Protagonists in Gaza war need to be sober, shun ‘final solution’

We are being told that all we are seeing is the preparatory phase of the “real thing,” the operationalisation of the much-heralded ground invasion.

The display we have at our disposal in the fast deteriorating crisis in the Middle East is that of force and violence, and it looks like that is all we have; very soon the whole world will be jaded and habituated to scene of flowing blood.

One notices that even the advisories on television about optics being perhaps depressing for the faint-hearted are becoming rarer and we are now being fed raw images offering the bloodiest scenes of human slaughter.

It is not going to relent any time soon; rather, we are promised that it it is going to be more violent as the world braces and steadies for the promised ground offensive that is surely coming.

We have heard over the past three weeks or so “diplomatic” centres in the West offering total and unconditional support to Israel, and what this latter could do “in its own defence.”

Read: ULIMWENGU: There is little justice, no balance


It is in effect giving carte blanche to Israel to possibly commit war crimes without even thinking of possible censure from its backers.

What happened on October 7 was shocking, no doubt, and it was understandable that people generally condemned what Hamas did, especially when it was clear that the victims of those military actions were civilians. That condemnation cannot be limited to only one side while we see that there is no side that seems ready to respect civilian lives.

It is this spiralling violence that is playing out on our screens, especially when each side seems eager to place the value of the group it supports higher than all else, the world seems bent on dividing humanity between lives worthy of protection and lives that are expendable.

We have known such a situation before, it is clear now, and remember that the victims in the past were sometimes from the “other” group.

Universal value

It would seem to me that the world is fast losing all sense of balance in such a way that there is little of universal value.

I watched and listened to the statements made by the representatives of Palestine and Israel at the United Nations this week, and I thought that the two envoys were eloquent and moving, obviously having prepped themselves for an occasion that gave both of them the chance to plead their cases before the court of world opinion.

Their choice of words and phrases was apt and the tone of the vocals resonated with the subject matter.

But they both made it clear that the two sides were talking, not with or to each other, but at, about, against, and past each other.

Read: ULIMWENGU: Animals? This kind of language caused Holocaust

There was just no conversation between the two sides, only hyperbole and superlative invective in which the “other” side was pure, unadulterated evil while “our” side was innocence raped and murdered.

I am no diplomat, but even I could see that there was no material there that any would-be deal broker could work with.

Two protagonists

The intensity of the outrage expressed by the two protagonists should make the world forbear any further descent into violence, because it is a path out of which none is likely to come unscathed.

The virulence of the rhetoric does not give the impression of protagonists capable of weighing up the gravity of the situation and thinking up what could help the world to come out of the hole it has worked itself into.

For, indeed, this is one hell of a hole into which the world has dug itself, gradually, and out of which much tact and dexterity will be needed if we are to pick our way out of.

To be sure, October 7 will be a reference date, but so will 1948 — which the Palestinians an the Arabs have called “Naqba,” the date of the injection of the Israel factor into the Middle East, after the horrors of the Second World War and the Holocaust, a good part of the world eager to good by the Jews, on account of the collective guilt felt for what happened under Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” programmes, which included mass removals, displacement and, eventually, extermination.

Read: NGUGI: Hold your fire, too many lives have been lost

Horrendous acts

Any time any of these terms and/or concepts are mentioned in any conflictual situation, we should collectively cringe, because they evoke memories of horrendous acts wrought by the broken politics of an era gone by but apparently not completely done away with.

In the outrage surrounding these recent events, it should be the duty of the world to take care to keep the conversation within limits of “civilised” discourse.

It is clear that on all fronts there are people who have invested heavily in the emotions that would be happy to witness the complete annihilation of the “other,” to do their own “final solution” in their little corner.

The right thing lies in educating the world by reminding us that there is no final solution to anything.

Everything is temporary, timebound relative, ephemeral, fleeting, transient.

Source:  The East African

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