As the repercussions of “Operation Protective Edge” become evident; the displacement of civilians, damaged and demolished homes, injured Palestinians and death toll in Gaza escalate, the United Nations is exhausting itself to maintain the fabrications of an equal “conflict”.
In a statement issued on July 11, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed a parody of sentiment in the form of “alarm” and “deep concern”, alongside statistics and rhetoric reminiscent of the organisation’s bias towards Israel, thus cementing the settler-colonial state’s impunity.
As of July 10, over 800 Israeli air strikes contrasted with the precise total of 809 rockets and 61 mortars fired by the Palestinian resistance. This sets the scene for another depiction of conflict that fails to take into account the imperialist-supported violence and the expression of Palestinian unity characterised by widespread resistance.
Pillay stated: “Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have been down this road before, and it has led only to death, destruction, distrust and a painful prolongation of the conflict. This time around, once again, civilians are bearing the brunt of the conflict. I urge all sides to steadfastly respect their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law to protect civilians.”
The published statement constitutes a failure through various omissions of reality. Primarily, Palestinian resistance is unacknowledged and fragmented through the description of “armed groups”, ostensibly to avoid dealing with the legitimacy of resistance against colonial violence under international law.
Taken within the wider context, the lack of discernment is extended to the generalising of the “civilian population” within the diverse geographical locations. The term “civilian population” should explicitly refer to Palestinians – Israel’s settler population is complicit in the Zionist colonisation of Palestine. It is also Palestinians who have suffered the callously termed “collateral damage” as a result of the carnage inflicted by Israel’s precision strikes on Gaza. On the other hand, when taking a break from applauding Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, Israel’s settler-population in the fabricated state is portrayed as allegedly psychologically traumatised by the harmless wailing of sirens.
Not only does Pillay disregard the definition of unified resistance – a far more resonating reality than the unity government’s compromised existence. The statement implies the adamant oblivion which has sustained both Israel and the UN in their quest for absolute impunity. The widespread mellowing of Israel’s brutality on behalf of world leaders, countered by activist outrage and constant dissemination of material depicting the macabre bloodshed, has resulted in an urgent need for the UN’s distorted statements to be accepted as legitimate. Hence Pillay’s statement is little more than a propaganda tool in Israel’s hands, to be manipulated in the hope of reclaiming the past political acquiescence.
There is no “painful prolongation of conflict” – Israel is the perpetrator of a continuous massacre that is justified by the UN through its refusal to embark upon actions that would lead to the eradication of the settler-colonial state. The peaceful resolution which the UN is so fond of articulating remains an impossible achievement if Israel is still granted its existential impunity to the detriment of historic Palestine.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.