War on Gaza Part IV: Why “Free World” Condone Israel’s Occupation, Apartheid, and Genocide?

“In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous.” — Samuel Phillips Huntington 1Samuel Phillips Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order”, Simon & Schuster, 1 January 1998.

 Read Part I: War on Gaza: Unveiling Insanity of Western Power
Read Part II: War on Gaza: How the West is Losing
Read Part III: Truth, Justice and the Unwinnable “Forever War”

The True Facts of the Palestinian People Genocide

Palestine’s story at the United Nations began on 29 November 1947, with the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) adoption of resolution 181. The so-called “Partition Resolution”2To read the full text (In English and French versions): https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/038/88/PDF/NR003888.pdf?OpenElement. For more on that, see “United Nations Special Committee on Palestine: Report to the General Assembly”, 1947: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/NL4/716/71/PDF/NL471671.pdf?OpenElement proposed, for the first time in history, to divide a homeland into two states. Seven decades later, full membership of Palestine in the universal organization has yet to be approved, although in 2012 it achieved an upgrading of its status in the organisation through UNGA resolution 67/19, which granted Palestine “non-member state” status, as a state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

This resolution passed with a vast majority (138 votes in favor and only 9 against)3Countries voting against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama and the US.. The Palestinian people, whether in exile or under occupation, has continued to suffer the consequences of the lack of international action in order to fulfill their inalienable rights – including resolution 2334 of the UN Security Council4United Nations, “Five years after UNSC Resolution 2334, international accountability to end the Israeli occupation is more important than ever”, 23 December 2021. – thereby enduring one of the greatest injustices seen within an iniquitous international system.

Conversely, Israel became a member of the UN on 11 May 1949 through UNGA Resolution 273. It is important to mention that its membership, as established in the resolution, was conditioned5Resolution 273 clearly stated that “Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it “unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honor them from the day when it becomes a Member of the United Nations”, Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 [Resolution 181] and 11 December 1948 [Resolution 194] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the ad hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions, The General Assembly … Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.”. To this day, Israel continues to violate the conditions it accepted in order to become a full member of the UN, as it has failed to honour, inter alia, UNGA resolutions 181 (on two states) and 194 (on the right of return of Palestinian refugees).

In 2021 and 2022, three major human rights organisations, namely Amnesty International6 Amnesty International, “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity”, 1 February 2022. To download the full report: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde15/5141/2022/en/, Human Rights Watch7Human Rights watch, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution”, 27 April 2021. To download the full report: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/media_2021/04/israel_palestine0421_web_0.pdf, and B’TSelem8B’Tselem, “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”, 12 January 2021. To download the position paper: https://www.btselem.org/sites/default/files/publications/202101_this_is_apartheid_eng.pdf published their respective reports on the human rights situation of the Palestinians both in Israel and in the occupied territories. All three of them determined that if being an apartheid state means committing inhumane acts, systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another, then Israel is surely guilty of the crime of apartheid.

Introducing the findings of her own organisation’s report – which necessitated four years of work – at a press conference in Jerusalem on 1 February 2022, Amnesty’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard, said:

“Our report reveals the true extent of Israel’s apartheid regime. Whether they live in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, or Israel itself, Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group and systematically deprived of their rights. We found that Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amount to apartheid. The international community has an obligation to act.”9Voice of America, “Amnesty International Report Accuses Israel of Apartheid”, 1 February 2022.

She, therefore, called on the USA, the European Union and its member states and the UK, but also those states that are in the process of strengthening their ties with Israel – such as some Arab and African states – to recognise that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid and other international crimes.

On 8 December 2023, UN Security Council gathered for an emergency meeting to discuss the catastrophic situation in Gaza. The meeting was convened after the UN chief António Guterres invoked article 99 of the UN charter10Text of article 99: “The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”. The nature of the powers conferred upon the Secretary-General under Article 99 has been described by the Preparatory Commission in its report to the General Assembly in the following terms: “Under Article 99 of the Charter, moreover, he has been given a quite special right which goes beyond any power previously accorded to the head of an international organization, viz: to bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter (not merely any dispute or situation /57) which, in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security. It is impossible to foresee how this Article will be applied; but the responsibility it confers upon the Secretary-General will require the exercise of the highest qualities of political judgment, tact and integrity”. Under the terms of rule 3 of the Security Council’s provisional rules of procedure, the President of the Security Council is under the obligation to call a meeting if the Secretary-General brings to its attention any matter under Article 99. Historically, the provision has been rarely invoked. It was first used by Trygve Lie, the first Secretary-General of the United Nations (1946–52), who resigned largely because of the Soviet Union’s resentment of his support of UN military intervention in the Korean War. In addressing the General Assembly in 1950, he said: “I refer … to my statement to the Security Council on 25 June last concerning the Korean conflict, when for the first time I invoked Article 99 of the Charter.” Past examples include the upheaval in the Republic of the Congo in 1960 following the end of Belgium’s colonial rule and a complaint by Tunisia in 1961 against France’s naval and air forces attack. The last time it was formally invoked was during fighting in 1971 that led to the creation of Bangladesh and its separation from Pakistan. – an exceptionally important power conferred upon the UN Secretary-General and exercised for the first time in decades – to warn the Security Council of an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, and to urge members to demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. Speaking at the meeting, he said he had invoked article 99 because

“we are at breaking point. There is a high risk of the total collapse of the humanitarian support system in Gaza, which would have devastating consequences. We anticipate that it would result in a complete breakdown of public order and increased pressure for mass displacement into Egypt. I fear the consequences could be devastating for the security of the entire region. We have already seen the spillover in the occupied West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. There is clearly, in my view, a serious risk of aggravating existing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security.”

