November 2, 2023
From Internationalist 360

The Cradle
Israeli occupation forces enter the devastated Gaza Strip on 1 November, 2023. (Photo Credit: IDF)

Moscow’s UN envoy blasted western states for allowing the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza using the argument that Israel has a right to defend itself

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, on 1 November confirmed that Israel has “no right to self-defense” in their current war against Gaza and blasted the western world for their “hypocrisy” in endorsing the genocide of Palestinians.

“I also cannot leave unmentioned the hypocrisy of the US and its allies, who in other, completely different situations call for compliance with humanitarian law, establish investigative commissions, impose sanctions against those who use force only as an extreme measure to stop the years-long violence,” Nebenzya said during the UN General Assembly’s special session on Palestine.

“And today, seeing the horrifying destruction in Gaza, which exceeds everything that they criticize in other regional contexts multifold – strikes at civilian facilities, death of thousands of children and horrifying suffering of civilians amid a total blockage, they play mum. All they can do is to keep talking about Israel’s alleged right for self-defense, which, as an occupying state, it does not have, as was confirmed by the [UN] International Court consultative ruling in 2004,” the Russian official stressed.

The 2004 International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling decreed that Israel, as “an occupying power,” had no right under international law to build a separation wall in occupied Jerusalem. However, as with their usual approach, Tel Aviv ignored the ruling.

Despite Israel’s attempts to ignore international law, many prominent organizations and international bodies — including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU), the International Criminal Court (ICC), Amnesty International (AI), and Human Rights Watch (HRW)— all argue that Israel has occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza, since 1967.

Elsewhere in his speech, the Russian UN envoy underscored that Moscow recognizes Israel’s “right to ensure its security” but added that this right “could be fully guaranteed only in case of a fair resolution of the Palestinian problem based on recognized UN Security Council resolutions.”

Nebenzya also called for an immediate “stop the bloodshed” to “prevent the crisis from engulfing the entire region” and said that negotiators must be allowed to reach a “diplomatic solution.”

“One will have to walk down this path sooner or later; the only question is how many innocent people will die in the meantime,” he noted.

Last month, the US vetoed Brazil’s draft UN Security Council resolution, citing its “disappointment” over the absence of mentioning Israel’s “right for self-defense.”

Since the start of Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza on 7 October, about 8,800 Palestinians have been killed, including 3,648 children and 2,290 women.

Although Israel and its western sponsors continue to claim that the army is trying to “limit” civilian casualties, Israeli bombs have regularly been dropped on hospitals, humanitarian shelters, residential buildings, schools, ambulances, and civilian convoys.

On Thursday, the UN human rights office said that this week’s attacks on the Jabalia refugee camp “could amount to war crimes.”

“Given the high number of civilian casualties [and] the scale of destruction following Israeli air strikes on Jabalia refugee camp, we have serious concerns that these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes,” the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights posted on social media.

UNICEF has also deplored the actions of the Israeli army, calling Gaza “a graveyard for children.”

With no end in sight to the crisis, the US government has outright refused to call for a ceasefire and instead maintains that Israel has its “full support.” However, on Wednesday night, US President Joe Biden signaled a subtle departure from this policy, saying during a campaign rally that there should be a humanitarian “pause” in Gaza.

Washington has deployed several warships and dozens of military cargo planes to the Eastern Mediterranean in preparation for a broader conflict in West Asia. US troops have reportedly also been heavily involved in Israel’s protracted attempts to take control of northern Gaza.