When Self-defense breaches its bounds and why it will take the West to settle the Israel-Palestine Question

By George Musiime

The situation in Gaza has been progressively deteriorating since last October. Yet even after a phone conversation with president Biden, Prime minister Netanyahu went on to make a televised statement in which he asserted that Israel could not defeat Hamas without marching on Rafa, alluding to the existence of battalions of Hamas operatives “among the city’s 1.4 million residents.” The impending offensive sets a couple of challenges including; where the 1.4 million people will go having seen the destructive nature of these operations, whether they will be allowed time to get to safety,  and weather the IDF will take the imperative to avoid civilian casualties this time. It is important to note that The United States has since the Carter administration acknowledged that lasting peace in this region could only come from a two state solution. However, for some reason the United States and the West in general have not used their influence over Israel to deliver on this goal, which should, undoubtedly  be within the power of their foreign policy machinery.

The Israel-Palestine conflict is among the world’s longest running conflicts, going back to the creation of the state of Israel on May 14th 1948.  The conflict started with the Arab-Israeli war which had displaced over 700,000 Palestinians by 1949 culminating into the division of this territory into the three parts we know today as Israel, The west Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Prof. Miershimer describes this terrible situation by referring to Palestine as the world’s largest open-air prison. However, judging by what has been going on in Palestine, this may be an understatement because never before, in its 75 year history  has this conflict nor any other conflict had such levels of destruction over such a short period; with millions displaced, tens of thousands dead and entire cities razed to the ground. While this has been so, the Western stance on this conflict particularly over the past four months but also during previous episodes has been non-committal in as far as calling Israel to order; always asserting Israel’s right to self-defense, while vilifying any differing views at times. Let us not forget that the Camp David accords of 1979 delivered gains in resolving tensions between Israel and Egypt alongside Syria. Moreover, the Oslo accords were viewed with much anticipation only to collapse with the assassination of former Premier Rabin Yitzhak in 1995 by elements opposed to the signing of the accords that fronted a two-state approach to this conflict. Attempts to resurrect these efforts through the Abraham accords brokered by the US are already coming under threat with Morocco seemingly decided to pullout from whatever concessions were reached in 2021. Nevertheless, the major flaw with this approach is that it attempts to create ties between Israel and Arab nations with the implicit aim of isolating Palestine.

What the world seems to ignore in this entire melee is that the Palestinians want the same thing the Israelis want. Meanwhile, the West has overseen the growth of a Militarily powerful and technologically advanced nation of Israel next door to Palestine. Creating a very powerful state of Israel that is not willing to afford the Palestinians most of the rights and freedoms that it wants for its own people, a deviation from the position of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which asserts the recognition of inherent dignity and of equal and inalienable human rights as foundations of…global peace.

Regardless, the occasional rockets fired into Israel and such horrendous attacks as the one of 7 October 2023 are evidence that this has not been without consequence. Moreover, this can be argued to have fueled the rise to prominence of extremist groups such as Hamas over the rather moderate PLO and Fatah.  The Israeli run apartheid state in Gaza has provided the necessary conditions for the raise of Hamas. More so, while this went on, the United States throughout the currently raging conflict has continuously stressed through the president its alignment with Israel amidst worldwide lamentation over the worsening situation in the region. President Biden has also argued that if there had been no Israel, The United States would have had to create one to protect US interests in the Middle East.

This goes to tell how the Biden administration views the situation in Gaza as long as Israel seems to be winning. It remains unpredictable the scale of destruction the offensive on Rafa might have. However, one can argued that this conflict is at a point where people may not necessarily fall to shelling or small arms fire. As the author Allan Weiss point out, you do not have to shoot songbirds out of the sky, sometimes all it takes is destroying enough of their sustenance and they will voluntarily start to drop dead on their own. Such has been the nature of Israel’s offensive against the Gaza strip; destroying  homes, schools, cutting  power and water supply, denying  or rather complicating (through countless checkpoints and deliberate sabotage of public infrastructure) the delivery of  food and essential medical supplies or setting troves of people on an exodus amidst stampedes and bombardment.

