Stop the genocide, you can

Ione Belarra is the Minister of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda of Spain and the Secretary-General of Podemos

In a few hours, the international summit organized by Egypt to address the conflict between Israel and Palestine will take place. It will be attended by the acting Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and also the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, along with a large delegation of leaders and senior officials from about 20 countries. This meeting is crucial following the failed visit made by the U.S. President, Joe Biden, earlier this week.

It is time to take action. It is now or never. The State of Israel, supported by the United States and the European Union, is carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip with the bombing of the civilian population, including a Christian hospital where hundreds of people sought refuge, as reported by organizations and journalists on the ground. Attacks on schools, places of worship, and residential buildings have also occurred. In total, more than 3,000 people have lost their lives so far, with one-third of the victims being children, where workers of the United Nations and journalists are included amongst the perished. Water and power cuts are still in effect, along with the blockade on all humanitarian aid. According to UNRWA, Palestinian children are already being forced to drink dirty water. The situation is desperate, and there is no room for hollow meetings. We need today's international summit to be what these gatherings never are: operational.

Those sitting at the table today can oblige Israel to a cease-fire, to stop bombing the civilian population, and to end the war crimes it is committing. They can also force Israel to open humanitarian corridors so people can leave and humanitarian aid can enter. We must demand that the Zionist state restore both access to water and electricity, putting an end to this flagrant violation of international humanitarian law that will result in a slow and painful death of thousands of people. And if demands do not work, all the countries attending the international summit can apply deterrent mechanisms, such as those used against the Russian leadership when it illegally invaded Ukraine. Suspend arms sales to Israel immediately today. Impose exemplary economic sanctions, making sure Netanyahu and his government cannot move a single dollar or euro from their accounts abroad. I believe it is unnecessary to remind that Spanish law - as well as many national legislations across the globe - prohibit arms sales to countries in conflict.

I hope that all the leaders sitting at the table today are aware that History is watching us. Today, a precedent is set between defending international law or allow barbarism - the survival of the fittest - to unfold. Think about whom you would wish to be if you had lived during the Spanish Civil War, if you were the totalitarian murderers who staged a coup and buried people in ditches, if you were the ones who bombed Guernica, or if you were the ones who defended the democratic state until the end. Do you want to be like those European nations that looked the other way or would you take the example of other countries, like Mexico, that welcomed the victims and stood with the Spanish Republic.

It is essential that the State of Israel knows that its war crimes will not go unpunished, that they will not be committed with the complicit silence of the international community. Today, a ceasefire is imperative, just as it is to work in the medium term to establish a just, lasting, and stable peace in the region, putting an end to the illegal occupation and apartheid by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people. I beg you, stop the genocide. You can.

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