He added:

“All this takes place amid a spiralling humanitarian nightmare.

First, there is no effective protection of civilians. More than 17,000 Palestinians have reportedly been killed since the start of Israel’s military operations. This includes more than 4,000 women and 7,000 children. Tens of thousands are reported to have been injured, and many are missing, presumably under the rubble. All these numbers are increasing by the day. Attacks from air, land and sea are intense, continuous and widespread. So far, they have reportedly hit 339 education facilities, 26 hospitals, 56 health-care facilities, 88 mosques and three churches. Over 60 per cent of Gaza’s housing has reportedly been destroyed or damaged – some 300,000 houses and apartments. Some 85 per cent of the population have been forced from their homes. The people of Gaza are being told to move like human pinballs – ricocheting between ever-smaller slivers of the south, without any of the basics for survival. But nowhere in Gaza is safe (…)

Second, Gazans are running out of food. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), there is a serious risk of starvation and famine (…)

Third, Gaza’s health system is collapsing while needs are escalating.”

He concluded his statement by saying:

“Everything I have just described represents an unprecedented situation that led to my unprecedented decision to invoke Article 99, urging the members of the Security Council to press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe, and appealing for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared (…) International humanitarian law cannot be applied selectively. It is binding on all parties equally at all times, and the obligation to observe it does not depend on reciprocity (…) The people of Gaza are looking into the abyss (…) The international community must do everything possible to end their ordeal (…) I urge the Council to spare no effort to push for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, for the protection of civilians, and for the urgent delivery of life-saving aid. The eyes of the world – and the eyes of history – are watching. It’s time to act.”

On 12 December, after a long and thorough examination, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) – the elected body of legal experts and human rights defenders from all over the world – adopted a resolution11The International Federation for Human Rights, “The unfolding genocide against the Palestinians must stop immediately”, 12 December 2023. To read the full resolution titled “Resolution on Israel’s unfolding crime of genocide and other crimes in Gaza and against the Palestinian People”: https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/fidh_resolution_on_israel_s_unfolding_crime_of_genocide_and_other_crimes_in_gaza_and_against_the_palestinian_people.pdf recognising that Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people constitute an unfolding genocide; that states and individuals who provide assistance to Israel are hereby rendering themselves complicit; that an immediate ceasefire is imperative to save civilian lives and bring ongoing crimes to an end; and calling the International Criminal Court to immediately issue arrest warrants for Israeli officials who are responsible for international crimes against Palestinians. FIDH President, Alice Mogwe, declared that

“Palestinians have to endure thousands upon thousands of unimaginable tragedies, all intentional. This level of orchestrated violence by an occupying force is genocide12The genocide convention of 1948 defines genocide as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”, in particular by “killing members of the group”, and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”. For the crime to be qualified as such, it must meet two constitutive conditions: an action characterising the crime and the intention to carry such crime. (…) To say it is unfolding is also to say that it can, and indeed must be stopped. To political leaders and high officials, we must stress that support and assistance to Israel is complicity in this unfolding genocide. You have been warned.”

The same day, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution demanding an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages as well as “ensuring humanitarian access”. It passed with a large majority of 153 votes in favour, 23 abstentions and 10 votes against including the United States, which vetoed a similar resolution put forward by the UAE at the Security Council only four days before, with 13 members voting in favour and the UK abstaining.

The resolution which failed to pass took note of the Secretary-General’s invocation of Article 99, expressed grave concern over the “catastrophic situation” in Gaza, and emphasized that both Palestinian and Israeli civilians must be protected. It demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the immediate and unconditional release of hostages as well as humanitarian access.

The following day, the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, an independent organisation with regional offices across the MENA region and Europe, called for allowing the entry of investigation committees and specialised technical committees into Gaza in order to document and determine the extent of the horrific Israeli crimes in shelter schools, including field executions, torture, starvation, and the Israeli military’s use of civilians as human shields. Israel, Euro-Med Monitor stated, “is determined to escalate its genocidal war against Palestinian civilians in order to push for their forced displacement, which is in violation of international law. This amounts to a war crime”.

The same rights group had said in a press release on 2 November that “Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tons of explosives on the Gaza Strip since the start of its large-scale war on 7 October, equivalent to two nuclear bombs”, noting that the area of the Japanese city of Hiroshima is 900 square kilometres, while the area of Gaza does not exceed 360 square kilometres.13Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, “Israel hits Gaza Strip with the equivalent of two nuclear bombs”, 2 November 2023.

