29 September, 2014
To the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, in particular Mr. Adama Dieng, and Ms. Jennifer Welsh:
I have read your statement on the situation in Israel and in the Palestinian Occupied Territory of the Gaza Strip dated 24 July 2014. I notice that you have drawn an equivalency between the government of Israel and Hamas, which does not have a military. I think that is the first point I would like to make. You have drawn an equivalency between a government of a country, one that has one of the biggest and most powerful militaries in the world, and the government of a stateless population, one that is and has been living under perpetual occupation since 1967, has been subjected to a prolonged siege lasting many years, and whose population largely consists of refugees who were ethnically cleansed from their homes and villages in what is now Israel, a government that does not have a military and has never had a military.
You call on that government, Hamas, to protect the people of Gaza. In consideration of the fact that the siege on Gaza is an act of war and is causing the deaths of many civilians in Gaza over a long period of time and which promises to only get worse, with the resultant deaths of many more civilians as long as it is in place, how is Hamas to protect its population if not by confronting the government of Israel with the only means at its disposal? And furthermore, how is it that you call on Hamas to protect the people of Gaza, but you don’t speak out against the siege on the people of Gaza, the very thing that Hamas must try to protect the people of Gaza against?
How can you, in good conscience, call upon Hamas to protect the people of Gaza while at the same time denying it the only means it has to even make an effort to do so? How can you responsibly tell Hamas anything at all about what it should or shouldn’t do if you will not even condemn the very thing that is causing the slow death of the population of Gaza.
Israel, as the power that occupies Gaza has sole responsibility, according to international law, to protect the people who live under its occupation. Why do you not take Israel to task for violation international law when it deprives the people of Gaza of the necessities they need in order to live? And when it drops bombs on civilians in Gaza even when Hamas is upholding a ceasefire and not sending any rockets into Israel, something that happens with great regularity.
Your equivalencies are false equivalencies. And your silence on the cause of the real problems for the people in Gaza makes you complicit in what is surely a slow genocide of the people of not only Gaza, but of all of the people of Palestine. Please take the principled stance of upholding international law and stop aiding and abetting Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, and incremental genocide of the Palestinian people. Thank you.