Gaza Genocide 2.0

By Dr. Paul Larudee, Global Research, 17 May 2024

The most widely reported figure currently used for Palestinian casualties in Gaza since October 7, 2023, is more than 35,000 killed and 78,000 wounded. These are only the civilian casualties, reported by the Ministry of Health. More than two-thirds are women and children. Combatant casualties are not included. The Ministry of Health maintains a list of the casualties, by name, gender and age classification (e.g. “infant”). This usually means that a medical professional has tended to the individual, usually at a hospital. The list is conservative in the extreme: it reports only the casualties that it can identify and confirm.

 

The inevitable consequence of this sort of tally is that while it provides hard data, it vastly undercounts the actual total, since most of the hospitals have been destroyed, and many of the medical personnel either killed or taken captive. The uncounted casualties are therefore necessarily at least 200 or 300% greater than those reported, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, and as I discussed in “Not all of the genocide is being live-streamed” more than three months ago.

How many have died without ever being reported to the Ministry if Health? How many on the list of wounded die later for lack of treatment, but are never reported as dead from weapons of war? How many are nameless and unidentified bodies? How many are corpses that have not even been found? How many are newborn infants that died without ever having a registered name?

But there is another category, potentially even greater, that is becoming the new focus of Israel’s genocide: deaths by starvation, disease, exposure, and dehydration. These are not currently included in the Ministry of Health statistics, and they are largely anonymous deaths.

Israel loves anonymous deaths. It interprets condemnation of its genocide project as mainly an image problem, generating pressure to stop the elimination of the population in Gaza. Israel therefore loves deaths that do not appear on Aljazeera or even in social media. The media are only interested in death from the skies, demolition of neighborhoods, massacres of civilians, masses of refugees fleeing on foot with their few remaining possessions. Deaths due to “natural causes” are not this dramatic.

This is why Israel has modified its plans for the invasion of Rafah: fewer bombs, more starvation and deprivation. The first step was to capture and occupy the Rafah border crossing, in violation of Israel’s treaty with Egypt. This has enabled Israel to entirely stop relief supplies to the people of Gaza, whose limited farms and food production had already been destroyed along with their homes. Then they destroyed the hospitals and the sanitation and health services. In addition, they forced the population – many of them already living in makeshift tents – to flee once again, this time to more desolate locations with even fewer (zero) amenities, such as the barren al-Mawasi sand dunes, and thus more conducive to death by “natural causes”.

This quieter form of genocide suits Israel’s US accomplices in the Biden administration, as well. President Biden and Secretary Blinken have been under public pressure and criticism that they and their allies in the Israel lobby have been unable to quell by control of the news media, censorship of social media, or repression of freedom of speech and assembly, notably in the student movement. They are reluctant to withhold the tools of genocide from Israel, but welcome any change that might reduce the public outrage (and improve their chances in the November presidential elections.

Israel seems to think that removing and preventing the means to sustain life in Gaza, as an alternative to bullets, bombs and explosives, may achieve that objective. They seem to be taking a page from the Armenian genocide, which herded large numbers of the unwanted population into the Syrian desert and abandoned them there, or the native American genocide, where the food supply was destroyed.

If the list of casualties grows more slowly while a vastly larger number of Palestinians die uncounted, this will further the goal of killing and/or expelling the population of Gaza, and advances the day when an empty Gaza can be annexed to Israel, for developers to build beach condos for Zionist settlers, with subsidies and low-cost loans from the US and Germany.

POST SCRIPT: As this article heads for publication, the completion of the US floating pier on the shore of central Gaza was announced. Its ostensible purpose is to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians. We are permitted to be skeptical. Why create such a cumbersome procedure to deliver aid, when mountains of supplies are waiting at the Egyptian border?


Why indeed? Some possibilities:


- To put the US and Israel in total control of Gaza and shut out the UN
- To export the Palestinians from Gaza
- To create a “Guantanamo East” US naval base
- To garner votes of the faithful for Biden before the election and then let Israel toss the Palestinians into the sea


Author


Dr Paul Larudee is a retired academic and current administrator of a nonprofit human rights and humanitarian aid organization. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.


Disclaimer


The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CEMAS Boaes.

 

 

 

 

 

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