This is the worst of times for humanity, and those facing the brunt of the Israeli war machine in Gaza have proved to be the bravest people. Their suffering is mounting and so is their perseverance. They are not mere figures falling, but the slow systematic destruction of humanity. They include babies, the unborn, children, the old, women.

With all the firepower at their disposal, with fighter planes, tanks, missiles and soldiers battle hardened to face hostilities, Israel has waged a war on the unarmed, underfed, defenseless people of Gaza, and to avoid complete, unresisted slaughter, the Palestinians are trying to put up a meek fight.

This is utterly unpalatable for Israel, and to break the will of this resistence, the state is participating in collective punishment, with all of Gaza as a legitimate target. Out of over a thousand people killed in the last two weeks of indiscriminate bombing by the Israelis, about 80 per cent are the elderly, women and children. A dominant majority of the remaining 20 percent include non combatant civilians.

And perhaps what is most treacherous of all, is the Israeli discourse on its war crimes. Its propaganda machine aided by its trusted mentors in the US is working overtime to equate Hamas with Al-Qaeda, Ansar Sharia and other terrorist outfits. Furthermore, Israel is projecting itself as the grieved party under existential threat from the terrorists-next-door. It has largely succeeded selling this to the US, the UK, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf States for diametrically different reasons. It is not a war against terrorists; it is an act of undue aggression to coerce 1.8 million people into abject submission.

The Israeli claim has been trashed by some of the greatest enlightened minds of our time. Noam Chomsky, a linguist of matchless wisdom and clarity, said, “Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques and slums, to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army, and calls it a war. It is not war, it is murder.”

The abduction and killing of three young Israelis last month in the West Bank had nothing to do with Hamas in Gaza; Israel however, blew it out of proportion at the international level, to garner support for military action in Gaza. After killing more than 800 Palestinians, the discourse has not changed. In cahoots with CNN, BBC and other biased Western outlets, Israel is propagating that they want an immediate stoppage of war but that Hamas just does not agree.

The Egyptian initiative to stop the ‘war’ was nothing more than a ruse in service to Israel under American tutelage. General Sisi of Egypt has sold himself to the Americans for power; the secular Muslims in service to their Western masters have caused more damage to Islamic causes all over the world than any non-Muslims in history. It would now seem that Muslims can expect fair treatment from non-Muslims, but not from the power hungry, corrupt and fraudulent demagogues of the Islamic world.

For the last eight years, Gaza has lived under complete Israeli blockade, and been turned into the largest prison on earth. Each year, many more than 800 people die of hunger, malnutrition, sickness, water borne diseases, food and soil pollution etc, because there is always a shortage of medicines and food supply. If the ‘war’ was to stop without the lifting of the blockade, then for Gaza nothing has changed. Outlining his demands, Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas leader has said, ‘We don’t want to be controlled by a border crossing that makes Gaza the biggest prison in the world.’ On Wednesday, speaking at a press conference in Doha, Qatar where he is currently staying, he made it clear that Hamas would never accept a ceasefire plan that did not offer the ending of the Israeli blockade of Gaza.’

The US, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Arab principalities have lost all moral authority over the Palestinian people. Some days ago, in support of a UN Human Rights Council resolution to launch a probe into Israel’s offensive on Gaza, the US was the only nation to vote against the resolution. After such hypocrisy, after such clear moral bankruptcy, must Americans really wonder, ‘Why do they hate us?’

 The writer is an academician and a columnist currently teaching at a university in North Africa.