During the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, world leaders took to the platform to highlight numerous issues in an effort to prompt collective action to address them. A key issue once again was the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine. The war remains front page news in the West. Not only are Western states, especially NATO members, giving humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, but they are also taking the opportunity to build a stronger narrative against Russia.
Do other people around the world facing state violence get the same kind of help? Sadly, not. Western hypocrisy makes sure that it protects its own while leaving others at the mercies of their oppressors.
This is nothing new. There are many people and communities who stand as testimony to this hypocrisy. Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Kashmir, for example, whose citizens never know if they will live another day. Children play in the ruins of their own homes while elders hide wherever they can to avoid being blown up.
the promoters of “peace” are, all too often, the protectors of the warmongers, or warmongers themselves
Where is the peace that is promised so often and trumpeted as a priority by numerous countries and international organisations? The reality is that the promoters of “peace” are, all too often, the protectors of the warmongers, or warmongers themselves.
In his speech to the General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that Middle East peace will not be possible until the Palestinians are granted their full rights. While that is true, why is the ongoing Israeli occupation and war in Palestine only linked to the Middle East, while the Ukraine war is a global issue? Taken one step further, we must ask why Ukraine is in the media and on politicians’ lips daily, while Palestine — or Syria; or Kashmir — is only newsworthy when Israel launches a major military offensive.
Palestinians are being killed by Israeli security forces and illegal settlers every single day; even children. The concepts of human rights and international law simply aren’t applied to Israel, which is allowed to act with impunity. The “two-state solution” was tried and failed in 1947/48, when the UN Partition Plan for Palestine led to the state of Israel being declared on much more territory than was allotted for the “Jewish” state.
Once recognised by the superpowers of the day — the USSR and US — Israel continued to push its borders outwards, taking more and more Palestinian land by force. The Palestinians ethnically-cleansed in 1948 have been supplemented by thousands of their compatriots who have been displaced over the years. Their homes are demolished by the Israeli occupation forces and they have to move. The West, meanwhile, stands by and watches, and declares any Palestinian who dares to resist such oppression — legitimately, under international law — to be a “terrorist”. Having conceived and given birth to the occupation state, the West makes sure that it is allowed to grow, regardless of its impact on the indigenous population of Palestine.
The peace process is dead and buried, and the Oslo Accords which spawned it are discredited. Israel never makes concessions; the Palestinians make too many concessions. Indeed, the Palestinians are extremely sceptical about the whole process, and rightly so. They have seen Israel take more Palestinian land and build illegal settlements for decades; they are subject to military law across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem; and they are subjected to what is described as apartheid by the Israeli regime.
When few people are ready to raise their voice for the Palestinians, and those who do are accused of anti-Semitism, it is almost impossible for anyone to trust the Others. US involvement is one-sided; Washington simply cannot be called an honest broker for peace, because it has invested too much in Israel as a state, and supports it to the tune of $3 billion of military aid every year. Peace is not a priority if that is going to affect Israel too much; the Zionist state must maintain its hegemony in the region. The more that “normalisation” agreements spread — the next will be with Saudi Arabia — the more that Israel is emboldened to annex Palestine completely. That is the eye-opening harsh reality facing the Palestinians.
They are being backed into a corner to accept the unacceptable, with crumbs thrown from the Israeli table and the prospect of a viable, independent state disappearing over the horizon. How long can the Palestinian Authority and the people of Palestine last without international or even regional intervention to seek justice? The sad fact is that Western interests lie in maintaining the state of Israel, even at the expense of the Palestinians and the state that they have been promised for more than 75 years. Israel knows this, so it will continue to chip away at the Palestinians and their land, and nobody will do anything about it, not even those who preach peace while practising war. The Palestine issue is a prime example of Western hypocrisy.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.