From Palestine Chronicle
Palestinians protest in Israeli Fire Along The Gaza Border
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Three more Palestinians were killed and 611 wounded last Friday, when tens of thousands of Gazans continued their largely non-violent protests at the Gaza-Israel border.
Yet as the casualty count keeps climbing -- nearly 45 dead and over 5,500 wounded -- the deafening silence also continues. Tellingly, many of those who long chastised Palestinians for using armed resistance against the Israeli occupation are nowhere to be found, while children, journalists, women, and men are all targeted by hundreds of Israeli snipers who dot the Gaza border.
Israeli officials are adamant. The likes of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, perceives his war against the unarmed protesters as a war on terrorists. He believes that "there are no innocents in Gaza." While the Israeli mindset is not in the least surprising, it is emboldened by the lack of meaningful action or outright international silence to the atrocities taking place at the border.
The International Criminal Court (ICC), aside from frequent statements laced with ambiguous legal jargon, has been quite useless thus far. Its Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, derided Israel's killings in a recent statement, but also distorted facts in her attempt at "even-handed language," to the delight of Israeli media.
"Violence against civilians -- in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza -- could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ... as could the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities," she said.
Encouraged by Bensouda's statement, Israel is exploiting the opportunity to deflect from its own crimes. On April 25, an Israeli law group, Shurat Hadin, is seeking to indict three Hamas leaders at the ICC, accusing Hamas of using children as human shields at the border protests.
It is tragic that many still find it difficult to grasp the notion that the Palestinian people are capable of mobilizing, resisting and making decisions independent from Palestinian factions.
Indeed, for the nearly decade-long Hamas-Fatah feud, the Israeli siege on Gaza and throughout the various destructive wars, Gazans have been sidelined, often seen as hapless victims of war and factionalism, and lacking any human agency.
Shurat Hadin, like Bensouda, is all feeding into that dehumanizing discourse.
By insisting that Palestinians are not capable of operating outside the confines of political factions, few feel the sense of political responsibility or moral accountability to come to the aid of the Palestinians.
This is reminiscent of former US President Barack Obama's unsolicited lecture to Palestinians during his Cairo speech to the Muslim world in 2009.
"Palestinians must abandon violence," he said. "Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed."
He then offered his own questionable version of history of how all nations, including "black people in America," the nations of South Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Indonesia fought and won their freedom by peaceful means only.
This demeaning approach -- of comparing supposed Palestinian failures to others' successes -- is always meant to highlight that Palestinians are different, lesser beings who are incapable of being like the rest of humanity. Interestingly, this is very much the core of the Zionist narrative about the Palestinians.
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