Crisis in Gaza: The Western Hypocrisy and The Unfolding Tragedy

Published On: November 9, 2023 08:06 AM NPT By: Loknath Sangroula

The Israel-Palestine conflict has now extended into its fifth week, and as we witness these unfolding events it becomes strikingly evident that the Euro-American alliance posits itself as the lords of the world, striving to safeguard "civilization" against "barbarism." US president Joe Biden and his administration are actively bolstering Israel's war effort, providing emergency financial aid, military intelligence, weaponry, and unwavering diplomatic backing. Israel’s war on Gaza is very much America’s. Western governments, primarily the United States, are taking a sickeningly hypocritical position on Israel’s scorched-earth military operations in Gaza. The stark contrast in their approach to human rights, international law, the Geneva Convention is glaringly evident, with Gaza serving as a prime example.

In Gaza, a heartbreaking reality unfolds as thousands of Palestinians grapple with death, injuries, and loss on a daily basis. The once-familiar Gaza skyline has given way to a landscape of rubble, despair, and unimaginable suffering. Amid this devastation, the city is going to be transformed into a sea of tents. Medical procedures are performed in dire conditions, lacking anesthesia with equipment going on the blink; donkey carts have become the somber carriers of the departed due to a shortage of fuel; kids, their faces stained with blood, are crying for a bottle of water, while the Gazans are forced to drink water from sewage or sea; freezers in mortuaries have ceased to operate, and a staggering 18 out of 35 hospitals, with one of them being a dedicated cancer hospital, have been forced to shut their doors. Over 50,000 pregnant women find themselves trapped in suspended animation, teetering on the precipice of existence. While poetic verses extol the virtues of mothers and their love is commodified for fortunes in this capitalist world, the profound fear they have been enduring holds no worth. What adds to this tragedy is the fact that the number of children who have perished in Gaza equals the combined child fatalities worldwide since 2019 – a poignant reminder of the urgent need for support and aid in Gaza.

The world, as a mere spectator, is currently witnessing a tragic situation for the Palestinians reminiscent of the Holocaust – a montage of unspeakable atrocities with everything they held dear lying under the rubbles, alongside the charred skeletons of vehicles and the fetishization of death. Their job is done with their putting out a statement, with each dropping of a bomb. Screams of "human animals" have been drowned out by the deafening cacophony of missiles indiscriminately and relentlessly fired by the Zionist regime. The United States' disgusting stance on Gaza together with Britain, France, and Germany should merit the most vehement and resounding condemnation. The hands of Israel – the heart-wrenching child-mass-murdering darling of the West – are stained with the innocent blood of civilians – a stain so deep that not even the cleansing waters of the Mediterranean Sea can ever wash away.

Gaza is far from a desolate landscape. It's not just a place with buildings of iron rods and cement which can be razed to the ground; it's a vibrant land teeming with life much like you and me―― individuals who breathe and dream. The list of fatalities from October 7 till date runs into over 300 pages. In a tweet, a UN official notes that the first six pages are etched with the names of infants under one year. The graphic footage of the children being slaughtered indiscriminately has failed to evoke a collective conscience in those engrossed in the geopolitical chessboard. After all, what's the difference between a terrorist who murders kids and a state that murders a mother with kids? What's the difference between the two? Are the killings by the state just a collateral damage? How many innocent lives is a state allowed to finish off before being labeled as a terrorist?

A Likud party MP and former minister, Galit Distel, posted a video on Facebook urging her fellow Israelis to bury internal disputes and focus on the ‘monsters’, stating, ‘invest that energy in one thing―erasing all of Gaza from the face of the earth.’ A far-right Israeli minister shocked the world by suggesting that nuking is one of the possibilities to clear the enclave of all Palestinians, who he said could go to "Ireland or deserts." Similarly, Israel's President Isaac Herzog lumps all Palestinians together asserting there are no innocent civilians in Gaza. What's happening? Has humanity lost its way? How is it that the heart-wrenching wails, cries, and screams of the suffering multitude has failed to prick the conscience of those in the global corridors of power? Shame on them! This aside, the United States is mulling supplying "smaller bombs" to minimize civilian casualties. This is what the peculiar fate of the oppressed and downtrodden people around the world is all about! What's this if not sheer senselessness? What's this if not the height of insanity?

Approximately 25 thousand tons of bombs, equal to the power of two nuclear bombs, have already been reportedly unleashed upon Gaza. Even hospitals, schools, UN offices, ambulances, refugee camps, etc. have not been spared. Initially, Israel disclosed reports on the frequency of air strikes, but it later shifted to counting the number of targets, perhaps apprehensive that a record of thousands of bombings would blemish its image. Over 85 UN staff members have been killed, setting a grim record for the highest figure of fatalities among UN personnel in any conflict till date. Veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy wrote in 2022 in Haaretz: "The way of terror is the only way open to the Palestinians to fight for their future. This is the only way for them to remind Israel, the Arab states and the world of their existence. Israel has taught them this." UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres aptly said – the Hamas attack did not happen in a vacuum.

