“Why Are We Killing Children?”: Gaza’s Horror Will Collapse the International Rules-based Order

Information on this page was reviewed by a specialist defence lawyer before being published. Click to read more.
Ceasefire Gaza

Right now, more than two million people are locked inside a 40-odd-kilometre-long walled-off strip of land known as Gaza in occupied Palestine – a civilian population that’s been subject to a 16-year blockade – as Israel massacres these Palestinians on their own land with international impunity. 

Over four thousand of the dead in Gaza are children. Over 50 percent of the population in the strip are kids. And Tel Aviv is dumping a whole lot of hot pieces of heavy metal on top of them to try and wipe them out, if not with first impact, then they can lie dying covered in the rubble. 

Earlier this week, there was a stir around whether it was necessary for Israel to evacuate Gaza City’s Rantisi Children’s Hospital, which contains the strip’s only paediatric cancer ward for children. But this is no longer an issue, as a local journalist confirmed Israelis planes had bombed the ward. 

And when the debate in the media that’s bothering to reflect on the wholesale slaughter that’s coming to us live 24/7 – most western media isn’t – is over whether children in a hospital cancer ward should be bombed, one has to reflect on how low the US-led west has sunk. 

Indeed, as western leaders stand on stages snivelling about Israel’s right to defend itself and images of kids in unimaginable pain appear on our screens, it will come to pass that not only did the allies fail to assist in ending the horror unfolding, but they also supplied the arsenal to continue the killing. 

“Decay of leadership”

“Why are we killing children?” asked journalist Wadah Khanfar on Middle East Eye a week ago. 

The former Al Jazeera head, who’s reported on the region for decades, notes that with the coming of the Gaza genocide, we are now living through a “major dangerous moment” as the US-directed international rules-based order is coming unstuck. 

Khanfar adds that the west hadn’t been paying attention to the rising climate of settler colonial expansion that’s been the open rhetoric and activity of Israel of late, since its most far-right government ever was voted in late last year, and if it had, the signs were there. 

The Al Sharq Forum president, Khanfar further claims that, despite many continuing to be unaware of this, the leaders of the US-led western allies have been shown nakedly justifying the Israeli slaughter of however many Palestinians it needs to kill in order to reassert its claims over Gaza. 

The Palestinian journalist adds that this is a “new low moment for western values”, as the political class in the west is displaying a “decay of leadership” as it’s lost all foresight, throwing itself into a new war in the Middle East at a time when it was preparing to take on Russia and China. 

When international powers start “losing their status as world hegemonies”, Khanfar continued, they start losing balance too, and he said that under this current crisis, the US is losing sight of what’s occurring and all of its allies, in following it, are showing their own lack of ability to lead as well. 

“That kind of strategic imbalance, I see it in these strategic circles in the west,” Khanfar states, and goes on to suggest that the Global South is becoming increasingly frustrated and has not been in support of either the genocide in Gaza or the proxy war in Ukraine. 

“The world in large is witnessing these kinds of double standards, and people are growing very furious,” the journalist underscored. 

“Divine right?”

There are many in this country who are feeling anxious and disgusted about the killing going on continuously in the background all day with our government’s approval, and the outpouring of on-the-street protesters in support of Palestine reveals this disconnect. 

Since the Gaza genocide broke out in October, there have been massive protests against this latest and most harrowing atrocity perpetrated by the western colonial machine, which many considered a thing of the past, and they’re only now just waking up to how this political class views the world. 

The mowing down of civilian populations in an effort to create new golf courses, it would seem, isn’t going to cut it in today’s shifting globe. 

Receive all of our articles weekly


Paul Gregoire

Paul Gregoire is a Sydney-based journalist and writer. He's the winner of the 2021 NSW Council for Civil Liberties Award For Excellence In Civil Liberties Journalism. Prior to Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, Paul wrote for VICE and was the news editor at Sydney’s City Hub.

Your Opinion Matters