A glimmer of hope for world peace:

Emulating Chinese leadership is not a new concept; in fact, the French enlightenment period philosopher Voltaire, in one of his letters expressed his great admiration for the Chinese culture and praised the Confucian ideas of universal morality and good governance. At a time when conflicts are sending shock waves rippling through the world in the form of economic downturns, hunger etcetera, China could still have wisdom to share with the world. China is on record for being a strong advocate of noninterference in other countries internal affairs, and finding negotiated solutions to differences and conflicts. In the face of a tumultuous global peace landscape, President Xi Jingping in his opening address at the Boao conference for Asia, 2022 proposed for the first time the Global Security Initiative (GIS) as a response to global peace challenges.  China further elaborates a road to sustainable world peace and security in six key commitments under the GIS. These commitments include; common comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, Respect for the purpose and principles of the UN charter,  Taking seriously the concerns of all countries,  Peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and consultation  and Maintaining security in all domains. As a country committed to shared global prosperity, China understands that prosperity cannot happen in the absence of peace. Moreover, with the GIS, president Xi reaffirms China’s mindfulness  of the UN charter whose overarching goal is to save future generations from the scourge of war and the resulting devastation,  which today, the world needs to work double-shift to return a lid on.

Seventy years of the Israel-Palestine conflict is proof that cease-fires are not what we need in this volatile region. Frozen conflicts are constantly at the risk of eruption and with many militant groups itching to take a reprisal jab at Israel; finding a lasting solution to this conflict would certainly be in the best interest of both the Israeli people and the world. In fact, the West may be the only party that could call Israel to order but for as long as we remain adamant to recognize Palestinians as humans deserving of the same rights and freedoms as everyone, we can continue to expect this conflict to carry on, only intermittently!

George Musiime is a research fellow at the Development Watch Centre.


Israel at the International Court of Justice: A Stern Test for the United Nations and its Institutions

By Marvin Hannington Kalema

The year 2024 promises to be yet another interesting one if the events that transpired at the close of the past year are anything to go by.

On the 29th of December 2023, the government of the Republic of South Africa formally filed a case against the state of Israel with the Hague based International Court of Justice, (ICJ) where renowned Ugandan legal brain, Mrs. Jalia Ssebutinde, sits as a judge. The application to institute proceedings, is in relation to the Israel’s conduct in its ongoing war against Palestine.

The eighty-four paged application filed in court lists a number of grounds for their complaint but perhaps the flesh to their application is their reference to the acts performed, condoned and threatened by the state of Israel to the Palestinian people as genocidal in nature – essentially contravening the principle of self-determination.

South Africa argues that such acts are genocidal as they are intended to bring about substantial destruction of the Palestinian national and ethnic community in the Gaza strip. The African nation points out further that such acts are in direct contravention of various provisions in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention). South Africa further prays that the ICJ outlines provisional measures to be adhered to by Israel to stop the continued abuse of human rights in its ongoing war on Palestine before the situation becomes irreparable.

To scholars of international law, relations and diplomacy – and perhaps all objective peace-loving global citizens, this new development could be a major test of the objectiveness, impartiality and independence of the UN and its institutions in particular the ICJ.

I therefore highlight why it is important, in light of the current global reputation of the UN, for the court as scheduled between the days of 11-12th January, to swiftly and justly handle the application, if the global peace-keeping organization is intent on achieving its major aim and preserving its significantly damaged credibility.

It is additionally important to also note that much as the decisions of the ICJ are not binding and are more like advisory opinions, their relevance in influencing a global push to take further action against Israel in more appropriate forums like  the ICC must not be wholly dismissed like many already are.

Speaking plainly, the credibility of the UN has long suffered significant damage over the years and one may perhaps rightfully argue that confidence in the capability of the organization to execute the given mandate as established in its founding charter is waning fast.

Research into public confidence of the UN has produced statistics that do provide some insight. The World Value & European Value Survey (WVS/EVS) conducted between 2017-2022 in over 90 countries representing all geographical regions, indicated only about half of these countries maintain confidence in the organization.

Furthermore, more intriguing revelations from the WVS/EVS data indicate that confidence in the UN has been on a consistent decline since the 1990s in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin American regions. To anyone with keen interest in global events, it is quickly ascertainable that these are particularly the conflict-stricken areas, hence their low confidence in the global peace-maker is damning, if anything.  Obviously, this has not occurred in a vacuum as justifiable reasons do exist.

