Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2024 > War on Gaza: Millions of anti-war protestors on the streets of Europe and (...)

Mainstream, VOL 62 No 10, March 9, 2024

War on Gaza: Millions of anti-war protestors on the streets of Europe and the US are the hope for the future | Arundhati Roy

Saturday 9 March 2024


Statement by Arundhati Roy at the meeting of Working People Against Apartheid and Genocide in Gaza, at the Press Club, New Delhi, on March 7, 2024

The richest, most powerful countries in the western world, those who believe themselves to be the keepers of the flame of the modern world’s commitment to democracy and human rights, are openly financing and applauding Israel’s genocide in Gaza. The Gaza strip has been turned into a concentration camp. Those who have not already been killed are being starved to death. Almost the entire population of Gaza has been displaced. Their homes, hospitals, universities, museums, infrastructure of every kind has been reduced to rubble. Their children have been murdered. Their past has been vaporised. Their future is hard to see.

Even though the highest court in the world believes that almost every indicator seems to meet the legal definition of genocide, IDF soldiers continue to put out their mocking “victory videos” celebrating what almost look like fiendish rituals. They believe that there is no power in the world that will hold them to account. But they are wrong. They and their children’s children will be haunted by what they have done. They will have to live with the loathing and the abhorrence the world feels for them. And hopefully one day everybody – on all sides of this conflict – who has committed war crimes will be tried and punished for them, keeping in mind that there is no equivalence between crimes committed while resisting Apartheid and Occupation, and crimes committed while enforcing them.

Racism is of course the keystone of any act of genocide. The rhetoric of the highest officials of the Israeli state has, ever since Israel came into existence, dehumanised Palestinians and likened them to vermin and insects, just like the Nazis once dehumanised Jews. It is as though that evil serum never went away and is now only being recirculated. The “Never” has been excised from that powerful slogan “Never Again”. And we are left only with “Again”.

Never Again.

President Joe Biden, head of state of the richest, most powerful country in the world, is helpless before Israel, even though Israel would not exist without US funding. It’s as though the dependent has taken over the benefactor. The optics say so. Like a geriatric child, Joe Biden appears on camera licking an ice-cream cone and vaguely mumbling about a ceasefire, while Israeli government and military officials openly defy him and vow to finish what they have started. To try and stop the hemorrhaging of the votes of millions of young Americans who will not stand for this slaughter in their name, Kamala Harris, US vice-president, has been tasked with the job of calling for a ceasefire, while billions of US dollars continue to flow to enable the genocide.

And what of our country?

It is well known that our prime minister is an intimate friend of Benjamin Netanyahu and there is no doubt where his sympathies lie. India is no longer a friend of Palestine. When the bombing began, thousands of Modi’s supporters put up the Israeli flag as their DP on social media. They helped spread the vilest disinformation on behalf of Israel and the IDF. Even though the Indian government has now stepped back into a more neutral position – our foreign policy triumph is that we manage to be on all sides at once, we can be pro- as well as anti-genocide – the government has clearly indicated that it will act decisively against any pro-Palestine protestors.

And now, while the US exports what it has in abundant surplus – weapons and money to aid Israel’s genocide – India too is exporting what our country has in abundant surplus: the unemployed poor to replace the Palestinian workers who will no longer be given work permits to enter Israel. (I’m guessing there will be no Muslims amongst the new recruits.) People who are desperate enough to risk their lives in a war zone. People desperate enough to tolerate overt Israeli racism against Indians. You can see it expressed on social media, if you care to look. US money and Indian poverty combine to oil Israel’s genocidal war machine. What a terrible, unthinkable, shame.

The Palestinians, facing down the most powerful countries in the world, left virtually alone even by their allies, have suffered immeasurably. But they have won this war. They, their journalists, their doctors, their rescue teams their poets, academics, spokespeople, and even their children have conducted themselves with a courage and dignity that has inspired the rest of the world. The young generation in the western world, particularly the new generation of young Jewish people in the US, have seen through the brainwashing and propaganda and have recognised apartheid and genocide for what it is. The governments of the most powerful countries in the western world have lost their dignity, and any respect they might have had. Yet again. But the millions of protestors on the streets of Europe and the US are the hope for the future of the world.

Palestine will be free.

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.