Gaza: “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity”

Cries from the Rubble: Witnessing Gaza's Agony. Image: A Mother's Mission: Noor Harazeen

Gaza: An Open Wound on Humanity’s Conscience

How I wish I could focus my pen on the stirring domestic issues of the day – the endemic corruption, the attacks on our civil rights, the fraying social fabric, the hollow slogans, the abandoned levelling up and the raging monster of inequality in this manufactured cost of living crisis orchestrated by corporate greed. I confess I wish to write of Grimsby’s blighted streets, victim of a neoliberal consensus, not Gaza’s smouldering rubble.

But this luxury of choice is not afforded the trapped inhabitants of that open-air prison and at this dark hour, what committed socialist could ignore the horrors unfolding in Gaza that land of the dead?

It is those Socialist principles of a working class upbringing that call me to expose oppression wherever it festers, at home or abroad. The truth is if we care for humanity, lines on a map cannot limit our concern. So I turn my pen toward the condemned of Gaza – to document their anguish, honour their endurance and shake the moral conscience of an indifferent Westminster where the Blue and Red Tories watch this tragedy unfold with cynical political calculations rather than human empathy.

If not our collective voices, then who will shake the moral complacency allowing these horrors against our shared humanity?

No, it’s not Grimsby, it’s Gaza. If not now, when?

If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.

― Albert Einstein

In defiance of political cowardice.

gaza genocide

In this I wish no ill towards the people of Israel; they, like us, are not responsible for the actions of their government. However, I do not pretend neutrality on the systematic devastation being inflicted on the people of Palestine.

This is no conflict between equals, but the cruel subjugation of the dispossessed by an unrestrained war machine. Homes shattered, livelihoods ruined, children buried under rubble – these are not the unfortunate casualties of war, but its very objective.

Over 30,000 innocents slain, hundreds of thousands terrorised, vital infrastructure reduced to ruins – here is a calculated campaign of devastation masquerading as self-defence. But how does battering civilians into submission exonerate hostage-takers? Collective punishment is the logic of the tyrant, not the enlightened state.

Gaza reduced to rubble
Gaza reduced to rubble

Of course, Hamas are violent extremists, yet who among us can truly know how we would respond if our homeland was invaded and occupied? Oppression breeds desperation. Though some argue the oppressed should passively accept their fate, the truth is all people have an inalienable right to resist tyranny, as international law affirms.

Hamas militants with a picture of Gilad Shalit in Jabalya Gaza in 2007

Palestinians as any people have a recognised right under international law to resist occupation under Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions. This right is affirmed in the context of the right of self-determination of all peoples under foreign and colonial rule.

While the Hamas attack was unconscionable, imagine the outcry if the British government had carpet bombed West Belfast after each IRA provocation. Yet Israel inflicts exponential retaliation on the captive Gaza Strip time and again.

Its formidable military deliberately demolishes the social foundations sustaining Gaza’s desperate population. This is calculated collective punishment, a war on Palestinian identity disguised as security. At what point do we question whether the goal is freeing hostages or destroying the basis for Palestinian nationhood itself? The merciless actions speak louder than hollow words.

This is beyond defence or deterrence now – it is an unrestrained crusade against a population Israel pretends does not exist. Genocide is not too strong a term.

Hungry Palestinian children
Hungry Palestinian children clamour and beg for food in Rafah, Gaza on December 31, 2023. (Photo: Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua via Getty Images)

As socialists, we cannot stay silent while hospitals are bombed, children starved by blockade, and families made homeless in the name of security.

If my stance invites controversy, so be it. To gloss over oppression is to be complicit. I will call out these grievous injustices every single day until the world wakes up to Palestinian suffering. No matter the intimidation from our government and even the opposition Labour Party, for once, let us stand on the right side of history. If internationalism means anything, then now is the time for solidarity.

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