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The tolls



To the editor:

International Holocaust Remembrance Day was Jan. 27th, the day when Auschwitz was liberated in 1945 by the Russian Army. The Nazis had created an industrial machine of death whose genocidal goal was to kill every Jew in Europe. Six million Jews were eventually killed.

Ironically the day before, the International Court of Justice found it “plausible” that Palestinians in Gaza need “to be protected from acts of genocide” by Israel under the obligations of the Genocide Convention. The court issued provisional measures. Among them, that Israel and its military take “all measures” to prevent acts of genocide, punish “the direct and public incitement to commit genocide,” and “take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza strip.” 

The 27-page court order was based on facts on the ground and statements of intent (“dehumanizing language”) by senior Israeli officials. Israel’s response was sharply critical. It called the court’s decision “unfounded in fact and law,” “morally repugnant,” “obscene” and “outrageous.” Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to give unconditional military and diplomatic support to Israel, dismissing charges of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and downplaying multiple human rights abuses by the IDF. 

By late January, Israel estimates it has carried out at least 22,000 strikes in Gaza, each one often involving multiple rounds of munitions. Gaza’s death toll is over 26,000, with more than 11,000 children killed and at least another 65,000 injured. An unknown number of Palestinians remain buried under the rubble. Reporters have been targeted by the IDF, as have schools, hospitals and even ambulances. Remarkably, Israel does not know how many Hamas fighters it has killed or injured.

Howard Elterman


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