Everyone’s Duty: Steps you can take to stop the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza

Palestine Peace

It is the duty of everyone in the world and especially those who live in the United States to take action to stop the ongoing genocide of the besieged and helpless Palestinians in Gaza. This brutal slaughter of Palestinians started on October 7, 2023, when Israel retaliated against the horrific Hamas attack that killed 1200 Israelis. The Hamas terror attack deserves condemnation, but a hundred times more condemnable is Israel’s campaign of genocide of Palestinians. The Hamas attack was an isolated act. Not intended as genocide of Israeli Jews, it was in retaliation for the act of war that Israel has waged in the form of its seventeen-year old siege by land, air, and sea, that has made Gaza the world’s largest open-air prison (according to many U.N. observers) and resulted in 70% unemployment, stunted growth of children because of inadequate nutrition and many other related ills.

In its ongoing war on Gaza, Israel has been guilty of many war crimes. There are certain rules of war, such as the principle of proportionality to avoid using excessive force, avoidance of killing civilians, not targeting homes, hospitals, mosques, schools, ambulances, water and food supply. Israel has violated all those rules of war that civilized nations observe.  Israel has killed over 20,000 Palestinians; at least 70% of them were children and women. About 50,000 Palestinians have been injured. It was due to U.S. protection of Israel that even before October 7, 2023, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly defied the U.N. General Assembly by bringing before it a map of Israel in which Palestine did not exist. In its dishonest, two-faced policy, U.S. government has expressed, on the surface, its support for a two-state solution. However, it has never taken any action to stop Israel from continuing its settlement building on the land that is to become Palestine.


 Israel’s war of genocide is already spreading into a much bigger war, with attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah firing rockets on Northern Israel, and Yemen’s Houthis attacking all ships going to Israel in the Red Sea. All hostilities will end if Israel stops its genocide of Palestinians. Instead of asking Israel to stop its crime against humanity, U.S. is unwisely preparing to attack all those who are attacking Israel. These wars will affect everyone, not just those living in the United States.

We Americans have a special obligation to act because it is with our tax dollars, freely and irresponsibly given to Israel by our government, that Israel is carrying out its genocide of Palestinians in full view of the world. This crime against humanity could have been stopped on December 8, 2023, with the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, but the U.S. vetoed it, thus giving Israel the green light to continue its barbaric genocide of Palestinians. Like Israel, the U.S. also wrongly thinks that with Palestine removed from the Middle East, the plundering of the region’s resources will become much easier.

Adding to U.S. complicity in this crime against humanity is its conduct in the context of the U.N. Security Council’s resolution of December 22, 2023. After delaying the UN Security Council’s vote by five days during which time Palestinians were being killed by Israel by the minute, the U.S. government agreed not to veto a very watered down UNSC resolution but has done nothing to help enforce the most critical part of delivering life-saving necessities to the people of Gaza. With Israel continuing its bombardment with U.S. aid and abetment, the U.N. personnel cannot deliver aid to the victims. The resolution calls for creating conditions for sustained cessation of hostilities in Gaza. This toothless wording gives Israel freedom to go on with its genocide of the people of Gaza. After the resolution, Israel stepped up its bombardment of many cities in Gaza and has no intention of honoring the resolution. The United States is the only country that can make Israel comply with the UNSC resolution. It can also veto any resolution that presses Israel to comply with the UNSC resolution. For that reason, U.S. carries maximum responsibility for Palestinians’ genocide because Israel has committed all of its heinous acts with full U.S. military, economic, and diplomatic support.

Israel’s leaders have it no secret that they are carrying out the genocide of Palestinians. An Israeli general said, “There will be no electricity and no water; there will only be destruction.” An Israeli minister admitted that the government has removed all restrictions on the Israeli army in its goal to reduce Gaza to rubble. They are bombing homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, the entire infrastructure, and even those areas that Israel had declared safe havens for Gazans to move to. Israel’s President has said that Israelis do not make any distinction between the militants and civilians.

Steps that everyone can take

  1. Wherever in the world you live, ask the government of your country to expel the ambassadors of the ten countries that voted on December 12, 2023, against the U.N. General Assembly’s resolution for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Those countries are Austria, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Israel, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, and the United States.  Their negative vote meant that they did not mind the ongoing genocide of Palestinians. In addition, your governments should cut off all ties and agreements with those countries.
  2. The ambassadors of Israel and U.S. should be expelled right away. The diplomatic ties can be restored after the two offending countries respect the rule of law and comply with the UN Security Council’s and UN General Assembly’s resolutions calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, accompanied by the deployment of UN personnel to oversee the distribution of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. 
  3. If you are an American citizen, you can pressure your government to do the right thing by telling President Joe Biden and the Congress right away that you will not be voting for Biden and the Democratic Party in the next elections unless they bring about an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, followed by an unequivocal statement and action by our government that a viable Palestinian state will be created urgently.
  4. If you are a taxpaying American, tell the President and your representatives in the Congress that since Israel is carrying on this genocide of Palestinians with American money, you are not going to bloody your hands in this genocide and will postpone paying federal taxes until after U.S. government’s unequivocal support of a ceasefire in Gaza and a clear statement endorsing the immediate creation of a viable Palestinian state.

Since our taxes are withheld from our pay checks, you can legally change the withholding by filing the required IRS form so that no taxes are withheld from your paycheck. If you are a business, you can devise a similar strategy. There is nothing illegal in this step. The deadline to pay taxes is April 15, 2024. The hostilities should end much before then and a clear and workable plan for a viable Palestinian state should be in place. We can all then pay our taxes by the deadline. It is a practical and effective strategy to pressure our government to change its destructive policies and protect American lives at home and abroad.   

Abdul Jabbar has taught English and Interdisciplinary Studies for 36 years on a full-time basis at City College of San Francisco. He was also a visiting professor of English at University of California, Berkeley. Recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, he has also received two National Endowment for the Humanities awards. He received his Ph.D in English from Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio. He has published three books and many articles on literary, political, and similar topics.

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