Act on the humanitarian crises; stop the carnage in Gaza and West Asia

Nearly three dozen Asian Public Intellectual (API) fellows in Malaysia have condemned the carnage in Gaza and elsewhere in West Asia, particularly Syria and Iraq.

The home of the Kware' family, after it was bombed by the military, while family members and neighbours were present inside the house and in its vicinity (Photograph: Muhammad Sabah, 8 July 2014, www.btselem.org

The home of the Kware’ family, after it was bombed by the military, while family members and neighbours were present inside the house and in its vicinity (Photograph: Muhammad Sabah, 8 July 2014, www.btselem.org

The Palestine-Israel conflict in Gaza is a huge humanitarian crisis. The killing of Palestinian civilians is everybody’s tragedy and burden.

Asian Public Intellectual (API) Fellows of Malaysia condemn the collective punishment of Palestinians, particularly children and women, by the US-backed military force of Israel. Israel must stop acting with impunity in this asymmetrical conflict.

We join the international calls for an immediate halt on the Israeli military’s relentless pounding on prison-like Gaza where its children, women, the elderly and men are dying, trapped and denied medical aid, water, food and electricity and have nowhere to escape. Similarly, any attempt by the Palestinian fighters to launch more rockets into Israel must also cease.

The helpless situation faced by these Palestinians in the face of colossal military onslaught is tantamount to genocide and ethnic cleansing.

In this regard, we call upon the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union, and other countries, in particular the United States, to collectively take action to arrest the escalation of violence against the Gazan civilians and to initiate procedures to hold accountable all those responsible for violations of international law, including political leaders and military commanders.

In the interest of peace and justice, the UN Security Council must exercise its responsibilities by referring the Palestinian massacre to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Justice must prevail.

Indeed, the Israelis must come to the negotiating table to draw up a firm timetable for the withdrawal of all elements, especially the illegal settlements, of Israeli occupation of Palestine to its pre-1967 status. This is to secure a lasting peace and also a commitment to peaceful resolution on the part of the Palestinian authorities and people.

International assistance is much needed to help the Palestinians rebuild their society from the ashes of brutal violence, omnipresent military control, checkpoints, roadblocks and decades-long hatred and humiliation.

The Israeli regime must ensure that the Palestinians, irrespective of their faith, are accorded their well-deserved dignity as humans who crave for freedom, self-determination, peace, justice, security, respect, trust and understanding. The Palestinians, in other words, cannot be perceived, let alone be treated, in dehumanising ways.

Similarly, the Malaysian API Fellows call on the international community to put a stop to the equally heinous killings of people, especially innocent civilians in West Asia, particularly Syria and Iraq that include both Christians and Muslims alike.

The gory scenes of beheading of suspected foes and indiscriminate and horrible killings of innocent civilians are a sad commentary on humanity in today’s troubled world. Furthermore, this brutal violence is certainly opposed to the teachings of all religions.

This carnage in West Asia, which has cost thousands of innocent lives and the destruction of properties, monuments and structures of historical, cultural and religious import must cease.

Signatories:

Josie Fernandez
Mustafa K Anuar
Sumit K Mandal
Wong Soak Koon
Colin Nicholas
Dina Zaman
Janarthani Arumugam
Tan Pek Leng
Yeoh Seng Guan
Amir Muhammad
Zulhabri Supian
Shanthi Thambiah
Siti Khadijah
Susanna George
Nadarjah Manickam
Henry Chan
Chi Too
Zawiah Yahya
Kam Suan Pheng
Loh Cheng Kooi
Toh Kin Woon
Phua Kai Lit
Adeline Ooi
Lai Suat Yan
Wan Manan
Chan Chee Khoon
Sharaad Kuttan
Askiah Adam
Joe Kidd
Rashilah Ramli
Hezri Adnan
Said Halim Nong
Noor Mahnun Mohamed
Joyce Lim

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  1. While it is most commendable for all those expressing or fighting for all the sufferings in Gaza but what about letting the world knows what is really happening to the shiite muslims in Malaysia. The shiite muslims in Malaysia are not only outlawed and are also persecuted by the very people like the repugnant Mahathir who are sunni muslims.

    These hypocrites, the … regime in Malaysia, on the one hand are condemning what the Israelis are doing to the civilians in Gaza, in the process of fighting Hamas, who are shiite muslims.

    But these very people, like the repugnant Mahathir, in his tenure of 23 years as PM, he not only outlawed and also persecuted the shiite muslims. He did nothing for these shiite muslims in Malaysia for being shiite muslims, nothing at all. Isn’t there a saying charity begins at home ?

    On top of this he is always condemning the Israelis, even calling them Zionists and yet he did nothing in this Malaysia for the shiite muslims. I repeat he even have them persecuted for being shiite muslims, what a pack of hypocrites!

    The (extremist) sunni muslims are no better than the Israelis, they are not only invading and bombing the shiite muslims in Iraq or in many other parts in the middle east . Are the (extremist) sunni muslims any better off than the Israelis ?