Today, the entire world stands by while it witnesses a needless famine, putting at least hundreds of thousands at direct risk of starvation.
It’s not because there is no food. The food is there, lined up in trucks right outside the area struck by famine.
It’s not because there is nobody available to distribute the food. The volunteers to do that are also there—though many are being murdered by massive, indiscriminate bombing going on every day.
The pictures of the children crying for food are also there—so nobody can say they didn’t know.
The problem is the blockade enforced by Israel—and backed up by the United States—that has caused what is now the worst hunger situation in the world… one that is rapidly heading for mass famine and starvation.
An Israeli Report Exposes the Forced Starvation
A January 8 report by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem1 —the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories—is titled “Israel is starving Gaza.” The report documents that “The hunger in Gaza is not a byproduct of the war but a direct result of Israel’s declared policy” (emphasis in original).
- Gaza was already in the throes of a humanitarian crisis before the war, mainly due to Israel’s 17-year blockade. About 80 percent of the population relied on humanitarian aid. Some 44 percent of households were food insecure and another 16 percent were at risk of food insecurity. And now, only a fraction of the amount of food entering before the war is allowed in.
- Israel has systematically destroyed the ability of people in Gaza to produce food. “Most cultivated fields have been destroyed, and accessing open areas during the war is dangerous in any case. Bakeries, factories and food warehouses have been bombed or shut down due to lack of basic supplies, fuel and electricity.”
- Right now, “everyone in Gaza is going hungry. About 2.2 million people are surviving day by day on almost nothing, routinely going without meals. The desperate search for food is relentless, and usually unsuccessful, leaving the entire population—including babies, children, pregnant or nursing women and the elderly—hungry.” If the situation continues, by February 7, 2024, at least one in four residents in Gaza—more than 500,000 people—will be “facing extreme food shortages, hunger and exhaustion.”
- The little food that does get in to Gaza is very difficult to distribute due to the constant bombings, destroyed roads, frequent communication blackouts, and shelters overflowing with hundreds of thousands of displaced people crowding into smaller and smaller areas.
Behind Crimes Against Humanity: A Criminal System That Needs to Be Overthrown as Soon as Possible
The leaders of Israel have made clear, in their actions and their statements,3 that their objective is to bomb, terrorize, torture, starve, and crush or exile the Palestinian people from their homeland, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Biden’s widely reported-on spats with Israel’s rulers, and his phony-ass finger-wagging on some of Israel’s most outrageous crimes, have gone hand-in-hand with ramping up massive funding and military aid to Israel, including sending Israel more than 5,000 2,000-pound bombs, some of the most destructive weapons on earth.4 Nor has Biden lifted a finger to stop this horrible starvation, which again is in plain view of the entire planet.
Israel’s—and, yes, America’s—torture and starvation of the people in Gaza is utterly intolerable. There needs to be much, much more resistance from all corners of society to these crimes being committed in our name. And with that—there has to be a much deeper look at how this connects to other crimes America carries out (and has carried out) around the world… the deeper causes… and what must be seriously done to stop it.
One place to start: getting into, and spreading, this post from Bob Avakian.