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May 16, 2021

Regime of violence

 
May 16, 2021

At the end of the holy month of Ramazan, Eid in Gaza was an attempt to forget the horrors of reality – despite the incessant attacks by Israel. The Palestinians were not alone in their grief. As the progressive world joined them, Kabul too had to bury its dead and mourn on a day that is supposed to be festive. And Israel’s brutalities went international when on Saturday it attacked and destroyed a building in Gaza that housed the offices of many international media organisations, including Al Jazeera. The Muslim world and the international community at large have just been pretending to intensify diplomatic efforts even as the Zionist state has continued its week-long targeted destruction of buildings and killings of Palestinians, most of them non-combatants. In fact, the question of ‘combatants’ arises when there is a fighting between two parties; in this case it is mostly a one-sided trail of devastation that is wreaking havoc in Gaza. As there is no air-force at the disposal of the Palestinians they are helpless victims of the carnage which is now looking like a genocidal massacre.

Meanwhile, on Friday during the Juma prayers Kabul’s outskirts saw yet another explosion inside a mosque. It was the second day of Eid and people were trying to offer prayers during a ceasefire that was broken without a formal announcement. Though the Taliban have condemned the attack, there are other insurgent groups that could be responsible for the attack. This blast occurred within a week after an explosion at a school killed at least 80 people, most of them schoolgirls from the ethnic Hazaras Shia minority that is often targeted in Pakistan too. As the US troops continue their pullout to be completed by September 11, there appear to be multiple groups vying for power in Afghanistan. In their bids for greater stakes in running the country in future, these insurgent groups have intensified their attacks.

The solution to Afghanistan’s peace dilemmas is more and more dialogue within Afghans. And a recognition by the international community of its role in bringing that country to this place. As we see the horrifying images coming from Gaza, and the consistent uptick in violence in Kabul continues, we also realise that the US offers no immediate solution to the Afghan problem. Even more ominously, it offers nothing to the Palestinians who die from generation to generation with Washington continuing to mainly partner with the Israeli government. In such a situation, it is the more than 50 countries which make up the Islamic world that must find a way to step in. Over the years, they appear to have given up responsibility entirely. Apart from one or two allies, the Palestinians have been left on their own at a time when they badly need help and support. It is unrealistic to expect the UN to be able to work out any kind of peace deal – especially when there is no US support behind such attempts. We cannot allow the death of Palestinians or Afghans or Kashmiris to continue in this fashion. The attacks on Gaza simply demonstrate what happens when a powerful force is unleashed on people armed essentially with sticks and stones and the desire to defend their land and their children. It is the world then that must look towards them and find a solution before it is too late.