There has been no outrage. We all let this happen. But it is not too late to speak out.
As of writing this, 52 Palestinian unarmed protesters in Gaza have been shot dead by Israeli snipers on Monday, and 2,238 have been wounded, over 1,000 by live ammunition, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. Among those killed are eight children under 16 years old. The hospitals in Gaza are at breaking point, and cannot treat gunshot wounds as they pour in. The number of dead and wounded is likely to continue to rise.
Since March 30, when the Gaza protests began, 101 Palestinians have been killed and well over 10,000 wounded, many maimed for life. Not a single Israeli injury and not a single rocket fired at Israel, even as Israel has bombed Gaza several times in recent weeks.
It doesn’t matter which numbers you want to believe or how many stones have been thrown (not a single injury caused by them), or even how many Hamas officials have called on Palestinians to protest. This is a massacre of a stateless population living under military siege. And we are all accomplices for not doing more to stop it.
On Monday, Israel’s top human rights organization B’Tselem issued a statement calling the shootings “an appalling indifference to human life.” It’s hard to explain it any other way.
The overwhelming majority of the Jewish Israeli population has not spoken out. According to an Israel Democracy Institute Peace Index poll from April, 83 percent of Jewish Israelis find the IDF’s open fire policy in Gaza “appropriate.” Just hours after the massacre, thousands went out into the streets to celebrate the Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai in Tel Aviv.
Only a few dozen Israelis have gone down to southern Israel where the fence separates it from Gaza to hold up signs opposing Israeli actions and calling for a lift of the siege. These are the Israelis who will go down in history as the last vestige of humanity and forward thinking in Jewish Israeli society.
Everyone who participated in the formal U.S. Embassy inauguration in Jerusalem at the exact same time that just a few miles away, people were being shot down, also have blood on their hands. The participation of Christian bigots and anti-Semites Robert Jeffress and John Hagee adds insult to injury, and could not better demonstrate the current seamless alignment between the racist Israeli right in power and the racist American right in power.
A spontaneous protest in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem was called for 9 p.m. Israel time to protest the atrocities. It is not too late to speak out, to put your bodies out there and resist.