Open letter from 800 EU and US officials against Israel: 'Risk of genocide in the Gaza Strip'

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Open letter from 800 EU and US officials against Israel: 'Risk of genocide in the Gaza Strip'

An underground revolt unprecedented in numbers and specific weight, involving hundreds of diplomats and high officials alarmed for geopolitical stability and world peace, but also outraged for moral reasons and national interest. This is what emerges from a sensational “transatlantic document” signed by over 800 American and European public officials in active service and addressed to their respective chancelleries to denounce both “the serious violations of international law” attributed to the military response unleashed by Israel against the Strip of Gaza after the Hamas attack on 7 October, and the complicity attributed to the West in the creation of “one of the most serious humanitarian catastrophes of the century”, up to potential scenarios of “ethnic cleansing or genocide”.

The signatories remain anonymous for now. But the authenticity of the text was certified by media such as the BBC in the United Kingdom and the New York Times in the USA, to which the appeal was sent in copy. According to the NYT, those promoting it are 'civil servants' with considerable experience from Americans and 11 European countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and also Italy. An American official with “over 25 years” of curriculum in the “national security” ranks explained to the BBC – protected by anonymity – that the decision to make it public comes due to the “continuous refusal” of the leaders of the states involved to take up the warnings launched by “voices who know the (Middle Eastern) region and its dynamics well”, ignored for “political or ideological” convenience: “while the reality is that we are not just failing to prevent something, we are actively becoming complicit “. The text accuses Israel of “having no limits” in its military operations in Gaza. Operations which have already caused “thousands of avoidable civilian deaths” and which, through “the deliberate blockade of aid”, are leaving the population of the Strip faced with the specter of “a slow death from starvation”. Not only that: the signatories also evoke, at the expense of the policies of their respective governments, “the plausible risk of contributing”, through a sort of aiding and abetting, “to serious violations of international law, the law of war and even ethnic cleansing or genocide” .

The dossier expresses a level of dissent never seen “in my 40 years of experience in foreign policy”, comments a voice external to the initiative such as that of the veteran Robert Ford, former US ambassador to Algeria and Syria. Even at the time of the highly contested Iraq war in 2003, most of the many critical diplomats remained silent, notes Ford: evidently “the problems and implications of the conflict in Gaza are serious enough to force a public outcry.” The document points the finger primarily at Joe Biden's administration, but does not spare the European allied governments most aligned with Washington. Guilty, according to this point of view, of offering Israel military, political and diplomatic support that does not entail “real conditions or responsibilities”.

In a context in which – it is stated – the price is paid by thousands of Palestinians killed, by almost 2 million displaced Gazans, by a widespread devastation of about half of the buildings in the entire Strip, as well as “by the Israeli hostages ” still held by Hamas. Finally, there is no shortage of accusations against the Israeli authorities of having planned a military action that seems to ignore all the contraindications that emerged from the Western anti-terrorism response to the attack on the Twin Towers in New York on 11 September 2001. Hence the request to the American and European governments to urgently change direction and react. And to stop justifying Israel's actions as a “rational” form of self-defense, in defiance of the apparent lack of effective strategies even with respect to the declared objective of “eradicating Hamas”; or to that of establishing the conditions for “a political solution capable of guaranteeing the long-term security” of the Jewish State.

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