Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

When we think about war, we often assume that, in war, all things are possible. That may be because wars break all rules. That may be true, but it doesn’t make it legal, for countries are bound by international law, or the law of nations. Many of these laws are codified in what are known as the Geneva Conventions first decided in 1864. 

What have we learned of these laws, especially under the heat and fury of war, especially regarding the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza? We might agree that both sides, Israel and Hamas, have ignored these laws of war, which are supposed to protect all civilians.

Another international law? The Geneva Conventions forbids collective punishment. Modern wars are essentially collective punishment. 

Palestinian scholar, Noura Erakat, writing of the ideological war posed by Zionism against the indigenous Palestinians, explains: “Had Jews merely wanted to live in Palestine, this would not have been a problem. In fact, Jews, Muslims, and Christians had coexisted for centuries throughout the Middle East, but Zionists sought sovereignty over a land where other people lived. Their ambitions required not only the dispossession and removal of Palestinians in 1948,   but also their forced exile, juridical erasure, and denial that they ever existed. 

So during Israel’s establishment, some 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes to make way for a Jewish majority state. This is why Palestinians have been resisting for more than seven decades. They’re fighting to remain on their lands. With dignity, they have valiantly resisted their colonial erasure. This resistance is not about returning to the 1947 borders or some notion of the past, but about laying claim to a better future in which Palestinians and their children can live in freedom and equality, rather than being subjugated as second class citizens, or worse.”   Palestinian scholar Noura Erakat, writing originally in the Washington Post of May 16, 2018. 

Meanwhile, in Israel international law gets violated every day.  

With Love not Phear, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.