International law prohibits without exception the extra-judicial killing and considers it as a grave violation of international humanitarian law, and human rights protocols.
A Republican candidate in the US presidential race is under fire for openly calling for the assassination of Hamas leaders at a hotel in the Qatari capital.
In a post on X, Vivek Ramaswamy drew from the fictional universe of HBO’s Game of Thrones series and invoked the “red wedding” – a massacre that took place during a wedding feast in the popular TV show – as a template for the proposed attack.
“If Israel and Mossad want to… take out every last leader of Hamas wherever they may be hiding, from Doha to Dresden — host a ‘Red Wedding’ at the Four Seasons in Qatar the next time [Ismail] Haniyeh and [Khaled] Mashal show up — they should go ahead and do it,” he said in a tweet on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Ramaswamy’s comments come as Israel continues its weeks-long genocide on Gaza, in which nearly 9,000 people, including more than 3,648 children, have been killed.
Earlier this week, the Director of the New York Office of UN High Commissioner of Human Rights resigned in protest over the organisation’s inability to take action against Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza, describing western governments as “wholly complicit in the horrific assault”.
“Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organisation that we serve appears powerless to stop it,” Craig Mokhiber said in a statement addressed to the UN high commissioner in Geneva, Volker Turk.
The director, who had worked with the UN for more than three decades, wrote a four-page letter that called the Israeli war an “ethno-nationalist colonial-settler ideology” designed to uphold a “systematic persecution” of Arabs.
“The current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist colonial-settler ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs … leaves no room for doubt,” Mokhiber added.
Elsewhere, countries around the world have appeared to take slow action.
Following an attack that killed hundreds at a refugee camp, Bolivia “decided to break diplomatic relations with the Israeli state in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive taking place in the Gaza Strip,” Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, Colombia, and Chile have recalled their ambassadors from Israel and condemned the killing of civilians in Gaza, amid calls for a ceasefire.
On Wednesday, Jordan became the first Arab state with relations with Israel to recall its envoy to Tel Aviv.
In the US, where Ramaswamy boasts a measly 3% in the Republican run for president, American politician Elizabeth Warren has also been forced to condemn the blast at Gaza’s largest refugee camp.
The former 2020 Presidential candidate said, “Horrible. Israel has an obligation to protect civilians under the laws of war. Hamas’s use of innocent Palestinians as human shields does not excuse bombing a location filled with civilians.”
Ramaswamy ‘s shocking remarks immediately drew condemnation worldwide and led to discussions about the global double standard in regard to calls for violent actions and how they are addressed.
“Imagine a Third World leader advocating for terrorism and assassination of enemies in foreign countries. He would have faced sanctions, if not bombardment, from the US. Americans, on the other hand, can get away with the most hideous & insane policies on global affairs,” commented X user Ammar Ali Jan in a quote tweet.
Andrew Hammond, an Islamic Historian at the University of Oxford, dissected the contradictions within Western ideologies, stating, “Here you have one of the conundrums of ‘the West’: they laud post-Enlightenment secularism yet indulge these maniacal fantasies about divine rights and apocalyptic mass murder.”
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera’s Sana Saeed said Ramaswamy’s comments are “unhinged” and humorously noted her own experience at the Four Seasons in Doha. “I didn’t see Mashaal or Haniyeh, just some really tall Emiratis and hella Kuwaitis”.
Israel’s policy of targeted assassinations predates even its contemporary strategies, tracing its roots back to 1947, when Israeli operatives assassinated special UN Representative Count Bernadotte.
This contravenes international law, which categorically prohibits the extrajudicial killing of protected persons. Such wilful killings violate international humanitarian law and human rights protocols.
Since November 9, 2000, Israeli occupation forces have actively and openly pursued this policy and targeted countless individuals.
Ramaswamy’s comments come as a startling shift to some of his supporters, given his previous criticisms of the US-Israel relationship and Washington’s funding to Israel.
In an apparent departure from his earlier stance, his recent post imbued the sentiment commonly found among Evangelical Christians, who view Israel’s existence as divinely ordained.
Despite identifying as Hindu, Ramaswamy claimed, “Now is the moment for Israel to return to its founding premise: the Jewish State has an absolute right to exist. A Divine gift, gifted to a Divine nation, charged with a Divine purpose.”
During the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership conference in Las Vegas, he also said that Israel has an “absolute and unequivocal” right to defend itself by any means, even if it involves killing leaders of Hamas.
Ramaswamy also advocated for the abandonment of the two-state solution. “If Israel wants to at long last abandon the myth of a two-state solution, Israel should go ahead and abandon a two-state solution,” he elaborated.