Only Some Lives Matter

Only Some Lives Matter
An unidentified hospital in Gaza. Israel is systematically bombarding hospitals in Gaza. Photo courtesy of The Commons

All colonial nations have acted with the clear assumption that some people—white Europeans and their descendants—are people and that all others are human-shaped animals who can be used or disposed of according to the needs of the colonizers.

Israel is just saying it out loud.

“We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.

“We are imposing a complete siege on Gaza. There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel.”

Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu suggested that one way to deal with Gaza would be to drop a nuclear bomb and kill everyone. He claimed that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.”

Eliyahu was not fired or even suspended for these remarks as some news sources have stated. He has continued to take part in phone votes held by the Israeli Cabinet, though he has been “suspended” from being present in person.

Asked about the Palestinian population, Eliyahu said, “They can go to Ireland or deserts; the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves” and “anyone waving a Palestinian flag has no right to exist.”

This from a government minister of Israel, a member of the cabinet.

The death toll in Gaza was officially 11,240 on Nov. 14. That includes 4,630 children. This is a gross undercount because it includes only those bodies found and brought to a hospital for identification, as reported by the BBC in an article on how the dead are counted.

The article quotes Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a Médecins Sans Frontières plastic surgeon based in London who has been treating people at hospitals in Gaza City. He says the hospital morgue records deaths after confirming the identity of the dead person with their relatives and that the number of deaths registered so far is far fewer than those that have actually occurred.

“Most of the deaths happen at home. The ones we could not identify, we did not record.”

Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician who’s worked in Al-Shifa Hospital for years, stated that “6,000 of the killed and missing are children. When did that become the defense of a country? When did it become decent to drag neonates out of their incubators and kill children?

“You know, the only explanation for this is a deep-rooted and very frightening racism, because you don’t do these things to people you consider your equal.”

Dr. Tanya Haj-Hassan, a pediatric intensive care physician with Doctors Without Borders, spoke with Democracy Now (which is doing a good job of reporting, and you can listen to it on KFCF 88.1 FM of Fresno) on Nov. 13 and said that “healthcare facilities are directly targeted, with intent. Ambulances are directly targeted, with intent.

“The entire infrastructure of a civilian population, everything that is needed, that is indispensable to their survival, from food to water to medical facilities to their shelter—everything has been targeted, intentionally targeted and destroyed. That is what we should be focusing on.

“There are also, you know, almost 5,000 children who have been killed, that we know of, but we don’t have statistics from the last 48 hours because they have completely destroyed the ability to even expose these atrocities.”

Speaking about her colleague, Dr. Hammam Alloh, who was killed in an Israeli bombing on Nov. 11, Dr. Haj-Hassan said that in “the last message Dr. Hammam Alloh had sent, just a few hours before he was killed, to one of my colleagues, he said, ‘Your shouting means a lot to us. Please keep it up.’” 

Democracy Now had interviewed Dr. Alloh on Oct. 31, just days before he was killed, and asked him, “Why don’t you go with your family south?”

He answered, “And if I go, who treats my patients? We are not animals. We have the right to receive proper healthcare. So we can’t just leave.

“The Ministry of Health declared two hours ago that the electricity would be cut off from Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital, representing 40% of the healthcare power in the Gaza Strip and providing services for many machine-dependent patients, like the ventilated patients and the hemodialysis patients.

“So, if electricity is cut out from this hospital, we are directly deciding those patients are going to necessarily die. Ventilated patients will die in minutes. Dialysis patients will die in hours to days after stopping their hemodialysis.

“So, my very simple answer to your question is that death is coming to so many people in the Gaza Strip, in hours to days, if this continues the same way it’s going on.”

Dr. Alloh added, “First, we need this war to end, because we are real humans. We are not animals. We have the right to live freely.

“Second, if you were, and your citizens, to live under these circumstances, what would you do for them? This is exactly what we would like you to do for us as a superpower country, as the United States, because we are really as human as your U.S. citizens are.

“We are being exterminated. We are being massly eradicated. And you pretend to care for humanitarian and human rights, which is not what we are living now. To prove us wrong, please do something.”

And as you read this column, dozens more Palestians have been killed.

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