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  Opinion   Columnists  16 Dec 2023  Ranjona Banerji | Hallo there! Have you all Condemned Hamas?

Ranjona Banerji | Hallo there! Have you all Condemned Hamas?

The writer is a senior journalist who writes on media affairs, politics and social trends.
Published : Dec 17, 2023, 12:07 am IST
Updated : Dec 17, 2023, 12:35 am IST

It’s been over two months since October 7, 2023, when Hamas rockets attacked Israel, killing 1400 people

It’s been over two months since October 7, 2023, when Hamas rockets attacked Israel, killing 1400 people. (Image:Twitter)
 It’s been over two months since October 7, 2023, when Hamas rockets attacked Israel, killing 1400 people. (Image:Twitter)

It’s been over two months since October 7, 2023, when Hamas rockets attacked Israel, killing 1400 people. This sent the world into a tizzy and Israel into full revenge mode. The evils of terrorism, the suffering of innocent Israeli civilians enjoying their music festivals and parties and regular lives, the problems of the area, the threat posed by the very existence of Palestinians — these were discussed in the western media. “Have you condemned Hamas” was the refrain which thundered through the halls of the democratic West — in governments, legislatures, TV studios. A story emerged of 40 Israeli babies beheaded by Hamas terrorists. The shock and horror were palpable across the world. The chants of “Have you condemned Hamas” became more strident.

Since then, the number of Israelis killed by Hamas on October 7 has been reduced — by Israeli — to 200. The additional 200 were probably killed by the Israeli forces themselves. Shh. Not a word about that. Have you condemned Hamas yet? As for those babies, that ghastly blood-curdling incident, it appears to have vanished into hearsay and he said and she said. How awful if it were true and somehow it has only become a talking point of “Have you condemned Hamas yet” without any need for proof. And the reality of those babies is lost in rhetoric and falsehood. And what has happened since? Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces. At least 5000 of those are children. Since the refrain “Have you condemned Hamas yet” has not yet died down, one can only infer that 40 Israeli babies are worth more than 5000 Palestinian babies. I am no good at maths, so you can work out the ratios yourself. The rich and powerful are too busy condemning Hamas.

The new world order, as seen by the world’s most powerful democracies — initially the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada — is that Israel can do whatever it wants to defend itself from the evil Hamas, which must be condemned always. That almost 20000 Palestinians have been killed in just over two months in Gaza alone is the fault of those Palestinians for being of the same nationality as Hamas.

It is the fault of other nations of the world who want the atrocities to end. They are also Hamas. It is the fault of the United Nations and its agencies who have tried to help Palestinians. They are also Hamas. It is the fault of journalists who have tried to cover the plight of Palestinians in Gaza under attack. They are also Hamas. It is the fault of doctors who try to treat the wounded and the sick. They are also Hamas. It is the fault of students at western universities who want the attacks on Palestine to stop. They are also Hamas. It is the fault of Jews who do not believe in Zionism and want the attacks on Palestinians to stop. They are also Hamas.

In fact, the whole world bar Israel and a Big Few are Hamas. That is why Israel is well within its rights to kill everyone it so desires. Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, invoked Article 99 to call upon the Security Council to act on the deepening “catastrophe” in Gaza. The US used its veto power to turn down the plea for a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds. Israel accused Guterres of being Hamas.

Heads of American Ivy League universities have had to resign because they are unable to stop their students from protesting in favour of a ceasefire. Students are all Hamas. This week, 153 members of the United Nations voted for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, Presumably we are all Hamas, except for the 23 who abstained and 10 who voted against. The 10 who want the devastation of Palestine to continue are: Austria, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and of course the United States and Israel.

Earlier outright supporters of Israel’s tactics like the UK and Germany chose to abstain this time. France and Canada voted for a ceasefire. India which had abstained in the last vote has now also voted for a ceasefire. Is sanity keeping its head above the water? Do not hold your breath quite yet. From the time that Israel began its killing spree (but have you condemned Hamas), the world has been appalled. But the world is not as powerful as these nations of colonial and imperial riches and predatory policies. The world has not mattered because powerful western democracies said that only Israel was correct morally and geopolitically. Palestine was Hamas. And since it directly countered Israel’s right to exist – according to Israel – Palestine was dispensable. As for Palestinians themselves, why didn’t they just go somewhere else?

There is a word here which is used worldwide but it can get you into trouble. In your workplace, on social media. The word starts with g and ends with e. It has eight letters. This could be random order or actual order, but the other letters could be e, n, o, c, i and d. This word accurately describes what is being done to Palestinians in Gaza by Israeli forces. But it is a deeply upsetting word for white supremacist democracies which not only coined the word but acted it out to the fullest extent possible in the lands that they conquered.

For the past century, these white supremacist democracies have built themselves a large pedestal which they claimed gave them moral superiority. They sat on top of their own pedestal and proclaimed judgment on the rest of the world — barbaric, uncivilised, pitiable, unable to appreciate fine contexts and nuances of ethical behaviour.

On October 7, 2023, in the eyes of the world, that pedestal came crumbling down. They don’t know it yet. But we see it. We see them. We see them justifying the unconscionable deaths of almost 20,000 Palestinians. We see them paying to kill the Palestinians. We see them supporting the killers. We see them accepting every excuse by the killers. We see the lies of the killers exposed, and we see them covering up the lies. We know that most of those accused by Israel are not Hamas. And we can see who the real terrorists are. Today it’s 153 nations plus 23 cowardly abstainers against 10 enablers of genocide.

Hallo there. Can you see us?

Tags: israel, israel war, israeli civilians