Also, as reported by The New York Times, experts say that even a conservative reading of the casualty figures shows that the pace of death during Israel’s campaign has few precedents in this century. They say that people are being killed in Gaza more quickly than in even the deadliest moments of US-led attacks in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, which were themselves widely criticised by human rights groups.

Marc Garlasco, a military advisor for the Dutch organization PAX and a former senior intelligence analyst at the Pentagon, told the newspaper “It’s beyond anything that I’ve seen in my career”. He said that to find a historical comparison for so many large bombs being used on such a small area, we may “have to go back to Vietnam, or the Second World War.”14Lauren Leatherby, “Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Are Being Killed at Historic Pace”, The New York Times, 25 November 2023.

Western Bias and Double Standard: An Incurable Cognitive Dissonance?

Despite propaganda to the contrary, sold by legions of Zionist zealots and paid agents through a mighty disinformation machine depicting it as the “only democracy” in the region, Israel is today one of the world’s worst pariah states.

Occupation and annexation of others’ territories by force are legalised and legitimised; political, social, economic and religious discrimination is institutionalised; repressive and brutal policies and practices towards the Palestinians in the occupied territories and in the Gaza Strip continue unabated; and almost every major international law convention, treaty and UN resolution, including but not limited to, the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Oslo accords are willfully violated by Israel, immune as it is to any significant international pressure, accountability or sanctions.

And yet, most Western governments continue to side with Israel. They do not condemn its criminal behaviour. They are not seeing the ongoing genocide in Gaza for what it is in the eyes of the United Nations, the human rights non-governmental organisations, and the overwhelming majority of the peoples of the world. They are not even exerting the necessary pressure on Israel to accept an immediate ceasefire. Quite the contrary, some of those governments, like the US, continue to send money, arms and soldiers to Israel, hence perpetuating the relentless massacre of the innocent and defenceless Palestinian population.

Such an attitude in the West is perplexing to any rational, humane, and fair-minded person anywhere else in the world. Before trying to assess the whys and wherefores of this unfathomable Western stance, let’s review the sequence of events.

Straight after the October 7 attack, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III announced that he had

“directed the movement of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean. This includes the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), as well as the Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). We have also taken steps to augment U.S. Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region. The U.S. maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this deterrence posture if required”.15US Department of Defense, “Statement from Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on U.S. Force Posture Changes in the Middle East”, 8 October 2023.

The first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) steams in the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 7, 2022. Exercise Silent Wolverine is a U.S.-led, combined training exercise that tests Ford-class aircraft carrier capabilities through integrated high-end naval warfare scenarios alongside participating allies in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is conducting their first deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Adkins)

The very next day, the “Quint” Group – an informal decision-making group consisting of the US, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom – released a joint statement expressing “steadfast and united support” for the state of Israel and “unequivocal condemnation” of Hamas. The five leaders said

“Our countries will support Israel in its efforts to defend itself and its people” emphasizing that “this is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage”.

And while making some concession to what they vaguely called the “legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people”, they hastened to add

“But make no mistake: Hamas does not represent those aspirations, and it offers nothing for the Palestinian people other than more terror and bloodshed”.16The White House, “Joint Statement on Israel”, 9 October 2023.

The same discourse was then heard at the UN. In effect, on the one hand, pleading the cause of his people before the Security Council, the Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour, said Israeli strikes on Gaza had “placed very possible impediment on humanitarian aid and access”. He said the aim of Israel’s war was not security, but to prevent for ever any prospect of Palestinian impudence and peace. “These intentions are clear in the Gaza Strip as well as in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem”. He also noted the universality of international law, adding that

“Israeli exceptionalism has to end, and it has to end now. The Palestinian people will not die in vain, the Palestinian people deserve respect, we have earned it, we have paid the heaviest price to end it, show us respect, not in words but in deeds, show us respect for our lives and our rights”.

On the other side of the spectrum, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, firmly rejected calls for a ceasefire. Erdan said regional stability in the Middle East could “only be achieved once Hamas is eliminated”. Calling for a ceasefire would not achieve that end, he stated. He said Hamas’s main weapon was terror and was seeking to “maximise civilian casualties” to put more and more pressure on Israel to relent.

He added that calling for a ceasefire would ensure that the suffering and the fighting in Gaza would continue and that if Hamas was not destroyed, then atrocities would be carried out by the group “again and again”. Israel, he concluded, would continue with its mission while supporting “every humanitarian initiative”, but the destruction of Hamas was the only option.

Echoing the Israeli discourse, the US ambassador, Robert Wood, said his country does not support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Wood said the Security Council’s failure to condemn the Hamas 7 October attacks on Israel was a serious moral failure. Hamas continues to pose a threat to Israel, he said, before concluding

“For that reason, while the US strongly supports a durable peace in which both Israel and Palestine can live in peace and security, we do not support calls for an immediate ceasefire. This would only plant the seeds for the next war, because Hamas has no desire to see a durable peace, to see a two-state solution”.

The ambassador later vetoed a draft resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire and a pause of the genocide.

