At the UN Security Council, the US has made it a point to make itself the centre of attention, rather than allow the slightest semblance of protecting human rights and lives to take precedence. Yesterday, a vote was postponed in the hope of avoiding a US veto on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The US expressed dissatisfaction with the language used, the resolution was watered down significantly and yet, the “urgent suspension of hostilities” which essentially means another “humanitarian pause” that gives Israel time to recalibrate for its next massacre, is apparently still worded too strongly for the Americans.
“We’re still working through the modalities of the resolution,” US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Tuesday. “It’s important for us that the rest of the world understand what’s at stake here and what Hamas did on 7 October and how Israel has a right to defend itself against those threats.”
An occupying state has no right to claim “self-defence” when attacking those living (and dying) under its occupation
He’s wrong. Not only does an occupying state have no right to claim “self-defence” when attacking those living (and dying) under its occupation, but the issue at stake is actually that Palestinians are being killed, tortured, forcibly displaced and ethnically cleansed by the US-backed settler-colonial state of Israel. If Israel was so concerned about a possible Hamas incursion into the land it colonised, its technological capabilities, not to mention the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), would have prevented it. Israel needed a pretext for its next colonisation phase and the world to rally around its reasoning. Fortunately, public opinion has shifted and the divide between politicians and the masses worldwide has never been greater.
However, diplomats are more concerned with appeasing Israel and the US, which calls for a serious look at how politics is managed at the UN, which is supposed to be the guardian of human rights, in case anyone has forgotten. The BBC has just reported the US as stating that “serious negotiations” are taking place on a truce and the release of hostages, the perpetual concern of all of Israel’s allies. Are these negotiations more serious now than they were two days ago? There is not even the slightest feigning of concern at the UN Security Council that these resolutions are about the Palestinian people. The real concern is obvious: how can the council pretend that it is seeking the Palestinian people’s well-being and safety while ensuring that Israel can continue to bomb Gaza with impunity?
Leaving aside what is happening during this period of “serious negotiations” — which is not negligible at all as the death toll continues to rise and more reports of Israeli torture of Palestinians emerge — if a vote is eventually passed and the US abstains instead of vetoing it, where exactly is the triumph for Palestinians? How does any UN resolution actually stop Israel and ends its ability to act with impunity? How does it cut military aid for Israel, or economic ties with the settler-colonial, genocidal entity? It doesn’t. In fact, any resolution passed will be based on earlier premises of a status quo no longer viable, further mangled with the concept and implementation of humanitarian pauses to release Israeli hostages. If the hostages are released, what stops Israel from carrying out its ethnic cleansing agenda and genocide to the full?
The only outcome of any resolution is the strengthening of the UN’s humanitarian paradigm which ensures that legitimate Palestinian rights are never fulfilled. So, let us be clear once and for all: the genocide that Israel is committing works in the UN’s favour, not that of the Palestinians.