The silent echoes of genocide

By Izza Rauf
Fri, 03, 24

For over 150 days the world has watched in horror as the conflict in Gaza unfolds into what can only be described as a genocidal ethnic cleansing....

The silent echoes of genocide


For over 150 days the world has watched in horror as the conflict in Gaza unfolds into what can only be described as a genocidal ethnic cleansing. Despite worldwide protests, boycotts, and calls for action to global leaders, the response has been shockingly inadequate. In a chilling display of apathy, the international community has stood idly by, offering nothing but toothless resolutions while millions of lives hang by a weak thread.

The inaction is particularly chilling given its circumstances. We promised “Never again” after the undoubted terrors of the Holocaust, yet here we are, wrapped in a shameful silence as another genocide unfolds. The past echoes of suffering from Bosnia and Rwanda are deafening, yet global leaders seem perfectly content in turning a blind eye to the annihilation of millions of Palestinians.

In the midst of the hollow promises of safety, more than a million men, women, and children are trapped in Rafah, which is now recognized as the most densely populated place on Earth. Tens of thousands of people have been martyred, maimed, starved, or horrifically buried under rubble. Aid trucks are savagely blocked by Israeli perpetrators, and the suffering of those trapped in this nightmarish hellscape reaches greater depths. With no more functioning hospitals, the death toll creeps closer to a staggering 30,000, and it seems the people of Palestine will not be granted the privilege of even the most basic of needs, with no access to food, water, or healthcare, thus mercilessly depriving an entire ethnic group.

The silent echoes of genocide

In the heart of this humanitarian catastrophe, it is the innocent children who are ruthlessly stripped of their childhood and are surrounded by echoes of explosions, forced to navigate a cruel reality. Family homes are reduced to rubble, and each passing day inflicts irreparable harm on Palestinian children. To Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, their deaths are just “collateral damage”, yet ignoring the plight and suffering of children who had aspirations, dreams, family, friends, and held hope close to their hearts is a horrific and demeaning stance.

The deliberate targeting of homes and refugee camps by the genocidal forces is a grotesque facet of this obviously orchestrated atrocity. The haunting images of orphaned children who stand traumatized and robbed of their innocence are stark reminders of the calculated intent behind this conflict. The Israeli government not only seeks to extinguish the lives of the Palestinians, but to erase the very essence of their existence. It is a crime against humanity, and it should be labelled as such.

Journalists who are driven by a sense of duty and who dare to expose the horrors of the genocide find themselves being purposely targeted by Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Intimidation, harassment, and assault are tactics deployed by the IDF to punish those who intend to shed light on the endless suffering Palestinians are facing. The world is witnessing a disturbing trend where those responsible for the genocide continue to control and propel the narrative of victimhood while suppressing the very voices that bring these realities to light. Israel intends to create a vacuum of information and escape accountability for their crimes.

The silent echoes of genocide

Adding to the growing layers of injustice, the defunding of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has amplified the direness of the conflict. The UNRWA is a vital lifeline for the displaced and now is faced with a crippling lack of resources. Just recently the UN agency was forced to pause the flow of aid to Northern Gaza while reports of famine have reached a new soaring high. Netanyahu has demanded that aid operations cease altogether, turning a blind eye to the thousands who use this aid as their lifeline. This is a sheer violation of basic human rights.

The countries that have been self-proclaimed champions and defenders of human rights have been first in line to express their support for Israel’s handling of the conflict, often praising the IDF and glossing over the rabid war crimes committed by Israel. Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was one of the first leaders to show solidarity with Israel, going so far as to land in Tel Aviv amid non-stop Israeli bombardment in Gaza. Similarly, the United States, Canada, and Europe are silent on the killing of innocent men, women, and children. Disgustingly, the United States has even gone so far as to send $18 billion to Israel in “aid”. In what world do the oppressors receive aid and sympathy?

As we face the growing, overwhelming levels of injustice and blatant disregard for human life unfolding in front of our screens, it becomes crucial for the global community to rethink its values and finally honour its commitment to upholding basic human rights. The silent echoes of history’s darkest chapters should serve as a dark reminder that silence and neutrality ARE complicity and that is disgustingly unacceptable. Meaningful action must be taken to end the suffering and oppression of the Palestinian people and the world needs to hold Israel and the West responsible for their crimes. We cannot claim to be a civilized society while allowing genocide to unfold before our very eyes.

The silent echoes of genocide

We cannot preach about justice and human rights while abandoning those who need us the most. The time for dull meaningless regards is over. The time for action is now. It is imperative that the international community stands united against injustice and works hard towards a peaceful resolution to the genocide of our brothers and sisters in Palestine. Only then can we truly honour the promise of “Never again” and ensure that such atrocities are truly never allowed to happen again. Otherwise it will be remembered in history that we have failed.

As the dark shadows reflect the agony laid upon by a broken world

The short echoes of gunfire dance along the crumbling walls of his home

Sharing the laughter he once had and held so close to his heart.

Yet no laugh or chuckle escapes his lips as he roams out, a ghost in the dust.

He reaches towards his stomach feeling a gnawing ache.

Growing slowly, looming large, painting shadows of desperation and need.

Wide eyes once bright with wonder and thought lay dim, glistening with tears.

Gripping his sleeve, he pushes through, lifting a small gravely piece of brick

Uncovering the ruins from his home forced to face an uncomfortable truth.

He feels a familiar tightness in his throat as unsung tears threaten to fall.

He looks around slowly, a stinging feeling overtakes his eyes

Then it all goes quiet.

Within the stillness of the moment his breathing became shallow

His heart cries out for the familiar comfort of home, but he is home, right?

His fingers trace the jagged piece of stone and memories flood through him.

They pierce his soul threatening to break his impassive fast, yet he clings on

Refusing to let them drown into the dark unforgiving abyss of oblivion.

And then the unforgiving weight of reality finally dawns upon him

Its presence is suffocating, pressing down on him like a black heavy cloak

The air hangs heavy, scents of decay mingle with the metallic tang of blood

Each breath is a struggle, a battle he is more than happy to give up on now

With a heavy heart and weary eyes he carefully trudges forward

Guided by the faint promise of an unspoken future yet to come tomorrow

He walks forward. one foot after the other…one…two…three…four…

But as he moves his footsteps falter a wave of weariness washes over him

As exhaustion courses through his veins consuming his every thought

Serving as surrender to the relentless torment suffered

He carefully sets down among the debris, his body sinking into the rubble.

A sigh escapes his lips as he studies the tarnished landscape surrounding him

The once gnawing ache in his stomach transforms into a hammering throb

He closes his eyes, and allows his tears to fall freely the burden too much

The world seems to stand still, time holds its breath as he closes his eyes

The memories overtake him once more, a bittersweet reminder of what was

He takes one final, laboured breath, the echoes of gunfire fade

As he slips away, his journey ending and the remnants of him consumed by an empty void

His pain has finally been laid to rest.

And now I understand how we’ve failed you too.

Izza Rauf, a middle school student in the United States, is not only a poet but also deeply fascinated by international affairs and global politics. She can be reached at