The USA and its proxy Israel – the biggest perpetrators of terrorism – have had their purported commitment and dedication to democracy, human rights, the rule of law which they are most obsessed with, and international norms unequivocally exposed for the entire world to witness. The indiscriminate onslaught on Gaza has made it abundantly clear that their professed commitment to these principles is nothing more than a hollow facade. The recent adoption of a resolution at the UNGA meeting, with an overwhelming majority in favor of a ceasefire, unmistakably reflects the collective intent of the global community, but this non-binding resolution got consigned to the dustbin of history. The stark and unabashed bullying by the Western powers has been unveiled in full view, yet again. Amid geopolitical tensions building up in the Middle East, the USA has emerged as a disruptive antagonist, and its escalatory endeavors only exacerbate the potential for a more profound clash of civilizations.

Joe Biden has left all others standing in his utter disregard for democratic values and international laws, surpassing even Margaret Thatcher, one of Britain's most feted post-war prime ministers. Thatcher, known for being fiercely pro-Jewish and a powerful enemy of antisemitism, was unafraid to call out Israeli war crimes. When the Israeli army looked on as Christian Phalangists slaughtered Palestinian refugees in the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps in Lebanon in September 1982, she unequivocally condemned the massacre as "an act of pure barbarism."

The long-term repercussions of the ongoing crisis are going to be undeniably grave, with media and civil society organizations warning of a rise of antisemitism as the crisis continues to unfold. Massive pro-Palestinian rallies, with hundreds of thousands of participants, including Jews, their hands painted red symbolizing the bloodshed, are erupting across the globe, including in New York and London passionately demanding a free, sovereign Palestine, while vehemently condemning what they perceive as a lackadaisical approach of the Biden administration. Simultaneously, lone-wolf attacks targeting Jewish people are ominously surfacing, echoing the dark spectre of the Holocaust. The genocidal intent – a disproportionate response by the Zionist regime – is unfolding before our very eyes, and the world watches as a passive spectator.

The recent departure of Josh Paul, a high-ranking official at the US State Department who spent more than 11 years as the director of congressional and public affairs at the bureau that oversees arms transfers to foreign nations, stepped down in protest of the administration's position on the Gaza War. His resignation has reverberated through the corridors of power, causing ripples of discomfort. He described the Hamas attack as "monstrosity of monstrosities," while sharply criticizing the US administration's response as an impulsive, hasty reaction built on confirmation bias, political convenience, intellectual bankruptcy and bureaucratic inertia. Craig Mokhiber, director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (with the UN since 1992), resigned, saying: “This is a textbook case of genocide. We are seeing genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it. The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine."

The flame of Palestinian resilience can never be extinguished by any oppressive force, no matter how ruthless or brutal it may be. Indeed, by international law, armed struggle against an occupying power is not illegal. Their unwavering spirit continues to illuminate the path of hope and justice. Additional Protocol 1 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, UN General Assembly Resolution 3314 (1974), and UN General Assembly Resolution 37/43 (1982) affirm the right of self-determination. The 1982 resolution “reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.” You can't have a stronger legal sanction for armed struggle against an illegal occupation.

The US is currently embroiled in two proxy wars, one in eastern Europe and the other in the Middle East. The looming question remains: wouldn't the US find itself dangerously overstretched if another new war front erupts in the Pacific, over Taiwan? John Mearsheimer, the renowned political scientist, offering astute observations that warrant attention, contends that the US is currently losing focus making it unable to pivot completely to Asia. American thinker and author Richard Haass writes in Foreign Affairs that Israel cannot remain a secure, prosperous, democratic, and Jewish state unless there is, before long, a Palestinian state. The latest escalation in the war between Israel and Hamas underscores the absolute imperative of pursuing a negotiated and lasting resolution to the hostilities, rather than a humanitarian or tactical pause, a mere eyewash.The Palestinian people have deeply felt betrayed by the Arab states. With the exception of Jordan and Bahrain, most have refrained from recalling their ambassadors, while paradoxically, some non-Arab states like Chile and Bolivia have taken such action. It is imperative for Arab states to swiftly reevaluate their stance, cut off ties with Israel and heed the voices of the people on the ground to prevent the looming wave of unrest from engulfing the region.The word "occupation" has become a buzzword reverberating in every nook and corner of the world now, much like "colonialism" did in the post-WWII era. The world, including the Arab states, must remember Dante's eloquent warning that "the darkest places of hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis".

Does all of this mean that the contours of geopolitical dynamics in the Middle East are changing? Is the US-based Middle East system, with its blind support for Israel, facing an unprecedented crisis? Only time will tell.

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