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.
API Fellows of Malaysia*
Mustafa K Anuar
Sumit K Mandal
Wong Soak Koon
Tan Pek Leng
Yeoh Seng Guan
Kam Suan Pheng
Loh Cheng Kooi
Toh Kin Woon
Phua Kai Lit
Lai Suat Yan
Chan Chee Khoon
Said Halim Nong
Noor Mahnun Mohamed
*The Asian Public Intellectuals of Malaysia are part of a larger community of APIs in the participating countries of Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. The setting up of The Nippon Foundation Fellowships for Asian Public Intellectuals was aimed at helping to build a community of Asians who can think and work in the public domain within and across the borders of the participating countries.