WE, a group of senior journalists, demand that the atrocities perpetrated by the Israeli military in Gaza stop immediately. The intensifying assault on Gaza is beyond the pale of humanity. It is an act of aggression and a pompous show of strength on the part of the Israeli military, perpetrated on an innocent populace.
The bombardment of homes, offices and infrastructure has caused unimaginable misery in the Palestinian state. The attacks have killed at least 122 people, including 31 children, and injured at least 900 others. The civilian casualties are horrendous.
The anger over these acts reverberates beyond Gaza, even into the state of Israel and the world over. It is simply an act of aggression that must be condemned by all nations and civil societies.
We believe that the government of Israel is marshalling its army for an incursion into Gaza. The move will further inflame the situation. The rising tension amidst the current Covid-19 pandemic is totally unnecessary.
We urge Israeli journalists to act as the conscience of their nation. What is happening is not about Israel’s right to exist. They must speak up about the rights of the Palestinians to co-exist and survive. The cruelties inflicted upon these people in the last seven decades trample on human rights and human dignity.
We condemn the attack on the offices of media organisations in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes destroyed the Al-Jalas Tower that housed the offices of several media organisations, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. It is unthinkable that in this era, a military force could target the offices of media practitioners.
All these actions were planned, beginning with the eviction of a number of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, the right-wing mob attacks of Palestinians, the attacks against worshippers at the Al Aqsa mosque, and the airstrikes against targets in Palestine.
We are appalled by the fact that some segments of the Western media have typecast the Palestinians as militants, radicals and terrorists, the terms unsparingly used to justify the atrocities perpetrated by the Israeli military.
We are saddened by the fact that the United Nations General Assembly has yet to come out with a resolution to address the issue. We are appalled by the administration of US President Joe Biden for blocking the assembly from making any statement in this regard. This is not about religion or ideology, it is about human lives and a people who have been oppressed and victimised for far too long.
We also demand that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) comes out with a strong statement on the matter. The Muslim world is looking for guidance and direction from the OIC. The silence, especially from the organisation’s powerful members, is palpable, to say the least.
TAN SRI JOHAN JAAFFAR
DATUK SERI WONG CHUN WAI
DATUK HUSHAMUDDIN YAACUB
DATUK KADIR JASIN
DATUK SERI AZMAN UJANG
DATUK CHAMIL WARIYA
DATUK YONG SOO HEONG
DATUK ZAKARIA WAHAB
DATUK AHIRUDDIN ATAN