It’s been many years but one thing I remember about being in school and learning about the Holocaust is that it was a common refrain for kids to ask “Why or how did the people of Germany let it happen? Why did they go along with it?” It’s the sort of question that echoes into adulthood and into the public consciousness on the question of the Nazis, fascism and the crimes of the time.

But I look around today and I think, well, we can see how it happens. It’s happening again. If history demonstrates that Israel committed genocide in 2024 how will you feel about your silence, your role as an enabler?

That’s my question to you if you’re silent on the subject of the current events in Gaza. And if your silence does not enable wrong policy and action, explain to me why it does not.

I’ve seen several folks post on their blogs or in comments that they’ve avoided writing about Gaza because it’s a difficult, divisive or otherwise heated topic.

Will you claim that your silence was justified because the subject was too difficult to understand and then somehow express approval or dissent?

I would suggest that tax-paying citizens of the United States do need to take a public position as a matter of basic human accountability and decency in regards to basic human rights.

If the public remains silent or is seen to remain silent on an issue the government can and does point to such lack of dissent as approval.

If the official policy of the federal government is to support Israel financially and militarily (which is obviously the policy) then your silence is a tacit approval. However you express your agreement or disagreement, you should express it publicly. It’s a part of being a citizen in a democracy. It may make us uncomfortable, it may be difficult.

The International Court of Justice issued a provisional ruling on South Africa’s genocide case against Israel over the ongoing war against Gaza on January 26th. Ten days ago as of this post. This was a preliminary ruling in a case that is ongoing.

They are, in fact, concerned that Israel has been and continues to carry out genocide. They have called on Israel to take immediate action. In the days since this ruling Israel has taken no action other than to continue the slaughter.

This is not controversial. It is very likely genocide. And at the very least war crimes have been committed and violations of International Law have been committed.

If you’re not clear on the ruling I would recommend January 30, 2024 episode of the Majority Report podcast which features a thorough discussion of the ruling with Diana Buttu, Palestinian analyst and former legal advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization. There is also this post at Mother Jones: The UN Top Court Just Ruled Israel Must Prevent Genocide in Gaza:

The United Nations’ top court ruled Friday that a case brought by South Africa alleging Israel is committing genocide in Gaza will go forward. While the legal battle will play out for years, the court said Israel must take steps now to prevent genocide and get more humanitarian aid into Gaza.