Likewise, the UK’s ambassador, Barbara Woodward, said Israel must be “targeted and precise” in achieving its goal “to defend itself against Hamas terrorism”. She said the sheer scale of civilians killed in Gaza was “shocking”, and civilians must be protected. She added that the world needed to “work to avoid escalation” in violence in the occupied West Bank, noting that Israel’s announcements approving new settlements there was alarming and that it would only raise tensions. She emphasised:

“Let us be clear, settlements are illegal under international law. They present an obstacle to peace, and they threaten the physical viability and delivery of a two-state solution.”

Having said that, she later abstained when voting on the US-vetoed resolution!

More recently, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the UK “doesn’t agree” with Israeli ambassador to the UK Ms. Hotovely’s comments that there is “absolutely no” prospect of a Palestinian state. Our longstanding position, he declared,

“remains the two-state solution. What is going on is incredibly concerning. I’ve said consistently, far too many innocent people have lost their lives. No-one wants this conflict to go on for a moment longer than is necessary”.17Greg Heffer and James Tapsfield, “David Cameron ramps up the pressure on Israel with travel ban on ‘extremist settlers’ who are ‘targeting and killing Palestinians’”, Mail Online, 14 December 2023.

What exactly he meant by “longer than necessary” is far from clear.

As for France – whose famous national moto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” did not prevent the genocide of millions of Algerians from happening throughout the French colonial rule between 1830 and 1962 – a recent investigation by “Europe 1”18 Sébastien Le Belzic (Special Envoy to Israel, “ ‘Quelque chose d’irréel’ : le témoignage d’un Français engagé avec l’armée israélienne ” (Something unreal: the testimony of a Frenchman enlisted in the Israeli army), Europe 1, 30 October 2023. revealed that more than 4,000 soldiers of French or dual French-Israeli citizenship are currently enlisted in the Israeli army to fight against a subjugated and defenceless population caged in a tiny territory. Left-wing opposition La France Insoumise MP Thomas Portes published a statement demanding that these soldiers be tried in France for war crimes. This is “the largest contingent after the United States. France is dishonoured”, he wrote.

And what can be said about Germany, the country which bears a historical responsibility in the current plight of the Palestinians as a direct consequence of the Holocaust Nazi Germany committed against the Jews not so long ago?

Well, it seems that the German leaders have failed to learn from their own history. They still think that some lives are more valuable than others. As recounted by Josephine Valeske,19Josephine Valeske, “In supporting Israel’s genocide, Germany has learnt nothing from history”, Middle East Eye, 17 November 2023. amid the unfolding genocide in Gaza, they convened on November 9 in a Berlin synagogue to mark the 85th anniversary of the “Kristallnacht” – the 1938 November pogrom that formed part of the genocide perpetrated by Germany against Jews in Europe.

In his memorial speech for the victims, Chancellor Olaf Scholz affirmed that “Germany’s place is on Israel’s side” and referring to pro-Palestine solidarity protests, he said: “Any form of antisemitism poisons our society, just like Islamist demonstrations and rallies” before going on to threaten them with deportation if they exhibited antisemitic behaviour.

Only a week before, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeir apologized publicly for colonial-era atrocities committed by German forces in Tanzania.20 Historians estimate that as many as 300,000 people were killed by German colonial troops during the Maji-Maji rebellion between 1905 and 1907. During a visit to this country, he said

“I bow before the victims of German colonial rule. And, as Germany’s Federal President, I want to ask for forgiveness for what Germans did to your forefathers”.

Tanzania is not the only victim of German colonial-era atrocities in Africa. In 2021, the German government announced $1.3 billion support to descendants of the victims of the genocide committed against the Herero and Nama ethnic groups in Namibia21Read Hamilton Wende, “Our Auschwitz, Our Dachau: Reckoning with Germany’s genocide in Namibia”, 6 November 2022 and Farouk Chothia, “Namibia pulls down German colonial officer’s statue in Windhoek”, BBC, 23 November 2022. between 1904 and 1908. Also, during his visit to Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv on 7 November, German Air Force Chief Commander General Ingo Gerhartz said:

“I have done so much with the Israeli Air Force, and especially the people living here in the last years. Now as you fight a war with Hamas, it is an honor for me to be here and show solidarity with your country and people and donate blood in case you need it”.

It seems that history keeps repeating itself more often in Germany. So, when is the next visit of a German leader to Palestine to seek forgiveness for supporting the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza?

With respect to the European Union’s position, the least one can say is that it has been all but clear, strong and efficient. As with several other international issues, its 27 members have long been divided in their approach to Israel and the Palestinians. Furthermore, some statements made in the early days of the war by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell, supposedly on behalf the EU, were deemed ill-considered and outrageously biased toward Israel.22Raf Casert, “European Union reverses earlier announcement that it was suspending development aid to Palestinians”, AP, 9 October 2023; and Liyana Kayali, “By condoning Israel’s collective punishment of Gaza, Western powers are plunging Palestinians further into hopelessness”, ABC News, 16 October 2023. This EU position could not be better summed up as Ireland’s Prime minister Leo Varadkar did when he said

“Lately, I think the European Union has lost credibility because of our inability to take a stronger and more united position on Israel and Palestine (…) We’ve lost credibility at the global South, which actually is most of the world, because what is perceived to be double standards. And there’s some truth in that, quite frankly.”