The peace-keeping body has generally failed to remain impartial and independent in its application and implementation of international law principles.

If anything has significantly contributed to the organization’s declining popularity of late, this has to be top of the list. Overtime, the world has witnessed major global superpowers especially and quite ironically, members of the Security Council influence the organization to condone or refrain from taking action on their abrasive and wanton abuse of said principles.

The organization has repeatedly appeared to have its hands tied as superpowers go about antagonizing world peace through various wars that align with their own selfish interests and not world peace.

Additionally, the organization has been ambiguous and unclear in its response to various conflicts all over the world that have drastically claimed civilian lives. There has generally been strong criticism and punishment for African war lords by the UN but often times, it has remained shockingly complicit when Western led actors such as the U.S and allies with their so-called anti-terrorism campaigns in the Middle East kill millions of innocent civilians due to reckless actions that are in their entirety, gross violations of international laws of war.

In essence, such tactics of selective application of the law, similar to the setting in George Orwell’s classic the Animal Farm, do not inspire much confidence in a body charged with promoting equality in the quest for world peace.

In the case at hand, the ICJ ought to decisively and objectively assess the case before it, and pronounce itself accordingly. It is in the interest of the court to ensure that its decision is as rational and just as it can be, free from any overt or covert influence. The court must strive to steer away from the precarious position, its sister institution, the International Criminal Court finds itself. The court’s independence and credibility are increasingly questioned yet it is supposed to play a major role in promoting world peace.

Comments from then National Security Advisor John Bolton in 2018 to the effect that the White House would no longer cooperate with the ICC, and would block any efforts to pursue U.S. or Israeli citizens, must only drive the ICJ to remain objective and not bow to any external pressure in the instant case.

The massacre of over 22,000 people including women and over 7,000 children in the Gaza should be reason enough for a swift and unequivocal response to the situation. It regrettably took weeks of back-and-forth discussions at the UN, just to secure a humanitarian ceasefire to ensure delivery of food and medical supplies to the Gaza population. The ICJ is hereby tasked with remaining extremely objective and delivering justice, restore confidence in the public as well as offering the much-needed relief to the Gazans.

It is important that the court duly assesses the overwhelming evidence of mass human rights violations as laid out in the application and take a step to address this. The applicants rightly note in their application that there is no attack on a state’s sovereignty, no matter how drastic, can be used to justify and defend breach of the Genocide convention. There is absolutely no moral or legal ground upon which the state of Israel can rely on to justify the massacre of children and families or razing down of homes, schools and hospitals.

At the 78th UN general assembly last year, part of the event’s theme reiterated the need to rebuild trust and reignite global solidarity. Before global states can trust each other, their unwavering trust in the UN as the body uniting them must be assured and confirmed. Additionally, in his 2022 address to the UN general assembly, the organization’s chief Antonio Guterres rightly cited geopolitical tension and lack of trust as the factors that poison the dream of international co-operation. He must have borne it in mind that recent developments have plunged public trust in his institution, hence action must be taken by its institutions to counter that.

On the other hand, as a parmanent member of the UNSC, the U.S must act responsibly and support upholding international laws. For this to happen, U.S officals like White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby who told press that South-Africa’s suit against Israel is “meritless, counterproductive, and completely without any baisis,” must be called to order to let ICJ determine the case without such prejudice.

Also, there is need for all UN member states especially the Parmanent Security Council Members (P5) to strongly advocate and support dilague and diplomacy as a way of ensuring peace and tranquility globally. On this note, one can argue that today, more than ever, China’s proposed Global Security Inititive which seeks to address global security throgh dialogue, diplomacy, consultantion and respect of international laws is relevant and should be embraced by the entire world.

In conclusion, the UN and the ICJ, if desirous to further exert global influence, may borrow from the words of former US secretary of state and diplomat, Colin Powell that; credibility is built upon trust, integrity and consistency, as it goes about its business of hearing the application and pronouncing itself on the matter. It should be in the minds of all the judges that the world is watching with keen interest, how the court will conduct itself in the grand scheme of global peace and protection of human rights.

