"Today, a new generation is rising up to haunt Netanyahu in his dreams until he is convicted for what he is: a war criminal. Netanyahu is the Pinochet of this generation."

Peter Mertens

Intervention of Peter Mertens at the Belgian parliament on 29/02/2024

Normally, Rafah has barely 165,000 inhabitants but now 1.4 million people have been driven together there. For months they said it would be safe in the south, and now everyone is crammed in those unspeakable conditions. Now Netanyahu threatens to bomb Rafah too.

It's unbelievable. There are no words for it.

People have been driven out of their homes, expelled from their land, city after city, zone after zone. The north and center of Gaza have been bombed, barely anything remains standing.

They have made 100,000 victims, 30,000 of whom are dead.
13,000 children have been killed, and the other children are subjected to the worst torture: famine. 
They have closed the borders and attacked humanitarian convoys, and there is hardly anything left in the markets. 
And once they have driven everyone south, to Rafah, and made the land uninhabitable, they now announce they will bomb Rafah.

There is only one question for this parliament: how long will we continue to stand by? What does Israel have to do to be sanctioned? Do they also have to bomb Rafah? When will our country impose sanctions on Israel? That's the question.

Imagine being Palestinian today. Imagine being Palestinian; your land is stolen, your history is stolen, and your future is stolen.

Saleh is a Palestinian farmer in the West Bank, with an olive grove. At some point, Israeli settlers arrive and take away half of his land, just like that, because they can. This land theft has been going on for 75 years now, annexation after annexation, generation after generation.

So Saleh wonders: does international law not apply to Palestinians? Israel has been condemned countless times over the years..., but nobody acts.

Imagine being Palestinian. Then your history is stolen.

Museums, cultural centers, libraries, mosques, and churches are bombed until there is nothing left of history. Israel wants to erase Palestine's past, to say that Palestine never existed.

Imagine being Palestinian. Then your future is stolen as well.

600,000 students can no longer go to school, 90,000 university students no longer have a university, because all educational institutions are systematically destroyed.

For this parliament, there is only one question: what are we going to do? Are we going to stand by or are we finally going to impose sanctions?

Why can't we do to Israel what we did to Russia?

To tackle Russia, it didn't take more than a month to take three essential measures: 
(1) an economic embargo: that means no more trade allowed; 
(2) a military embargo: that means no more arms deliveries allowed;
(3) and the prosecution of Putin as a war criminal before the International Criminal Court.

How long will it take before we take those three measures against Israel?

(1) International trade continues as if nothing is wrong;
(2) arms deliveries to Israel continue as if no war crimes are being committed;
(3) and Netanyahu still has not been brought before the International Criminal Court.

Today, a new generation of young people is rising up who will not leave Netanyahu alone and will haunt him in his dreams until he is convicted for what he is: a war criminal. Netanyahu is the Pinochet of this generation.

Those young people, in Palestine, in the south, and in our country, demand that our country finally acts and really imposes a military and economic embargo against Israel.

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