Finally, addressing supporters during a private campaign fundraiser at a Washington D.C. reception, President Joe Biden said23The White House, “Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception”, 12 December 2023.

“I believe, without Israel as a freestanding state, not a Jew in the world is safe — not a Jew in the world is safe. It’s up to what happens at the moment (…) One of the things that Bibi understands, I think, now – but I’m not sure Ben-Gvir and his War Cabinet do, who I’ve spoken to several times – is that Israel’s security can rest on the United States, but right now it has more than the United States. It has the European Union, it has Europe, it has most of the world supporting it. But they’re starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place”.

Speaking about Hamas, he said

“They’re animals. They’re animals. They exceeded anything that any other terrorist group has done of late”.

He also revealed – what has hardly been reported, let alone commented by the mainstream media –

“It was pointed out to me – I’m being very blunt with you all – it was pointed out to me that – by Bibi – that “Well, you carpet-bombed Germany. You dropped the atom bomb. A lot of civilians died. I said, Yeah, that’s why all these institutions were set up after World War Two to see to it that it didn’t happen again – it didn’t happen again”.

Why Does the “Free World” Condone Israel’s Occupation, Apartheid, and Genocide?
Assuredly, occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing are among the worst violations of international law. They are not acceptable anywhere in the world. So why do “civilised liberal democracies of the free world” condone them in the case of the Palestinians? Do they not contradict the very core values of life, freedom, pursuit of happiness, prosperity, equality, brotherhood, fairness, enshrined in the US Declaration of Independence, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?24Tomas Pueyo, “What Does the Free World Stand For?”, 6 December 2023

It is certainly true that most of the West has always colluded with Israel since the time of the infamous 1917 Balfour declaration. Indeed, most of the European countries, and more so the US, not only massively and unconditionally supported Israel, but actively aided and abetted Israeli settler-colonialism as well.

The “Holocaust awareness” alone does not explain everything. As the Israeli writer Boas Evron observes, it is “actually an official, propagandistic indoctrination, a churning out of slogans and a false view of the world, the real aim of which is not at all an understanding of the past, but a manipulation of the present”. For his part, UK historian David Irving claims that the Jewish Holocaust Industry “silences its critics by a combination of terrorism and moral blackmail.”25Norman Finkelstein, “The Holocaust Industry”, Sage Publications, 6 December 2012.

Also, as pointed out by Avigail Abarbanel in an illuminating article26Avigail Abarbanel, “You Reap What You Sow”, Substack, 8 October 2023., the Holocaust “is not an excuse for Jewish Zionist settler-colonialism. The Zionist movement began to consider fully populated Palestine as a future ‘national home’ for the Jewish people in the late 19th Century. Back then, it was not regarded a crime by the international community. There was nothing unusual in yet another group of white people coveting the territory and resources of non-white others. Everyone was doing it.”

It is also a fact that the Israeli-marketed narrative based on the biblical tale of David [Israel] and Goliath [the Arabs] prevailed in the West up until the June 1967 war. In much of the world Israel was seen as a “living example of historical reparation. A people who managed to rise from the ashes of Auschwitz and build their own state in adverse and hostile circumstances. A weak but resilient people.”27 Gustavo Surazski, “David and Goliath: A letter from Ashkelon”, 14 July 2014.

But from then on, this narrative has collapsed. Present-day belligerents living on the same holy land have turned the timeless parable upside down. Yesteryear’s underdog and his powerful philistine adversary have today seen their roles reversed. Thus, in the eyes of many people around the world the strong and assertive Israeli democracy has mutated into an oppressor state serving the imperialist designs and interests of the West in general and the American empire more particularly; an empire to which Israel is joined at the hip.

But how about today? Mercifully, the sinister Western crimes of colonisation, genocide, enslavement, racism, oppression of indigenous peoples and theft of their lands and resources – under the ill-named pretext of the “White Man’s civilizing mission” – are a distant and fading memory for most of the modern human species. And the same presumably holds true for the six-day-war of 1967, were it not for the Arab and Palestinian peoples.

Isn’t it sensible then to suppose that such Western mindset is bygone forever, and that those Western countries would quite logically stand for the values and principles of the so-called “rules-based international order” they themselves conceived, set up and sold to the rest of the world in the aftermath of their two civil wars – also known as World War I and II? Or, should we rather come to terms with the evidence that when it comes to the Palestinian people, we would still be stuck in the dark ages of the law of the jungle – in which case the short and brutal lesson would be that human rights are not universal and international law is arbitrarily applied?

The latter contention is seemingly more in line with the current Western stance, and Avigail Abarbanel is right to conjecture: “Does Israel seriously suggest that the Palestinians should just wait to be led like ‘sheep to the slaughter’? The answer, of course, is ‘yes’! This is precisely what Israel wants, and what its media reflect. They want the Palestinians to die, to disappear quietly into the night, until everyone has forgotten about them, and Israel can live happily ever after in its exclusively Jewish home.”28Avigail Abarbanel, op cit.

