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Israel: the toxic ex of world powers

October 29, 2023 at 8:44 am

Israeli Ambassador to UN Gilad Erdan speaks at UN General Assembly emergency session on October 26, 2023 in New York, USA [Selçuk Acar/Anadolu Agency]

Romance, support, care, manipulation, gaslighting and betrayal. These are the stages of any toxic relationship where the couple ends up blocking the other from their life, marking the end of a bond they once shared. By now, you would have already envisioned a specific couple, and I hope the example in mind does not involve a personal experience. Still, most of us witnessed such love affairs riddled with complications during our late school or university years. However, today, I will show the destined doom of Israel’s love affair with some of the biggest world powers.

With Israel refusing visas to delegates of the United Nations for Israel, the United Nations is the first and most obvious choice for exploring the complexities of a relationship that makes Israel the ideal example of an ex we wish to forget about.

Reason? The United Nations General Secretary voiced his concerns over the violation of International Laws in Gaza, earning the displeasure of Israel. From here onwards, the United Nations and other countries would be referred to as individuals for easier comparison. Currently, the United Nations is at a point where they find themselves blocked from all socials of their partner, and they (now your ex) are going around spreading rumours about how they were victims in the bond. Why would your partner do this? Because they were corrected for some wrongdoing? Did the partner suddenly forget the favours bestowed upon them? The United Nations restrained themselves to mere condemnations, casting a blind eye to the red flags of their partner.

READ: Israeli missile strikes Gaza UNRWA school

The love affair of the two dates back more than a century, to 1922. While the United Nations was called the League of Nations back then, Israel was non-existent. Palestine was inhabited by the indigenous population, with Jewish settlers coming in from various places. The Mandate of the League of Nations, which allowed the British to rule over Palestine, had shades of colonialism and occupation motives hidden underneath. People from different lands decided to exclude the locals from the decision to determine the future of their homelands. Although the Mandate intended to govern states until they gained independence, the Palestinians were the only ones who were denied this liberty. Moreover, the Mandate validated the Balfour Declaration, further cementing the Zionist movement’s motives and leading to the eventual creation of Israel.

Regarding the creation of Israel, the British turned towards the United Nations to solve the matter related to the future of Palestine. Thus, on 29th November 1947, Resolution 181 was proposed by the United Nations, demanding a partition, creating two states. However, the resolution was deemed unfair as the Jewish population, comprising almost one-third of the state and having less than six per cent of total land, was allotted fifty-five per cent of the area. Moreover, the Arabs were deprived of important cities and ports, raising doubts over the fairness of the proposal. Even now, while the United Nations General Assembly was voting on a resolution calling for a ceasefire, Palestine was absent as it does not have the right to vote, depicting the difficulty it faces in finding recognition on the international stage.

US, UK, France, Germany: all complicit in the war crimes committed by Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor] 

US, UK, France, Germany: all complicit in the war crimes committed by Israel – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Nevertheless, some, regardless of how bad the ex treated, can’t help but daydream about them for years to come. As Rishi Sunak recently said he was “proud” of supporting Israel, establishing the stance of the United Kingdom in this conflict, I could not help but look upon it as an attempt of a heartbroken lover, trying to make amends after a painful breakup. Channeling their colonising energy, the United Kingdom acted like that loyal person who gave everything to please their partner, only to be brushed aside at the smallest of mistakes. While the history of the Palestinian region is unknown by the masses, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 remains one of the most pivotal events that led to the creation of Israel. Arthur Balfour, the foreign secretary of Great Britain, in this declaration, called for “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. The declaration did not account for the majority of the population comprised of Muslims (90%), who inhabited the area for centuries, while most of the Jews were immigrants, settling in Palestine, inspired by the Zionist Movement.

Other countries in the Middle East eventually earned their independence, so why did Palestine not manage to attain it? The answer lies in the power struggle in the area. In other countries, the indigenous people had to confront one colonial power to fight for their autonomy. However, for Palestinians, three parties were blocking their way to freedom namely, the British, the settler-Jews and the League of Nations. In a situation engineered without the consultation of the Palestinians, the indigenous found themselves engulfed in a web of propaganda that made the struggle almost impossible, leading to the events of the Nakba in 1948.

However, like any manipulative relationship based on personal motives, the cracks began to appear on the very first hiccup. During the Second World War, when the British Army was busy fighting against Germany, and suddenly, the Jews decided to revolt. The MacDonald Whitepaper had earlier driven a wedge between the two communities as not only did it recognise the Palestinians, but it even led to a reduction in Jews settling in Palestine, an act going against the Zionist movement, prompting a response. The violent reaction, resulting in 91 deaths, was the King David Hotel Bombing. The hotel was the headquarters of British forces, and this act of terror was a statement of intent, calling for divorce between the two parties.

Soon, the first patron of the Zionist Movement, the British, found themselves out of favour with the Jews. The nation that went out of the way, declaring a homeland for an ethnicity while 90% resisted, were now being targeted with hostility. This relationship, where one gave everything to establish and support the other, was almost destined for a never-ending bond, yet came to an abrupt conclusion.

READ: Palestinians ‘have no right of return’; says Israel UN envoy

The newly single Israel was not short of suitors following the breakup with the British. In the early twentieth century, the British were flexing their muscles, with the Empire stretching from East to West. However, after the Second World War, their power quickly diluted, devoiding them of their status of being the strongest out there. The self-centred partner, realising the need to align themselves with the global hegemony, eyed the emergent superpower from the war, the United States of America. The strength of the new relationship remained unprecedented, with America being the first country to recognise the creation of Israel, taking a mere eleven minutes.

As of today, while Israel continues killing thousands of innocents, showering bombs on defenceless people, and restricting food and other essentials, all eyes are on the long-time partner. For how long can the Biden administration continue to defend the ones in Tel Aviv?

Would a ceasefire become a possibility? Is the genocide going to be stopped? Till when can the superpower keep ignoring the atrocities being committed by Israel in the name of self-defence? Would the Palestinians ever be heard?

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