While going home from office on Saturday noon, I noticed a bunch of young and enthusiastic activists from a little-known group, Pakistan Youth Alliance, collecting funds for their beleaguered Palestinian brothers. Their fervent pleas to the motorists "to contribute whatever they can" to help the Palestinians stuck in the Gaza strip, and colourful placards carrying support for the Palestinian cause and lambasting the recent Israeli attacks filled my heart, as I took out a red note from my wallet and put it in the beautifully bedecked box held by one of the activists. One of the placards that engrossed my attention had a beautiful quote by Bertrand Russell written on it: "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." Indeed, the recent Gaza offensive launched by Israel on December 27, which has, besides killing 550 people - including 200 civilians - and injuring more than 2500, rendered the poor Gazans without the basic necessities of life, i.e., food, water, shelter and medicines, is not, at all, meant to determine who is right or wrong; but to eliminate the freedom struggle of Palestinian people, who have been fighting for a just cause for the last four or so decades. The colossal anti-Israel protests and demonstrations held around the world including Pakistan, and widespread condemnation of these attacks by the International community clearly depict who is right and who is wrong. No other touchstone is indeed required to ascertain the justness of the Palestinian cause and the lack of justification for the wanton aggression on part of the Israel. What is worrisome1 on the other hand, is the fact that notwithstanding these International vituperations and demonstrations, Israel, perhaps being cognisant of the fact that its all-weathered friend, United States of America, will support it come what may, has not budged a tad. On the contrary, it has upped the ante by commencing the ground offensive into the Gaza strip, which, much to chagrin of the hapless Gazans, shows no sign of abating any time soon. Besides being impervious to the worldwide hue and cry against its action in the Gaza, Israel has, in its intransigence to teach Hamas a bitter lesson, completely disregarded the basic principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) that non-combatants should not be attacked, and that there are certain kinds of restrictions on the means of warfare, in particular weapons, and the methods of warfare, such as military tactics during an armed conflict. By trampling these basic rules of international law related to armed conflicts, whereby it has indiscriminately killed and maimed innocent civilians including infants and children, Israel is telling the world that it will not put up with any semblance of resistance by the Palestinians, and any one even found tacitly supporting the resistance will be dealt with severely. The role of the international community has been, to say the least, 'disappointing'. United States, the so-called bacon of human rights and democracy and the sole superpower of the world, has, true to its colours, torpedoed the recently tabled resolution in the United Nations Security Council which had urged an immediate ceasefire on both sides. Europe is divided as usual on the issue; with European Union president, the Czech Republic, supporting the Israeli attacks in Gaza by saying that they are "defensive, not offensive" action. Quite contrary to this, the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy made a half-hearted peacekeeping effort by visiting Palestine in order to diffuse the tension between the two sides. But the fact remains that mere parleys and the resulting statements will not de-escalate the war in the region - the international community needs to walk the walk, instead of merely talking the talk. The response of the Muslims countries and their mouthpiece, Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), has been apathetic as well, with countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and Iran merely condemning the Gaza offensive in strongest possible words. One wonders that what the OIC is waiting for, as no concrete action has been taken by it so far to address the issue and suggest possible collective solutions to end the crisis. OIC should at least come forward and pass a unanimous resolution condemning the Israeli offensive, and urge an immediate ceasefire. Moreover, one may blame the lack of unity among different Palestinian groups that has allowed Israel to carry on the attacks on Gaza with impunity. The need of the hour is that different Palestinian groups that are fighting for the same cause, like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), should unite together to counter the Israeli brutalities like the recent Gaza offensive. Until and unless this is done, not only Israel will keep on taking the Palestinians for granted, but the freedom struggle, which has seen many a sacrifices, will not reach a successful culmination. Lastly, a word of commendation for the newly found activism in the country, which perhaps started after the November 3, 2007 emergency, and which is now-a-days in full boom, thanks largely to the anti-people policies of the present political dispensation in the country, and the hegemonistic and pro-war activities of countries like Israel. One hopes that the civil society of the country, especially the youth, will be able to sustain this vigour and energy for the good of the country, and in the process play a great part in the development of a truly democratic culture in the country. The writer is a corporate lawyer based in Lahore. E-mail: naumanqaiser@hotrnail.com