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The US should show us some respect

10 Mar 2024 at 06:21hrs | Views
PALESTINIANS who live in Gaza, which has now been literally turned into a hellscape by the Israeli military's firepower, are experiencing untold suffering.

While the media in the West calls it a war, it is nothing but a slaughter of innocent women and children, who make up the bulk of Gazans.

In fact, according to the United Nations, women and children account for 70 percent of the death toll, which has now exceeded the grim milestone of 30 000.

We need to put this into perspective.

Ever since Israel launched its full-scale offensive in Gaza on October 27 last year — about five months ago — the number of casualties is now more or less similar to the deaths recorded in the two-year conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

This is absurd.

Some statistics might suffice, and we use the word suffice advisedly, to paint the scale of the human tragedy in the Gaza Strip, which has long been described as a world's largest open-air prison.

Gaza has been pummelled by three times more firepower than the United States nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945.

And this is an area that covers 365 square kilometres and is occupied by an estimated two million people.

Journalists, just like many others, have not been spared.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) believes close to 100 media workers have so far been killed, which makes it the deadliest conflict for journalists in decades.

In this instance, the sword has proved to be mightier than the pen.

Need we also mention that water, electricity and communications have been cut off by the Israelis, which makes the situation dire and desperate.

But whose ammunition is being used to slaughter these civilians?

Well, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday last week that the US "has quietly approved and delivered more than 100 separate foreign military sales to Israel since the Gaza war began on October 7, amounting to thousands of precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms and other lethal aid".

At the same time, it continues to threaten anyone who wants to come to the aid of the Palestinians.

Our neighbours South Africa are presently being intimidated for daring to take Israel to the International Court of Justice to force it to stop its genocidal campaign.

As famine takes hold in Gaza, the US is now airdropping food to the suffering, further exposing Gazans to the indignities of desperation.

The world, even the US allies, are outraged.

So, the Americans do not have any moral authority to lecture to the world, least of all Zimbabwe, about human rights and democracy
when it does not lift a finger when innocent people are being senselessly killed.

It was, therefore, insulting to hear a low-level staffer at the US Embassy in Harare last week sanctimoniously telling Zimbabweans, who have borne the brunt of sanctions over the past two decades, that they deserve to continue suffering because their leadership purportedly does not respect democracy and human rights.

How ironic!

And they also continue to disingenuously claim the sanctions are targeted.

But the bottom line is that the sanctions are illegal, as they violate the United Nations Charter, which guarantees the sovereignty of member states.

This position has been reiterated by the UN itself, through its Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, Professor Alena Douhan, who visited Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission in 2021.

But, as we have seen throughout history, where US interests are concerned, Washington is prepared to disregard international law and institutions.

However, even if the US does not respect international law, it must at least respect our intelligence and engage honestly with Zimbabwe.

Diplomatic theatrics will not help.

The Second Republic, under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, who has been saying Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none, continues to express its readiness to engage.

But the same way Harare is willing to engage is the same way it is prepared to robustly defend its hard-won independence and sovereignty, which is sacrosanct and non-negotiable.

By respecting each other, we can build a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships.

Source - The Sunday Mail
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