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A global, grassroots campaign is an urgent necessity if UN resolutions are to have any meaning 

February 27, 2024 at 1:00 pm

People in the Hands off Rafah manifestation participate in a protest procession through the city center of Rotterdam, Netherlands against Israel’s actions in Gaza, on 25 February, 2024 [Mouneb Taim/Anadolu Agency]

Israel is killing tens of thousands of Palestinians across their stolen homeland relentlessly and brutally, especially in the city of Rafah and its surrounding areas. Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed publicly that the war against the Palestinians will continue until 2025 and until three goals are achieved: the elimination of Hamas; the recovery of the Israeli captives; and the prevention of the Palestinian resistance factions from returning and being active in the Gaza Strip.

In addition, there are three other undeclared and extremely dangerous goals that Israel is working to achieve through flagrantly illegal means, most notably the displacement of the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai Desert; the displacement of the Palestinians of the West Bank to Jordan; and the displacement of the Palestinians who remained on their land during the 1948 Nakba and are now Israeli citizens, to Lebanon.

The US publicly supports Netanyahu in achieving his first three goals and implicitly supports him in the other three. Nothing is more evident of this than its continued refusal to stop Israel’s brutal war on the Gaza Strip. Perhaps the most horrific manifestation of its generous and open support for Israel is the recent use of its veto in the UN Security Council against Algeria’s draft resolution aimed at an immediate ceasefire and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. It is important to note that 13 of the 15 members of the Security Council supported the proposal, while the UK, America’s ally, abstained; the US voted against, isolating Washington in clear view of the world.

The Palestinian resistance groups have been defying the Israeli occupation with determination for more than four months.

Meanwhile, millions of free people around the world have taken to the streets in protest against Israel’s brutal military offensive and America’s shameful complicity; the demonstrations are unprecedented in modern history. As Israel continues to massacre defenceless Palestinian civilians, with immoral political, diplomatic, economic and military support from America, the time has come for the people of the world to combine the massive protests with practical measures to challenge Washington’s unquestioned and unconditional support for the Zionist apartheid state and its war crimes that violate the UN Charter, and breach international humanitarian law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The global popular confrontation with Israel and the US must move from the streets to the heart of the UN, and even to the heart of the Security Council, where the US uses its veto to justify and support Israel’s extremely cruel practices and racist arrogance.

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How can this be done? Civil society needs to step up to the mark. Organisations and individuals concerned about human rights, humanitarian aid and the struggle for life around the world should coordinate with civil rights movements, labour unions and similar mass-membership organisations to establish a body in support of the Palestinians and denouncing Israel’s brutality. This must be accompanied by a basic demand to oppose America’s actions in the UN, especially in the Security Council.

Moreover, the proposed body should lobby UN member states to have the UN Charter amended and the international organisation reformed, so that the right of veto is removed from the original nuclear powers — the US, the UK, Russia, China and France — and no single government is able to dictate what happens on the world stage. The shameful approach adopted by the US to protect the occupation state of Israel no matter what the cost to the life and liberty of the Palestinians, and other examples of gross injustice, must become a thing of the past.

It is ironic that Israel, which basically came into being in 1948 as a result of a UN Resolution, is today the entity which has violated or ignored more resolutions than any other state since then. Furthermore, it has never fulfilled the conditions of its UN membership, notably allowing Palestinian refugees to fulfil their legitimate right of return to their land. Israel was and remains eager to treat international laws and conventions with contempt when it comes to its war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations against the Palestinian people and neighbouring Arab states, notably Lebanon and Syria.

The UN Charter was approved in 1945, post-World War II, which produced a balance of power and a global order different from what went before, and which is very different to that which is in place today. International relations have changed considerably over the past 80 years. This fact alone should prompt the world to reform the UN to block the loopholes that allow Security Council resolutions to be blocked and ignored. Developments in politics, economics, armaments, war, healthcare, culture, artificial intelligence and climate change demand amendments to the Charter so that the international organisation is adapted to the requirements of the times.

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Supporters of freedom, justice, human rights and peace in the world should not lose sight of the fact that increasing numbers of people around the world are part of an unprecedented global phenomenon demanding change for the better, and the ousting of the outdated old order and tyrannical regimes. A global, grassroots lobbying campaign is an urgent necessity if UN resolutions and international are to have any meaning and effect. The momentum is building; we must not waste this opportunity to push for real and lasting change for the better.

This is a translated and edited version of an article published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

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