I am quite frankly sick of this shit… I am thoroughly fed up of hearing so-called ‘world leaders’ saying one thing and doing another. The vehemence of their protestations, put into stark contrast by their unwillingness to take any steps of note, and often belied by actions which are entirely contradictory to their words. Honestly, you would think that I would be used to it by now, I mean it isn’t even as if this sort of thing is new… or indeed exclusive to politicians… and yet I continue to be frustrated by such behaviour even when I fully expect it..
Today, 11 days and more than 4,000 deaths into this most recent conflict between Hamas and Israel, the United States of America vetoed a draft United Nations Security Council Resolution calling for an immediate cessation to hostilities to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to the Gaza Strip. According to CNN, the reasons given for the veto was that the United States of America wanted to wait to see how their President’s visit played out and because the wording of the resolution was unacceptable, because it made no mention of Israel’s right to self-defence. Now, I don’t wish to be picky or anything, but the right to self-defence is explicitly mentioned in the UN Charter itself… granting a member state the right to self-defence until the UN Security Council rules otherwise. So not only does Israel already have the right to self-defence (being a member of the United Nations) but also, the visit of the President of the United States of America has no bearing on this right: in clear contrast to the body passing the resolution that the United States of America vetoed!!!!
The real issue as I see it was that the resolution also contained the wording calling on all parties to comply with international law and protect civilian lives in Hamas-controlled Gaza… call me cynical, but perhaps the United States of America suspects that by bombing vast swathes of densely populated cities in Gaza, Israel might ever-so-slightly fall afoul of the ‘protecting civilian lives’ aspect… not to mention the fact that their continuing to block humanitarian aid might go against the grain of that tricky little thing called ‘international law’.
Of course, the British weren’t far behind, also supporting the ‘wording issue’ raised by the United States of America – albeit after having abstained rather than exercising a veto (Britain, it would seem, doesn’t even have the strength of conviction to support its own cowardice…).
Not that any of this would matter of course: Israel is already in breach of multiple UN Resolutions, and its ‘settlements’ have been declared illegal by the UN Security Council… which I suppose technically means that Israel doesn’t actually have a legal right to defend those settlements…. In addition to this, Palestine is a non-member state, so presumably(?) not bound by its rules. (On a point of note, it appears that although many countries do, the UN does not consider Hamas to be a terrorist group either…)
So, like I say… disingenuous diplomacy. Even if these so-called ‘leaders’ actually came out and said anything that they were prepared to stand behind, no-one cares anyway; at least, not enough to actually try to hold them to account. So why the false, insincere opprobrium then? Why all the disapproving noises, and the fake attempts at a resolution to a problem that these bastards have actively supported for as long as we can remember? And when I say actively supporting, I mean actively supporting… if I understand this situation – even poorly – Israel was formed by Zionists as a home for the Jewish people after the Nakba, a conflict which resulted in the forced displacement of nearly a million Palestinians. The state of Israel was subsequently unilaterally declared, a decision which was then vindicated through its acceptance as a member state of the UN in 1949. So basically, all members of the UN are responsible for approving the theft of land and the forced displacement of the Palestinian people since day bloody one!
None of which justifies any of the many atrocities which have been undertaken by all sides since this time of course; but which may, underscore the depth of the hypocrisy of the international community in their loudly-announced attempts for a resolution. (I would even argue that the acceptance of Israel into the UN is itself a breach of the UN rules: specifically the one concerning displacement which states that “Every human being shall have the right to be protected against being arbitrarily displaced from his or her home or place of habitual residence.”
The pain and anguish being seen today, is a direct result of our own lack of willingness to follow through on the rules that we put in place so cavalierly. I don’t know if this is down to the way our species is built on an emotional and psychological level, or whether or not this is a function of the societies that we have created for ourselves – but whatever it is, we are broken and we try desperately to pretend that we are not.
I don’t know about you, but personally, I believe that you cannot fix something, until you acknowledge that it is broken.
To quote Malcolm X… “I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.”