I would personally argue that the answer is also ‘yes’ for the US, the UK and many other European countries. By siding blindly with Israel and condoning its collective punishment of the Gazans, they are, in the words of the International Federation of Human Rights, rendering themselves complicit in a crime of genocide.

In truth, the United States and the former European colonialist countries have not tired of their unrepentant commitment to defending “Israel’s right to defend itself”, which in reality boils down to the insane logic whereby the occupying Israeli power has the “right” to defend its regime of apartheid and Jewish supremacy against the indigenous people of Palestine.

As columnist Nesrine Malik put it29 Nesrine Malik, “The war in Gaza has been an intense lesson in western hypocrisy. It won’t be forgotten”, The Guardian, 27 November 2023., “It seems, for the first time that I can think of, Western powers are unable to credibly pretend that there is some global system of rules that they uphold. They seem to simply say: there are exceptions, and that’s just the way it is”. She was right to add: “One thing I can say with more certainty is that people have seen too much that will stay with them for a long time. Whatever happens with the fragile truce that has released a thin ray of light, a darkness has also been released into the world. Its final form is yet to take shape, but take shape it will”.

As a reliable report30Jeremy M. Sharp, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel”, Congressional Research Service, 1 March 2023. To download the full report: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/RL/RL33222 reveals, Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II despite constituting only 0.01% (9 million) of the world population and being classified as a high income country. Successive administrations, working with Congress, have provided Israel with “assistance reflective of robust domestic U.S. support for Israel and its security; shared strategic goals in the Middle East; a mutual avowed commitment to democratic values; and historical ties dating from U.S. support for the creation of Israel in 1948.

To date, the United States has provided Israel $158 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. At present, almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance; from 1971 to 2007, Israel also received significant economic assistance. In 2016, the U.S. and Israeli governments signed their third 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aid, covering FY2019 to FY2028. Under the terms of the MOU, the United States pledged to provide—subject to congressional appropriation—$38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grants plus $5 billion in missile defense appropriations) to Israel”.

According to a more recent analysis31https://www.foreignassistance.gov/aid-trends, the United States has given Israel more than $260 billion (representing about 30% of all US foreign aid) in combined military and economic aid since World War II, plus about $10 billion more in contributions for missile defense systems like the Iron Dome.32Christopher Wolf, “How Much Aid Does the U.S. Give to Israel?”, 10 Octobre 2023. See also: Louis Jacobson, “U.S. aid to Israel: What to know”, Politifact, 18 October 2023.

It is generally acknowledged that the main reasons for the longstanding and unwavering Western backing of successive Israeli governments and policies are based on obvious geostrategic and economic considerations, Israel having always been viewed as an indispensable Western beachhead in the heart of the politically volatile and energy-rich Middle East.

In the particular case of the US policy where the extremely close US-Israeli relationship has played an outsized role for over five decades, this justification is supported by a cohort of influential neoconservative establishment, an all-powerful Jewish lobby mainly represented by AIPAC, and an immense financial and media apparatus. All of this is often further rationalised on moral – although dubious – grounds.

As Stephen Zunes explains in a well-thought and well-written analysis33Stephen Zunes, “Why the U.S. Supports Israel”, Foreign Policy in Focus, 1 May 2002., “the growing U.S. support for the Israeli government, like U.S. support for allies elsewhere in the world, is not motivated primarily by objective security needs or a strong moral commitment to the country. Rather, as elsewhere, U.S. foreign policy is motivated primarily to advance its own perceived strategic interests”. Therefore, there is a broad bipartisan consensus among policymakers that Israel is a key partner in the quest to serve and promote U.S. interests in the Middle East and beyond.

According to Zunes, those interests can be summed up in: preventing victories by radical nationalist movements in Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine; providing battlefield testing for American arms, often against Soviet (Russian) weapons; serving as a conduit for U.S. arms to regimes and movements too unpopular in the United States; assisting the U.S. in intelligence gathering and covert operations; cooperating with the U.S. military-industrial complex in the field of research and development for new jet fighters and anti-missile defense systems.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, there are three more essential reasons to consider seriously, as they might better explain not only the quasi-reflexive West’s support for Israel, but also its contemptuous disregard for the Palestinian people and casual callous disdain for international law and obligations. And as always, history is the best and wisest of guides.

Those reasons are to be found in the much alive – albeit socially and psychologically repressed – white supremacy and racial prejudice toward non-white others34See Yousef Munayyer’s eye-opening article: “It is time to admit that Arthur Balfour was a white supremacist – And anti-Semite, too”, Forward, 1 November 2017. Munayyer is a political analyst and writer and  Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.; the deep-seated antisemitism in the societal mindset and behavior of a non negligeable portion of the European peoples; and the powerful influence of the Christian-Zionists (the Christian Right) in the United States.

Those three elements are all the more pivotal as they were clearly or implicitly alluded to in the short paragraph I purposefully singled out from President Biden’s aforementioned speech during the Washington D.C. private campaign fundraiser.

