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Chris Hedges on U.S.-Israeli Genocide in Palestine: ‘The Horror, the Horror’

On Nov. 11, when the Israeli Defense Forces were bombing Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital complex, before its incursion on Nov. 14-15, journalist Chris Hedges was sitting in Doha, Qatar, watching the live feed from Gaza City, on a camera that an Al Jazeera reporter had left trained on Al-Shifa Hospital when he was forced to evacuate. The feed went dead when the tank fire and bombing began, “a deliberate massacre of the most helpless civilians, including the very sick and infants.” Although originally published as his regular column in SheerPost, this article appeared under the appropriate title “The Horror, the Horror,” accompanied by painting, “The Executioner’s Song,” showing a hand holding an Israeli gun to the head of an infant sleeping in his incubator.

Hedges’ article indeed communicates the horror and rage over the pre-incursion attacks on Al-Shifa and on the Palestinian people more broadly. What is happening in Gaza is depopulation, he states—deliberate, purposeful depopulation. “There are no words to express what we are witnessing,” he says. “In the five weeks of horror, this is one of the pinnacles of horror. The indifference of Europe is bad enough. The active complicity by the United States is unfathomable. Nothing justifies this. Nothing. And Joe Biden will go down in history as an accomplice to genocide. May the ghosts of the thousands of children he has participated in murdering haunt him for the rest of his life.”

What is the chilling message that Israel and the U.S. are sending to the rest of the world, he asks. That international and humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention, “are meaningless pieces of paper…. We will pulverize your neighborhoods and cities with bombs and missiles. We will wantonly murder your women, children, elderly and sick. We will set up blockades to engineer starvation and the spread of infectious diseases. You, the `lesser breeds’ of the Earth, do not matter. You are vermin to be extinguished….”

Hedges bitterly points out: “We are not hated for our values. We are hated because we have no values … because rules only apply to others. Not to us. We are hated because we have arrogated to ourselves the right to carry out indiscriminate slaughter … because we are heartless and cruel … because we are hypocrites, talking about protecting civilians, the rule of law and humanitarianism while extinguishing the lives of hundreds of people in Gaza a day, including 160 children.” Moreover, Washington and Israel have the same goal of depopulation. “Humanitarian corridors? Pauses in the shelling? These are vehicles to facilitate the total depopulation of northern Gaza. The handful of aid trucks allowed through the border at Rafah with Egypt? A public relations gimmick. There is only one goal—kill, kill, kill. The faster the better.”

Where are Palestinians to go? “Gaza before Israel’s ground incursion was one of the most densely populated spots on the planet. Imagine what will happen with 1.1 million Gazans from the north piled on top of over 1 million in the south…. The pressure will build to do something. And that something, Israel hopes, will be to push the Palestinians over the border into the Sinai in Egypt. Once there, they will never return. Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza will be complete. Its ethnic cleansing of the West Bank will begin. That is Israel’s demented dream. To achieve it, they will make Gaza uninhabitable.”

But, Hedges warns in conclusion: “Israel’s orgy of death will not crush Hamas. Hamas is an idea. This idea is fed on the blood of martyrs. Israel is giving Hamas an abundant supply.”