The writer is a Law scholar at Johannesburg University and a research fellow with Development Watch Centre.

Is the Israeli-Palestine conflict the graveyard of international relations or its rebirth?

By Musanjufu Benjamin Kavubu

In the world of international relations and diplomacy, the Israel-Palestine conflict holds immense global significance. This enduring conflict has involved various players over the decades. Diplomatic failures in this situation can have far-reaching global consequences. The Israel-Palestine conflict draws comparisons to the Ukraine-Russia conflict due to its intensity and the involvement of global players. Diplomatic failures have played a role in both conflicts. Russia’s dissatisfaction stems from perceived broken promises regarding NATO expansion.

The recent round of fighting, starting on October 7, 2023, saw unique tactics by Hamas, including land, air, and sea attacks on Israeli cities and largely in Israel occupied territories. The U.S. and EU consider Hamas terrorists, while Russia advocates for a Palestinian state. China seeks a two-state solution which the UN general assembly approved 65 years ago. It should be recalled that on 29th November 2012, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to recognise Palestine as approved by UN within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status. 138 countries voted in favour, 41 abstained and only 9 voting against it. One can argue that, as one of the five UNSC permanent members, China’s stand to side with Palestine calling for a two-state solution is not a selfish move but as a responsible member of the international community, China is simply calling for observance and respecting of international laws.

Also, China is currently playing a positive role in advocating for a peaceful world. China’s involvement in global security, known as the Global Security Initiative (GSI), seeks to create conditions for a peaceful world where issues and misunderstandings are resolved through dialogue as opposed to the U.S which that fronts block formation and power politics as a solution. China has shown mediation skills in conflicts, including the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Major energy players like Iran and Saudi Arabia further complicate the situation, impacting energy markets and global supply chains. China expresses deep concern over the conflict, advocating for a two-state solution.

On the African side, the AU has done its bit even if Egypt a member country is a joint party in the Gaza siege but they have a reason for it. But the greatest diplomatic efforts in this round of fighting have come from South Africa. South African government has long expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people, this time it went ahead to establish a diplomacy channel when Naledi Pandor held a call with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh at his request to discuss getting humanitarian aid into Palestine, the foreign minister also reiterated South Africa’s solidarity and support for the Palestinian people and expressed sadness and regret for the loss of innocent lives on both sides. This phone call went beyond pro-Palestinian protests in the country and ANC’s efforts to organize a Palestinian Solidarity March outside the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria. This changes diplomatic tides for an organization that is considered a terrorist outfit. It may eliminate third parties in peace talks and bring about what happened when Nelson Mandela started to talk to the apartheid government in South Africa.

The Israel-Palestine conflict has once again laid bare the challenges facing the United Nations Security Council. Despite multiple attempts to secure a ceasefire, the most recent on October 18, 2023, all efforts have faltered. In a striking move, the United States utilized its veto power in the Security Council to thwart a humanitarian resolution, which had been proposed by Brazil. The resolution sought to condemn the ongoing violence and encouraged the prompt release of all hostages. It also called for humanitarian halts to guarantee the unrestrained delivery of relief to civilians in Gaza. The situation underlines the thorny dynamics at play within the Security Council when it comes to addressing conflicts like the one between Israel and Palestine.

Israeli forces continue their operations in Gaza, resulting in casualties, with approximately 5,087 Palestinians declared dead, 50% of whom are children. In Israel, the death toll has reached 1,200 people. Officials in Gaza have warned of a humanitarian crisis as the power plant has completely shut down due to fuel depletion. 62 attacks by Israel for the 13th consecutive day (since Oct 11) are on health care (including Al Ahli hospital) as per the World Health Organization.

The Israeli army the IDF ordered Palestinians to move south of Gaza leading to 1.4 million internally displaced persons. The United Nations Security Council criticized the order, warning of a humanitarian crisis. Israel is planning to enter Gaza from the north for a ground offensive and its main goal seems like an attempt to empty the strip of Palestinians forcing them to enter Egypt as refugees, Tel Aviv has the backing of the United States and the European Union.

