More than 30,000 dead in the conflict in Gaza are crying out for recognition as victims of a genocide as heinous as any other, writes Janio de Freitas

Everything that Lula da Silva says, as president, politician, citizen or as a person, causes a noise that is independent of the meaning and purpose of the speech. His conceptualization of the horror practiced by the Israeli military against the Palestinians went through the week as a theme of greater persistence and relevance here and, apparently, in Israel.

The repercussion was for a speech by Lula that was not Lula’s. The distortion gained more followers than the irrefutable meaning of the original. Brazilian journalists, almost all of the commentators and editors of the speech, adopted a political point of view to approach it. The political substance is in the misrepresentation, which led the authors to adhere to the misrepresentation created by Netanyahu: “Lula compares war in Gaza to the Holocaust”.

Lula, in fact, said that what happens in the Gaza Strip “it existed when Hitler decided to kill the Jews”. The reference is, clearly, to the genre of historical fact, which the president also identifies in the “what is happening in the Gaza Strip”. More than 30,000 dead, close to or already at 40,000 with the 8 to 10,000 bodies under the rubble, cry out for recognition as victims of a genocide as heinous as any other. That’s what Lula’s phrase does.

The word genocide arouses an insane and widespread fear among those who should most value its recent existence. They flee from it under the pretext that it demands such and such conditions. The definition of genocide for legal purposes dates back to 1947. Two years since the end of the Second World War. And the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Americans were terrified that discussions of the “new world of freedom and justice” leave gaps for the examination, in the future, of those 2 genocides and others committed in Japan and Germany. With the allies, they surrounded all their risks with insurmountable demands.

Those who have paid attention to the Gaza Strip know what genocide actually is. To demand silence or hypocritical speech from them in the face of anti-human monstrosity is to expect them to become equal to monsters.

Israeli bombs have orphaned 17,000 children as of last week. The World Food Program and the World Health Organization are talking about “Human masses desperate for hunger”, “hungry and thirsty multitudes”, “unprecedented levels of despair” in the Strip. A CNN showed, last Wednesday (21.Feb.2024), the exclusive video of one of the Israeli attacks on food and water convoys. The cargo was lost.

Tell about these horrors that “Israel is exercising its right to defense” it is more than immoral. “A war that is not a soldier against a soldier, it is a soldier against the civilian population”, as Lula defined, without any misrepresentation. It’s not war, exactly. It’s massacre, it’s extermination.

Lula’s original phrase expressed the feeling of repulsion that Netanyahu provokes in the world. Serious is not being “persona non grata” to the government of this genocide. Serious is being “persona grata”.


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