Gaza ceasefire: US is on the wrong side of history

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Palestinian women cry where a relative is believed to be trapped in debris following Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip yesterday.
Pic by Mohammed Abed/AFP

 From Tuesday, for three days in a row, the United States, out of its unwavering devotion to its ‘chosen’ ally, Israel, deliberately delayed a highly diluted United Nations Security Council’s resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza to save the Palestinians who have not yet been killed.

In a callous display of sociopathic behaviour, the US has proved time and time again that Palestinian lives do not matter. It knows well that the more it delays a ceasefire resolution, the more Palestinian lives will be lost and the more Palestinian children will be killed or maimed.
The elusive Gaza ceasefire resolution, though bogged down in semantics, was to be passed on Tuesday. It was watered down to avert the US veto that had scuttled earlier attempts to bring about a pause in the fighting.

To accommodate the US and Israeli conditions, the wording in the draft was changed several times. It now calls for an “urgent suspension of hostilities” instead of a lasting humanitarian ceasefire. Then, on behalf of Israel, the US also wanted the United Nations sidelined in the distribution of aid to Gaza, and, instead, Israel was put in full control of it.
The changes appear to legitimise Israel’s right to obliterate life in Gaza. They give the occupying power the licence to resume hostilities, kill more Palestinian civilians, starve the population, and make the Gaza Strip unlivable after it secures the release of hostages in Hamas custody. For the Gazans, the words “suspension in hostilities” are akin to a death-row inmate being told that he would be hanged not today but tomorrow.

The US filibustering over the latest Security Council resolution, which may or may not have been passed by the time you read this column, accentuates the overwhelming priority Washington gives to Israel’s colonial agenda of ethnic cleansing. It underscores Washington’s criminal disregard for the human suffering in Gaza, especially the cries of Palestinian children, who, if not killed by Israel, die without proper medicine to nurse their infected wounds or of diseases and starvation. Thousands of children are mentally shaken.  Some are without both parents who wanted them to live even if they died, as Palestinian poet Refaat Alareer wrote in his now-famous poem before he was killed in an Israeli attack. “If I must die, you must live to tell my story.”

Children make up half the number killed or wounded in Israel’s brutal bombardment of Gaza. The death toll has crossed the 20,000 mark, but the war party is still thirsty for blood. About 70 percent of the dead are women and children. If the children who were buried under the rubble are counted, the number of children killed in Israel’s genocidal war is more than 10,000, according to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

Yet, the war criminals do not care. All those nations that arm, fund, and offer political and immoral support to Israel to continue its baby killings, child killings, and civilian killings are war criminals. Since the war began on October 7 after the Hamas raid on the Israeli-annexed city of Ashkelon, every US veto is a war crime. It led to the killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians and the destruction of more residential complexes, more hospitals, and more civilian infrastructure facilities that provide essential services such as water and electricity.
In whatever manner the US justifies its use of the veto in its immoral defence of Israel, the act amounts to war crimes.
It is wishful thinking if peace-loving people believe that the time is now to double down efforts to rid the UN system of the veto power and make the world body a level playing field so that global justice will be upheld. Peace and justice have little say in forums where power and authority hold sway.

Instead of working for global peace and justice, the UN is often used and manipulated by big powers. The biggest culprit is the US. To pursue war agendas or permit Israel to carry out its genocide and continue its colonisation of Palestine, no permanent UN Security Council member has misused its veto power more than the US.
War criminality is writ large in the US persona, antiwar activists say. Preaching democracy and human rights to selected debt-ridden countries offers it a fig leaf to cover its nudity. But the US does not care a damn about public criticism for its pro-Israeli stance. Well-informed social media influencers are flaying the US and Israel’s other Western allies for their double standards and for hailing Israel’s ungodly acts as godliness. But the US is unmoved.

Then there are ultra-orthodox Jews who denounce the actions Israel’s hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his genocide-minded cabinet carry out and justify in terms of scripture. Moreover, ultra-orthodox Jews had opposed the setting up of Israel by European Jews of questionable Semitic origin.
Yet America’s gentile Zionists pay no heed to the views expressed by ultra-orthodox Jews. In the US, freedom of expression permits acts such as tearing up the constitution and burning the national flag, but any criticism of Israel or Zionism is not allowed. They are interpreted as anti-Semitism and punished. Even in top US universities, where free and critical thinking needs to be encouraged, the voice for Palestine is gagged. Donors threaten to withdraw funds from universities if they permit a critical study of the
Palestinian dispute.

Such is the US servility for Israel. In explaining the US position, July Evans, an American antiwar activist, had this to say when she was interviewed by China’s Global Times: 
“The US is standing on the wrong side of history. You don’t need history to tell you this. The votes in the UN alone can tell you this. A country claiming to believe in democracy ignores a UN {General Assembly} vote that says no. That is not democracy. They need a lesson in democracy when domestic polls show more than two-thirds of Americans want a ceasefire, yet only 18 members of Congress vote for it, and the president does nothing. I would say that most people I know believe the empire is dying; it is weak. It would be lovely if they could let go and let someone else have a turn to try to do it better.

“The US empire has been so violent. It doesn’t really believe in democracy. It lies all the time and gets away with murder. It’s time for that to stop. How many governments has it overthrown? How many countries has it bombed? Can we just end this already? The US is on the wrong side of history. Anyone who believes in peace, justice and love for humanity and the planet can see this.”

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