As of 24th of October 2023, speaking before the 15-member UN Security Council on Tuesday, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pleaded for civilians to be protected and warned that the fighting risked a wider conflagration in the region he added that “It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation,” The Secretary-General underscored that the conflict posed a significant risk of further escalation, potentially leading to a broader regional crisis. He emphasized the importance of recognizing that the actions taken by Hamas are not isolated incidents, emphasizing that the Palestinian people have endured a stifling occupation for so long.

The Israel-Palestine conflict remains a is thorny and explosive issue with far-reaching outcomes for global diplomacy, economics, and stability. The ongoing brutality and the failure to secure a ceasefire underscore the pressing need for reforms within the United Nations Security Council to enhance its effectiveness in resolving such conflicts. The historical context of the conflict and the involvement of major global players make it a critical matter for international relations and the world’s stability. The humanitarian effects are dire, and there is an urgent need for international intervention to protect civilians and work towards a lasting solution in the region.

Musanjufu Benjamin Kavubu is a research fellow at the Development Watch Centre

Israel-Palestine Conflict: The United Nations Has Turned Blind, Again

By Alan Collins Mpewo.

War should never be desirable for any human. Surprisingly, it has been active for many years in various societies and communities for all reasons, valid and otherwise. Every society has had a major event that has been shaped by war, and goes to an inquisition on whether it should be conflict that shape or has to be primary on the scale of modification of human society. Understandable is the fact that human society uncontrolled, would devour itself in pieces to great devastation. In modern history, some conflict while justified depending on what front one stands and the lenses through which one views such conflict, has much been one of interstate conflicts. Occasionally that is spurred by the internal hate such as the Rwanda genocide, and societies go miles of trouble in elevating their hate.

The Holocaust was however one to be viewed on an interstate conflict level. One race was determined to annihilate the other from the soils that make up earth in an extrajudicial manner. The Jews were the center point of the hate and annihilation. Fast-forward, they occupy, today, the greatest chunks of course, in Israel as known today. The Palestinian and Israel conflict is not new to the eyes of those with sight, and not unheard to those who hear. Today as it has gained much attention on the mouths of many, there is much reflection to be made on the state of conflict and consequences that have equally since happened.

Israel, whose citizens remember the devastation their kinsmen and kinswomen met during the not so far-gone days, would have been expected to know the gravity of what conflict like their current apartheid government is unleashing onto Palestinians can cause. For many years, Israel has been at war with Palestine and it goes without a reminder that many have been forgotten from the hour the conflict begun. Just recently, reports made tidings internationally that the Hamas fighters had made a retaliation against Israel which caused unexplainable deaths and injuries. As expected, Israel commenced retaliation and as usual during the conflict, the Gaza strip got warning to vacate before an operation that, according to the Israel Premier, “Would lead into a total destruction of Gaza.” Announcements were sent in the ordinary perfect war mode, by flying papers that fell from the skies as if snow. This followed orders from Israel government ordering more than 1.1 million Palestinians to leave their homes Gaza city to southern part, an order the UN warned it is “impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences”.

As the world tried to come to terms with endless bombings, Israel’s far-right defense minister Yoav Gallant declared a “complete siege” on Gaza’s about 365 square km, with its 2.36 million Palestinians, which has been under an Israel’s blockade for 17 years. Describing Palestinians as “human animals,” Gallant announced; “a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed.

As you read this, many have been wiped off the face of the earth, and some bloodlines expunged forever. Indiscriminate killings have been recorded, regardless of age of those who face the wrath of Israel ammunition. A few decades ago, the world was in unity again the tyranny that faced the Jews, today! How time runs fast unnoticed. That ensuing, there has been a wait on how much tract, attention and criticisms the continued actions of Israel would face. None from the West. And when the United Nations, chose to speak, their words were so measured that it took them so long to even call for a ceasefire!

When UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres in a speech to the Security Council on Tuesday said he unequivocally condemned Hamas attacks in Israel but went ahead to give a context of Israel-Palestine conflict and explained that “Hamas attacks did not happen in vacuum,” he was attacked and bullied by Israel officials who called for his resignation simply for stating facts. It begs the often-asked question, who does the UN serve? It has been a silent question that has gone to silence unanswered for the known times it has been asked to the UN echelons of power.

