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Upholding western values in Palestine: genocide and colonization?

July 9th,2024 | Valley Voices

By Rink de Lange

Regarding Stephanie Turple’s letter, “Upholding western values”, July 3 edition:

A month ago I returned from Gaza, having worked for an international medical NGO. I saw how life looks in Gaza for 2.3 million people in an area about half the size of the municipality La Pêche. There is no humanity in Gaza. Families are being chased by bombs from one end of Gaza to the other…. Wherever they go, bombardments continue. There is no dignity living in a destroyed landscape in the rubble of completely destroyed towns with severely damaged infrastructure, amidst destroyed hospitals and schools. There has been a complete withholding of all items that are basic human rights – food, water, shelter. People in Gaza are at the end of the rope, barely surviving in a completely inhumane situation. 

The retaliation for the barbaric attack of Hamas on Israel is completely out of proportion. This is not about getting hostages back, it is about the destruction of a society and with the displacement of more than 80 per cent of the population, the destruction of entire towns and infrastructure like hospitals, schools and drinking-water plants, the killing of 38,000 people and wounding another 87,000 so far. The Israel Defense Forces are well underway to committing genocide. That is certainly what it looks like, but the International Court of Justice will eventually determine that. The International Criminal Court is investigating numerous and repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the IDF and Hamas. Gaza is not part of Israel, but it is now an occupied territory, like the West Bank. The settlements in the West Bank are illegal according to most of the world except for Israel, and that looks suspiciously like colonialism.

If those are our “western values”, we should be ashamed and I am grateful for the small group of people in Wakefield who every Friday afternoon defend human values and call for an end to this genocide and an immediate ceasefire. And as a footnote: The desire to end the horrible human rights violations that have become part of daily existence in Palestine does not make people anti-semitic, it expresses humanity. 

Rink de Lange is a resident of Ste-Cécile-de-Masham, QC.

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