Creating new perspectives since 2009

What makes the West shift its stance on Palestine?

May 28, 2024 at 10:00 pm

Palestinians observe the destruction caused by the attacks of Israeli army on tents of displaced Palestinians living near the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) warehouses in Rafah, Gaza on May 27, 2024. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

The world political arena is dramatically shifting every day. Unthinkable beliefs are becoming thinkable. No one has ever imagined that the powerful West faces deterioration against its decades’ long discourses, as a force for good that promotes democracy, defends individual freedoms, denounces dictatorships and protects vulnerable people and, especially, guarding women.

For the last several decades, the West has fought long wars and proxies in distant Muslim lands, mostly on the pretext of manufactured misinformation; take for instance, “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, liberating women in Afghanistan, restoring democracies, guarding human rights, and individual liberties in Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Venezuela and beyond, is now breaking away with rocket speed.

The West’s position of a union as “European Union” and an “alliance” as a manufactured discourse that it is a “force for good” is becoming irrelevant in contemporary times and, arguably, it needs serious attention.

Ironically, Gen-Z Youth and educated classes in the West are no longer buyers of its counterfeit and fragile western values. Of course, it did not happen overnight. In fact, the visible change has taken decades of slow but steady observations.

Even though the West has a noticeable advantage of using a powerful political language that helps shape public opinion, yet in the current climate, the West is on the losing end.

OPINION: Israel has killed displaced Palestinians since 1948, not just since 7 October

Remorsefully, despite many appreciable western contributions to present day humanity, the West’s role in modern-day slavery, colonialism, creating, supporting and endorsing arms conflicts, overthrowing democratically elected governments and human rights abuses are irreparable stains on western imperialism.

Yet, it would be unfair to discredit thousands of peaceful and campaigning western voices, including professors, journalists, peace activists and campaigners, all of whom stood up for justice and many who have lost their lives and left privileged status from Hollywood films, to sport stars and politicians to journalists and university professors who have raised their voices for voiceless and oppressed people globally. Indeed, this is all documented.

At this significant moment in history, let us ask; what are the causes of social and political divisions in western societies? How did it all happen? Is it a reparable loss? Or is it a sign of an enduring change in western social and political order?

The West and Gen-Z and the Palestinians 

Today, the West is heavily divided visibly on the Gaza war. However, unquestionably though, the Israeli government and its apartheid policies are the root cause of the current split among western nations.

The West still struggles with its tainted past; recall “a history of apartheid in South Africa”; “colonialism”; the West’s “Great land grab” and “inhumane treatment of indigenous people” from Australia, America, Africa to present-day “Israeli settlements” on Palestinian lands are distasteful chronicles of  western imperialism which is upsetting 21st century educated and well-informed youth.

Since the beginning of the Israeli assault on Gaza in October 2023 and its ongoing military onslaught on Rafah, once modern dwellings now displaying stone-aged cities, have brought tens of thousands of people in western capitals on roads.

A long list of articles, studies, opinion pieces, TV shows, radio talks, polls and surveys unanimously show “how young people are changing activism” and becoming the voice of voiceless oppressed people in Gaza and Rafah.

The Israeli army’s ongoing carnage on innocent and defenceless Palestinian women, children, elderly and unclothed men in Israeli army custody have turned tens of thousands of people in the West angry.

Of course, anyone with an iota of humanity cannot resist floating images of children dying without medicines in hospitals, starved children and women lining up for a piece of bread, and some eating grass for their survival, finding remains of food in destroyed kitchens, Israeli settlers attacking food convoys, unclothed Palestinian men in Israeli army custody, mass graves, famished cats and dogs, parents and relatives searching for their loved ones limbs, weeping raped women, and so on. Can anyone defend it? So, is the West a “force for good or source of evil?”

OPINION: The Global South has helped Palestine to challenge Western institutions

These documented depictions of the Palestinians have made tens of thousands of non-Muslims upset in the West and beyond. The evidence is the growing student encampments at the mainstream American and western universities, tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian marchers in western capitals, hundreds of humanist western professionals offering their resignations in favour of Palestinians, including journalists, academics, UN staffers, military personnel, diplomats and politicians. The result is mounting louder global calls to end unconditional western support for Israel.

A growing call for a Palestinian State

Arguably, the American and West’s decades’ long unconditional support for Israel and its ongoing merciless policies in Palestine pushed the irreparable crack in the West’s solid concrete wall of superiority based on its self-proclaimed (western values).

So far, America and the majority of the western governments have turned a blind eye on Israeli inhume atrocitieswar crimes, vetoed United Nations resolutions for ceasefire, disregards “ICJ orders” to “stop assault on Rafah” and failed to halt Israeli settlers from attacking humanitarian convoys and destroying food aid.

Clearly, visionary politicians in the West are reading the public mood: it is enough, stop it now. Now three western countries “Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognise Palestinian state.” That is a beginning, as we have to wait and see “How might the rest of Europe respond?” and “What is changing” in Europe and beyond.

Yasmeen Serhan correctly understood, “How Israel and its allies lost global credibility.” Though only time can tell what will happen next, an array of events occurring globally, like boycott movements, could be strong evidence to make a point; the Israeli apartheid apologists and lobbyists can no longer uphold it.

Clearly, the public mood displays a massive change across Europe. It will not halt, but steadily multiply. Simply, because Israel can no longer hide the truth in the age of social media, by putting a cap on its “Big Lie” about Gaza.

It is no surprise to figure out what is written on the wall; western politicians blindly supporting Israel will not survive. Think of the Conservatives and Rishi in the UK. What will be a wise decision in the current climate? Change your attitude.

OPINION: The slaughter of Palestinian scholars in Gaza is a deliberate Israeli tactic

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