What is playing out on the border of Gaza and Israel is awful. Loss of civilian life is inexcusable and must be condemned.
Unsurprisingly, and understandably, Biden, Albanese, Trudeau and other Western leaders have condemned the Hamas attack in the strongest possible terms. But is that all they are going to do – double down behind Israel in responding to Palestinians as vicious terrorists who need to be taught a lesson, or worse, eliminated?
My question to Biden, Albanese Trudeau and others is what do you want Palestinians to do? For those who live in the Gaza strip do you want them to be for ever caged animals; living in the most incarcerated and impoverished conditions in the world with no hope for countless generations of what we consider to be normal life? Are they to live forever with no employment for their children? What do you expect those young adults to do, behave meekly with no anger?
And those on the West Bank, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to meekly accept their lot. What is their lot? It is to have their land arbitrarily confiscated to serve illegal settlements of armed migrants with ideological views that exclude Palestinians from ordinary human rights. It is to be corralled into smaller and smaller areas. It is to be systematically removed from area C, approximately 70 percent of the West Bank. It is to live forever in a cramped refugee camp called Jenin. It is to live in Hebron and be daily intimidated by illegal settlers and permanently blocked from the main shopping street. It is to negotiate endless security checks for no reason other than to be humiliated. It is to access below standard water supplies while illegal settlers water their lawns and wash their cars. It is to have identity papers that restrict access even to parts of their own Palestinian Territories. It is to have no access to Jews only roads that crisscross Palestinian Territories.
And if you live in East Jerusalem, it is to be constantly harassed, intimidated and to live under the threat of your home being confiscated.
Biden, Albanese Trudeau and others, you are partly responsible for this outrage of violence by not doing your duty in holding Israel to account. Peace is never possible while gross injustice prevails. Peace flows from justice, not the other way around. You find it easy to hold Palestinians to account and no doubt you will continue to do so. But what are you going to do in holding Israel to account?
We can only tremble as we await the dreadful revenge Israel will inflict upon the Palestinian people. It will be swift, and it will be unremittingly merciless. What will you all do in response to this?
The only redeeming feature possible is that Israel will take direct control of Gaza and in turn the international community will treat the whole area from the river to the sea as a single unit demanding a form of governance that gives equal respect and opportunity to all its citizens in mattes of religion, language, culture, economic opportunity and human rights. If this were to happen, then yes there would be peace.
Biden, Albanese and Trudeau, you have the honour of leading nations that were all founded on a Christian tradition of respect, inclusiveness, and a bias towards support and advocacy for the weak and vulnerable. You will negate that tradition if you give unquestioned support to the strong and their suppression of the weak.