Friday August 19, 2022

Israeli impunity

By Editorial Board
May 12, 2022

Perhaps not many today will remember Rachel Corrie, the young American activist cru OPED shed to death by an Israeli Defence Forces bulldozer in 2003. Israel got away with that – just like it has gotten away with its relentless oppression of the Palestinian population. The occupying force has never been afraid to use the impunity it knows it has. And now it has killed an Al Jazeera reporter in a blatant act of violence that the world must at least condemn in the strongest words. For decades now, the world has looked away as Israel has unleashed terror on Palestinians. Will they speak up now, after Al-Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh received a live bullet in her head at the hands of the Israelis and lost her life? The Palestinian journalist was reporting on an Israeli military operation in the city of Jenin where Israeli security forces have intensified their raids in recent weeks. The surge of violence in the past couple of months has been conveniently ignored by most of the Western media. According to reports, Israeli forces have also wounded another reporter Ali Samodi who works for the Jerusalem-based Quds newspaper.

In keeping with its propensity to blame everyone but itself for its crimes, Israel is trying to sell the narrative that possibly Palestinian gunmen fired the shots that hit and killed Akleh. However, the fact is that Israel remains one of the most dangerous countries for any journalist doing their job well. Human rights activists and watchdogs have been highlighting Israel’s highhandedness for long now, but the state of Israel has never given much weight to condemnations and protests and has continued to try and silence the voices of Palestinians who have been deprived of their homes and are under constant threat of violence and destruction.

If Israel can kill a prominent journalist like Akleh, one can only imagine what happens to other citizens in the occupied territories. Gaza and the West Bank have been on the receiving end since long, but the world is not holding Israel accountable for its misdeeds. Israel has hardly ever held its soldiers accountable and in fact such tactics receive indirect approval from the state. Targeting the press has been an old strategy of Israeli forces to deter reporters from covering their crimes. This cold-blooded murder must stir the world. Israel has been committing extreme violations of human rights which must draw immediate attention from world bodies including the United Nations. Temporary ceasefires may end direct raids for some time but till the architecture of occupation is still standing, Israel will continue its brutal ways. At some point, this system of apartheid that Israel has imposed will have to be ended.