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US insists on glorifying Israel despite its increasing violations of international law

February 1, 2023 at 10:46 am

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) give a joint news conference in West Jerusalem on January 30, 2023. [Israeli Gov’t Press Office (GPO) – Anadolu Agency]

Following the killing of seven Israeli Jewish settlers in the illegal settlement of Neve Yaakov on Friday evening, US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and condemned the incident as a “horrific attack”.

A readout provided by the White House stated that Biden “offered all appropriate means of support to the [Israeli] government and people of Israel.” Biden also “stressed the iron-clad US commitment to Israel’s security and agreed [with Netanyahu] that his team would remain in constant touch with their Israeli counterparts.”

Biden’s remarks and feelings were echoed by almost every senior US official, including White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who described the killing as a “heinous terror attack”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken referred to it as a “horrific terrorist attack,” and US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Israeli President Isaac Herzog “to offer condolences for the horrific terror attack” and “senseless act of violence that took the lives… of innocent victims.”

Numerous governments in Europe issued similar remarks, with Arab and Muslim nations also expressing their grief about the killing of the illegal Zionist settlers who were living on occupied Palestinian territory.

There is nothing new in this. The US, EU and many of the Arab and Muslim countries have on numerous occasions considered the life of illegal Israeli settlers, who are the source of havoc, horror and sedition, more valuable than the life of the indigenous Palestinians, who do not want to give up their rights to their land to Zionist occupiers. However, this time, Biden glorified the Zionists.

During his call with Netanyahu, the White House readout stated that Biden made clear that killing the illegal Zionist squatters was “an attack against the civilised world.” (emphasis added) Why? Is Israel a civilised state in order to consider any attack against it an attack against the civilised world?

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The late British scholar of international law James Leslie Brierly said: “The Law of Nations or International Law may be defined as the body of rules and principles of action, which are binding upon civilised states in their relations with one another.” Thus, a civilised state must respect the principles of international law, which must be binding to it and its relations with other states. Is this the case with Israel?

On 20 October 2022, the UN General Assembly said that there were reasonable grounds to conclude that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory “is unlawful” under international law. This came following endless violations of UN resolutions by the Israeli occupation state. Several UN bodies and respected rights groups have repeatedly highlighted Israel’s violation of international law.

The civilised state, according to experts, protects individual rights. The civilised state is a place where “the rule of law which protects the individual rights, freedoms, liberty and provides and ensures such an environment, where individuals can improve their living.”

This is not the state of Israel, Mr Biden, because Israel is used to violating individual rights, freedoms and the liberty of Palestinians, as well as undermining their ability to improve their lives. About 2.3 million Palestinians have been living under a strict Israeli siege in the occupied Gaza Strip.

About 3.2 million Palestinians have been living for decades under an aggressive Israeli occupation in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. The daily Israeli occupation army and settler attacks have made their lives hell. Were Biden to look at at least one of the reports released on the situation of Palestinians, he would be alarmed at the state of human rights in the “civilised” state of Israel.

The Cambridge English Dictionary states that a civilised country “has a well developed system of government, culture and way of life and that treats the people who live there fairly: A fair justice system is a fundamental part of a civilised society.” Of course, this is far from what the occupation of Israel is.

In Israel, there is no fair justice system. The same justice system sentences a Palestinian who kills an illegal Israeli settler to life imprisonment, while it sentences an Israeli settler who kills an indigenous Palestinian to a couple of days in jail if he or she is sentenced at all.

The justice system in “civilised Israel”, Mr Biden, takes tens of years to look into an appeal filed by a Palestinian house owner against Jewish settlers who forced him out and resided in his house, but it takes just weeks to approve a fake purchase document for a Palestinian property by a Jewish settler organisation. Examples are beyond counting, Mr Biden.

An indigenous Palestinian, whose ancestors were born in Palestine, is treated in Israel as a second class citizen, while a Jew, who was born in Europe, is treated as a first class citizen. This is Israel’s idea of a “fair justice system”.

I ask Biden and his team: Did you not hear about the Israeli killing of ten Palestinians in the occupied West Bank refugee camp of Jenin?

Summarising the US relations with the occupation state of Israel, British Professorial Research Associate at SOAS Haim Bresheeth said: “In the case of Israel, the result was and remains, total immunity from international law – Israel, protected by the strongest western nations, especially by the US – is free to carry out any illegal action it wishes, secure in the knowledge that there shall be no sanction or retribution for breaking international law.”

This explains why Biden and his team were affected by the death of seven illegal Israeli settlers, while they have never shown remorse for the daily killing of Palestinians. The US president’s claim that the killing of Israeli settlers is an attack against the civilised world is cheap and ironic.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.