In fact, with regard to the first two intertwined elements, in an article published by the Jewish publication “Forward”, Yousef Munayyer said that “Though he may be most known for aiding the Zionist cause in 1917, it’s crucial to remember that Arthur Balfour was a white supremacist. He made that much clear in his own words. In 1906, the British House of Commons was engaged in a debate about the native blacks in South Africa (…) “We have to face the facts,” Lord Balfour said “Men are not born equal, the white and black races are not born with equal capacities: they are born with different capacities which education cannot and will not change.”

Munayyar added that Balfour saw in Zionism not just a blessing for Jews, but for the West as well. As he wrote in 1919 in his Introduction to Nahum Sokolow’s History of Zionism, the Zionist movement would “mitigate the age-long miseries created for Western civilization by the presence in its midst of a Body which it too long regarded as alien and even hostile, but which it was equally unable to expel or to absorb.”

So, rather than solving the problem of how to handle a minority living in a white majority country, the Balfour Declaration just shifted the same problem to a different geography. Munayyar also recounted that Balfour was unabashedly aware of the hypocrisy of his stance.

“The weak point of our position of course is that in the case of Palestine we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination,” he wrote in a letter to the British prime minister in 1919. “We do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country…the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.” Munayyer concluded his article by saying: “Therein lies the fundamental problem that continues through this day, 100 years later. Palestinians are denied the right to have rights because from the outset, their views, their human rights and by extension their very humanity, were consistently seen as inferior to those of others (…) Rather than resolving this tension, Balfour’s support for Zionism merely exported it to Palestine”.

More recently, Chris Bambery argued35Chris Bambery, “Arthur Balfour: The Scot who Authored the Palestinian Tragedy”, Conter, 4 December 2023. Chris Bambery is a Scottish writer, broadcaster, journalist and author of A People’s History of Scotland, The Second World War; A Marxist History and co-author of Catalonia Reborn. it’s time to come to terms with the role of Scottish imperialist Arthur Balfour. He writes that “Understanding his racism, and the British state’s role in the region, is part of resisting the assault on Gaza today”. He, too, confirmed that “Balfour was an imperialist, true and blue. Like so many of his co-thinkers, he had a racialised view of the world, that justified European colonialism. He developed a theory of natural racial inferiority regarding the Arabs and other Muslim people.

In his book “On Decadence” 1908, Balfour wrote of the races: “They have been different and unequal since history began; different and unequal they are destined to remain.” Bambery further informed that “From Czarist Russia, to France, Germany and elsewhere, antisemitism flourished in the first decades of the 20th century, as class and imperial tensions grew and bred paranoia among European elites. Britain was far from immune, and many leading imperialists like Balfour and Winston Churchill, readily took up the view of Jewish people as essentially ‘alien’ non-Europeans”. Bambery concludes his article by saying: “Today, Israeli Defence Forces bombard Palestinian universities, hospitals, mosques, schools and homes. It is surely time to reckon with the history, which laid the basis for the policy our politicians still adhere to – unconditional support for Israel, regardless to the crimes committed”.36As a matter of fact, both Munayyar and Bambery drew Lord Balfour’s quotes from Gudrun Krämer’s book “A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the of the State of Israel”, 2002

With respect to the third element related to the American influence of the Christian Zionists – of whom Christians United for Israel’s Pastor John Hagee37John Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, a charismatic megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational evangelical church with more than 20,000 active members. He is also the CEO of his non-profit corporation, Global Evangelism Television (GETV). He is the President and CEO of John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his national radio and television ministry carried in the United States on ten television networks, including 62 high-power stations aired to more than 150 million households. He is shown on networks around the globe, including The Inspiration Network (INSP), Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), and Inspiration Now TV. John Hagee Ministries is in Canada on the Miracle Channel and CTS and can be seen in places including Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Hagee is the founder and National Chairman of the Christian-Zionist organization, Christians United for Israel, incorporated on February 7, 2006. On 14 November, Hagee addressed a pro-Israel rally in Washington D.C. during which he affirmed the need for Israel to decide the contours of the war on Gaza and to not cave in to international pressure. “You, the leaders of Israel, and you alone, should determine how this war is going to be conducted and concluded, “Hagee says. “You decide — no one else.” is one of the most prominent figures – Sahid King Bolsen recently said38 Shahid King Bolsen, “Unraveling the Paradox: U.S. Foreign Policy, Zionism, and the Call for Global Accountability”, Middle Nation Podcasts, 18 December 2023.:

“So, because you and your people are so self-admittedly antisemitic, that you can’t be trusted to not commit another Holocaust, so the Jews need to be somewhere else for their own safety; and somehow this is regarded as the pro-Jewish, non-hateful position. And the Christian Zionists are even worse. We know that the only reason that they want the Jews to be gathered in Palestine is so that they can be wiped out in some apocalyptic Holocaust according to their twisted understanding of the Bible and they think that this is going to bring back Nabi Issa [Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him] who as far as I know never advocated genocide against the Jews. But these Christians expect for Nabi Issa to be happy with them when he comes and they’re going to explain to him apparently that they supported a genocide against the Palestinians in order to keep the Jews in Palestine so that they could all also be wiped out. So they supported death and destruction of two peoples in order to bring back the prince of peace and this all makes sense to them somehow”.

