“The international community cannot be expected to continually pick up the pieces of another war and then pick up the bill.” Uttered by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the Security Council Briefing on the Middle East, the comment is a reflection of the constant impunity generated by imperialism. As the international community and the UN generate their own impunity, incessant cycles of colonial violence against Palestinians will be maintained – serving the purposes of supporting the UN’s existence as well as the necessity of infiltrating the remnants of Palestine to ensure Israel’s intention of complete colonisation.
Selective remembrance, one that suited Israel and the UN, was once again exhibited by Ban as the atrocities committed by Israel during “Operation Protective Edge” were simplified into attacks on the imperialist organisation’s premises and the “suffering” endured by Israel epitomised by a single child’s death. The illogical argument sustained during the briefing utilised the concept of collateral damage in a manner that once again prioritised forthcoming compromised investigation disassociated from the carnage inscribed by the settler-colonial state. To allude to “hope” for Palestinians in Gaza is an additional unwarranted humiliation that the UN secretary-general was not averse to expressing after he deplored the legitimate armed resistance against imperialist-supported colonial violence.
As expected, the prelude led to another insistence upon the imperialist two-state conspiracy – an alleged solution for Palestinians departing exclusively from Israeli demands that ultimately support the process of complete colonisation. “Leaders on both sides must overcome their differences and dispense with the unilateral initiatives that serve only to fuel mistrust and polarisation. The two-state solution is the only viable option for a durable peace.”
Rather than overcoming differences for the sake of acquiescence, the Palestinian leadership should embark upon identifying and maintaining differences in order to construct a narrative derived solely from Palestinian history, memory and the necessity of entire liberation. The cycle of destruction that is adamantly adhered to by the PA and the unity government consists of a multitude of concessions in return for obtaining a compromised semblance of legitimacy. “Underlying causes” continue to form the premise of diplomatic rhetoric. Reference to various forms of colonial violence committed by the state and its settler-population are interpreted in the absence of context in order to absolve both Israel and its international allies of complicity, while allowing for ineffective reprimands based upon the quoting of international law.
Expecting the UN to provide a context for Israel’s perpetual violations of international law is as illusory as referring to the legal sources inscribed and interpreted by imperialism, which is how phrases such as “tough compromises” remain relevant within a diplomatic framework despite the insidious implications.
However, assimilation to the compromise rhetoric by Palestinian leaders should be eliminated to articulate the importance of resistance and liberation prior to any peace discourse. In particular, a stance against the reinvention of Palestinian “needs” should be asserted, notably insistence upon the obliteration of the settler-colonial state as a legitimate demand corresponding to the legitimacy of Palestinian armed resistance.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.