The 14th Genocide Memorial Day (GMD), the annual commemoration of global genocides both current and past, will focus on the ongoing Israeli assault on occupied Gaza as a quintessential example of genocide.
Israeli jets, warship and ground forces continue to wantonly pound the civilian population of Gaza with bombs causing unimaginable suffering and loss of life. At the time of writing, Israel has dropped the equivalent of several atomic bombs on the densely populated area, killing almost 20,000 people, among whom are 8,000 children. Many international lawyers and experts have said Israel’s actions meet the legal definition of a genocide.
This year’s event will take place at the P21 Gallery in London on on Sunday, 21st January 2024.
There is a dark irony in the fact that IHRC is addressing an unfolding genocide in the same place that was the focus of attention for the first ever GMD in 2010.
Then as now, a besieged occupied people was subjected to indiscriminate bombardment by one of the world’s most powerful armies seeking to extinguish its physical presence as well as its spirit of resistance.
At the start of the Israeli bombardment, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu invoked a biblical passage that talks of slaying “every man and woman, child and infant”. One Israeli minister even recommended “nuking” Gaza. Others Israeli politicians and pundits have publicly talked about expelling the Palestinian population from Gaza. In their pursuit of these ends, Israeli jets have repeatedly bombed and attacked hospitals, ambulances, schools, mosques, churches, residential buildings and roads full of fleeing civilians.
After 14 years we have come full circle. While Israel continues to prosecute its genocidal attack on Gaza with the approval and support of many international powers, we are left asking why the lessons of history are being ignored, not only in Gaza but elsewhere too.
India is another example of a country that is hurtling towards genocide. India is ruled by a party that professes a Nazi-inspired Hindutva ideology. Its politics are dominated by the delegitimising and demonising of its Muslim and Christian minorities. Extremist Hindu nationalist leaders openly issue genocidal statements threatening to eliminate them. Discrimination and violence against these communities have become normalised. Lynchings and attacks on their religious symbols and places of worship are commonplace. Such is the level of animosity that has been stirred up that many observers have warned that the country is on the verge of an impending genocide.
Genocide Memorial Day not only highlights current and past genocides and genocidal activities, seeking to stop new ones happening in the future. It was started by IHRC in 2010 to commemorate past and ongoing genocides and to raise awareness about genocide prevention. It takes place on the third Sunday of January each year.[ENDS]
INFORMATION FOR EDITORS
Date: Sunday, 21st January 2024
Venue: P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton St, London NW1 1JD
Time: 1pm-4pm GMT
For more information or comment please contact the Press Office on (+44) 208 904 0222 or (+44) 7958 522196 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone: (+44) 20 8904 4222