At the inception when Russia had a faceoff with Ukraine, agitation from Washington and Brussels the seat of the European Union was at a large scale. Today? The same cannot be said. While Western media quickly and endlessly called for the end of what they called Russia’s invasion and aggression, with Israel in Palestine, the same media is worryingly silent! It can be understood that perhaps some interests matter without need for comparison to any other. There have been many conflicts overtime of a similar nature that have not been given attention. There is much comfort in pointing fingers when instances are commenced by key Eastern Bloc players, especially Russia and China. But it is ultimately clear as some may argue, that the United Nations is a tool used by the Western key players in advancing their interests. It has been put to a scale of seeming for no purpose, a systematic play that has equally led to distrust of many avenues the United Nations reveres such as has been gradually seen with the International Criminal Court, International Chamber of Commerce, and many alike.

A lust for war is dangerous, and some countries have lived to pay a heavy price. As more than 6,000 inhabitants of Gaza have died, the United Nations came to a realization that it could no longer be seen openly siding with a higher power. Unwavering however, are countries like China that have consistently taken a position far much firm than that of the United States. China has not only condemned the ruthless attacks on either front in the long-time conflict, but has for long called on Israel to respect international humanitarian laws. These are the cornerstones for any conflict bred region, despite the fact that on the contrary it is said that the innocent people are casualties of war.

Like the League of Nations, the United Nations now faces a plague, which although much different from that of the past body it replaced, is the partiality it exercises no regard for shame to show. The trend may never find a day of saving if it goes on to be well accommodated. The people of Palestine, like Ukraine deserve equal attention, unless they don’t as should be publicly published by a body whose job it is to unify all global players equally with blindness to any glaring superiority. It should rather follow to similar outcry like China’s which has been clear calling for restraint, ceasefire, and respect for international humanitarian law. Perhaps defiance and boycott from many countries against the United Nations is warranted, and maybe, a reset is needed. But as far as functionality stands, impartiality cannot be said of the body today, neither can the values the West have often claimed to stand for.

Alan Collins Mpewo Senior Research Fellow, Development Watch Center.

Palestine-Israel Conflict: U.S & the EU are Hypocrites; They Should Learn from China

By Allawi Ssemanda
There are growing fears of unprecedented humanitarian crisis as a result of Israeli indiscriminate bombing and blockade of Gaza strip. This follows widely expected Israeli ground invasion as the fanatical far-right government vows to turn Gaza into what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “desert island” as a response to what Israelis see as humiliating attack by Hamas.
This is after Hamas fighters breached Israel’s assumed tight security and killed at least 1,200 people before retreating with captured soldiers and civilians as hostages. Israelis responded with a disproportional force; bombing Gaza with thousands of bombs and killed over 2,400 Palestinians including children, women and elderly. As indiscriminate bombing is ongoing, Israel has ordered more than 1.1 million people in Gaza to move to South but later targeted and killed 70 civilians as they fled the area. UN strongly opposed the order saying it is ‘impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences’.
Hamas argues; their offensive was in response to desecration of the Al Aqsa Mosque and endless Israeli atrocities against Palestinians over the decades listing 17-year blockade, Israeli raids inside West Bank cities, increasing attacks by settlers on Palestinians and growing expansion of illegal settlements in occupied territories.
Even before Netanyahu declared a “state of war” against Gaza, U.S ruler, Joe Biden responded equating Hamas’ incursion to America’s 9/11 before he repeated unsubstantiated Israel’s allegations that Hamas fighters “raped women” and “beheaded babies”. In what appeared like a well-rehearsed orchestra, from Washington to London, Paris to EU headquarters, they voiced their unconditional support for apartheid Israel and condemned “unprovoked attacks against Israel” and repeated Washington’s lines calling Hamas terrorists.
If critically analysed, as constructivists and poststructuralists would argue, terrorism is a result of stereotypes and a misconception politically and socially constructed to describe some groups with primary purpose of discrediting actors involved and portray them as violent so that they are rejected by right thinking members of community.

