasingham
- Al Jazeera
- Center for Constitutional Rights
- Palestine Legal
- National Lawyers Guild
- Rashida Tlaib
- American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
- Benjamin Netanyahu
- Golan Heights
- israeli apartheid
- Ilhan Omar
- Democratic Party
- Republican Party
- Max Miller
- Ronny Jackson
- Glenn Kessler
- The Washington Post