As far as I am concerned, I explained in an article39Amir Nour, “The Neoconservatives and the ‘Coming World’: A Response to the Questions of a Virtual Friend”, The Saker Blog, 31 July 2017: https://thesaker.is/the-neoconservatives-and-the-coming-world-a-response-to-the-questions-of-a-virtual-friend/ I wrote in 2017, that:

“Stephen Green affirms40Stephen Green, «Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration”, Counterpunch, February 28, 2004. that since 9-11, a small group of neo-conservatives – many of whom are senior officials in the Defence Department, National Security Council and Office of the Vice President – have effectively gutted – they would say reformed – traditional American foreign and security policy. After reviewing the internal security backgrounds of some of the best known among them, he concluded that they had dual agendas, while professing to work for the internal security of the United States against its terrorist enemies.

Bill Christison41Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis. and Kathleen Christison reach the same conclusion.42Bill Christison and Kathleen Christison, “The Bush Neocons and Israel”, Counterpunch, September 6, 2004. They say that since the long-forgotten days when the State Department’s Middle East policy was run by a group of so-called Arabists, US policy on Israel and the Arab world “has increasingly become the purview of officials well known for tilting toward Israel”. These people, “who can fairly be called Israeli loyalists, are now at all levels of government, from desk officers at the Defense Department to the deputy Secretary level at both State and Defense, as well as on the National Security Council staff and in the vice president’s office”.

According to the Christisons, Elliott Abrams is “another unabashed supporter of the Israeli right, now bringing his links with Israel into the service of the U.S”, after his appointment as Middle East director on the NSC staff.

Interestingly, the Christisons were of the view that the dual loyalists in the Bush administration “have given added impetus to the growth of a messianic strain of Christian fundamentalism that has allied itself with Israel in preparation for the so-called End of Days”. These crazed fundamentalists, they say, see Israel’s domination over all of Palestine as a “necessary step toward fulfillment of the biblical Millennium, consider any Israeli relinquishment of territory in Palestine as a sacrilege, and view warfare between Jews and Arabs as a divinely ordained prelude to Armageddon”, which raises the horrifying albeit real prospect of an apocalyptic “Christian-Islamic war”.

And in another article43Amir Nour, “The Western roots of ‘Middle-Eastern’ terrorism”, The Saker Blog, 14 February 2017: https://thesaker.is/the-western-roots-of-middle-eastern-terrorism/ I wrote in 2017, and whose conclusion I reiterate forcefully today – with all due respect to Ayaan Hirsi Ali44 In a recent article, Ayaan Hirsi Ali explained why she moved from being a native Muslim to embracing atheism, to (finally?) settling for Christianity. Part of the explanation, she wrote, is because: “Western civilisation is under threat from three different but related forces: the resurgence of great-power authoritarianism and expansionism in the forms of the Chinese Communist Party and Vladimir Putin’s Russia; the rise of global Islamism, which threatens to mobilise a vast population against the West; and the viral spread of woke ideology, which is eating into the moral fibre of the next generation”. To read her article: “Why I am now a Christian: Atheism can’t equip us for civilisational war”, UnHerd, 11 November 2023. – I said:

“We would like to invite the public to ponder the wisdom of a thinker who once said that in the past, weapons were manufactured to wage wars, but today wars are manufactured to sell weapons.

Yet unfortunately, it has to be recognized that the rhetoric on the “clash of civilizations”, constantly and tirelessly repeated by some since the end of the Cold War and the subsequent disappearance of the “indispensable enemy”, seems to have achieved the objective assigned to it, chiefly by those who benefit from and pull the strings of the perpetuation of conflicts all over the world. This rhetoric has thus produced a dangerous “clash of fundamentalisms’, which is updating the notions of “revenge of God”, “Crusades” and “Jihad”, and adding new ones such as “Islamofascism”.

The consequence of this dramatic turn of events is illustrated, on the sought and obtained ground of confrontation, by a “clash of barbarities”. In today’s increasing international turmoil, nobody should be blind to the fact that the biggest danger associated with this change is that since the end of the World War II, the world has entered the age of the “supreme weapon” – the atomic bomb –and other weapons of mass destruction, and that extremists on all sides are promising and fervently promoting a “Cosmic War”45Read the excellent book of Reza Aslan’s book “How to Win a Cosmic War” for “the triumph of Good over Evil”.

For some of them, it is a religious war, the ultimate war prior to the Apocalypse or the end times, whose theatre of operations one party sets in “Armageddon” and the other in “Dabiq”, both places situated in the Levant, comprising Syria which is being today put to fire and sword.

Isn’t it insane to believe that our civilized world is unable to find a path other than the one leading toward Mutually Agreed Destruction (MAD)?”

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Amir Nour is an Algerian researcher in international relations, author of the books “L’Orient et l’Occident à l’heure d’un nouveau Sykes-Picot” (The Orient and the Occident in Time of a New Sykes-Picot) Editions Alem El Afkar, Algiers, 2014 and “L’Islam et l’ordre du monde” (Islam and the Order of the World), Editions Alem El Afkar, Algiers, 2021.


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