Just hours after Western leader’s similar wording of solid support for Israel, Israel’s far-right defense minister Yoav Gallant declared a “complete siege” Gaza’s about 365 square km, with its 2.36 million Palestinians, which has been under an Israel’s blockade for 17 years.

Describing Palestinians as “human animals” Gallant announced; “a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed.”

As Netanyahu posted videos of civilians’ buildings being bombed, EU President Ursula von der Leyen who on October 19th 2022 told EU parliament; “Russia’s attacks against civilian infrastructure, especially electricity, are war crimes. Cutting off men, women, children of water, electricity and heating with winter coming- these are acts of pure terror” did not criticise Israel’s decision to cut off same supplies to Palestinians.

The above shows double standards and hypocrisy of leaders of the E.U and their American allies. Rightly so, Clare Daly, the Irish Member of Parliament to the EU told off Ursula for being a hypocrite; “the double standards of Ursula and EU leaders are laid bare. They back Israel to hilt, even as it engages in state terror against innocent people. All wars are evil, and all victims deserve support, and until you get on that page, you have no credibility whatever.”

Sadly, Israel backers seem not bothered or are not doing much as civilians’ death from Israel’s collective punishment skyrockets. Hopefully, they are not waiting for the wishes of former U.S’ ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who told Netanyahu to “finish them.” Put differently, the U.S and the EU are fully backing what radical theorists Noam Chomsky calls “wholesale state terrorism” against Palestinians.

Of the major powers, it is only China and Russia that have called for de-escalation, exercising restraint, respecting of international laws and ending hostilities to protect civilians. In a statement, China pointed at the root cause of Palestine-Israel conflict and suggested how to address it; “The fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine. The international community needs to act with greater urgency, step up input into the Palestinian question, facilitate the early resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and find a way to bring about enduring peace,” read the stamen.

China’s response is not only peace cantered. It is in line with UN recommendations. Strangely, the U.S criticised China claiming it leaned more on Palestine’s side with U.S Senate Majority Chuck Schumer telling China’s top diplomat Wang Yi that China should stand with Israel.

It should be recalled; on 29th November 2012, after 65 years of the approval of the partition plan for Palestine, UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to recognise Palestine as approved by UN within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status. 138 countries voted in favour, 41 abstained and only 9 voting against it. Therefore, as one of the five UNSC permanent members, China’s stand should be lauded by the peace-loving countries including hypocrites in Washington and Brussels who have made it a tradition to cherry-pick when to call for observance and respecting of international laws.

Otherwise, it is despicable to see the Biden administration and allies unbothered by the racist and genocidal language calling Palestinians “human animals.” It is sickening seeing U.S which normally presents itself as a defender of international laws and playing by rules being the same country arming Israel with bombs aiding Netannyahu’s crimes against humanity in Gaza.

In equal measures, seeing EU’s Ursula von der Leyen issuing Israel a blanket cheque that she and the EU are behind what she called self defense which Israel is using including their complete siege and blockading of electricity, food, fuel, which while referring to Russia-Ukraine crisis called “war crimes” begs us to ask and doubt claims of values they have always claimed to have.

From above, Israel’s war against Palestine and Russia-Ukraine crisis have exposed the West and their lies. Their claims of being pro-democracy or having values is fake news as we have seen their media promote largely propaganda during the said two conflicts.

Like old brats, seeing Biden and Ursula von der Leyen, Rishi Sunak and Macron almost parroting Netanya’s speeches makes one thing clear. Geopolitics of self-claimed democracies and the so-called free world has never been about creating a peaceful and free world. The logic that guides these reckless powerful countries is not human rights or democracy, neither is it about respecting sovereignty of other countries or upholding international law. It is just power and their selfish interest. They are hypocrites and the world should despise them for insulting international collective intelligence.

While I agree that targeting civilians by any side is unacceptable, we must have historical facts right! It’s wrong to compare Hamas with ISIS as the U.S and Israel would want. Hamas has never staged any attack outside historical Palestine. Their attacks are always in historical Palestine and the illegally occupied Palestine areas. The logic way to end this Israeli made and America backed crisis is to address the root cause. Implement the two-state solution!

Allawi Ssemanda is Senior Research Fellow at the Development Watch Centre.


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