It may come as little surprise to hear US Secretary of State John Kerry defending the actions of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, a feature which has become a mainstay in Kerry’s foreign policy. However, even for his aggressively Zionist stance, Kerry’s latest assertion, accusing the UN of holding an “anti-Israel bias”, is both nonsensical and abhorrent in equal measure. Not only is it indicative of a decidedly pro-Israel bias prevalent within the Western media and its institutions, it is also a reminder of Western double-standards concerning notions of ‘liberty’, revealing nothing but cold, ruthless political advantage at its core.
John Kerry’s attack has been condemned by the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Secretary as contradicting the principles of the Human Rights Council, where his speech was made. We may congratulate the Palestinian official for manifesting such a degree of composure in countering the remarks, which rightfully infuriated many who heard Kerry’s obnoxious words. Israel, far from being the victim of UN punishment, is the beneficiary of years of stasis, inaction, and tragic complicity. Indeed, its status as a perennial offender in the arena of international law is irrefutable, and is widely-acknowledged as concrete fact. Encompassing 28 Security Council resolutions, articles 2, 45, 46 and 49 of the Geneva Convention, as well as the International Commission of the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid’s ruling in 1976, the notorious war crimes committed by Israel remain unpunished. The chimerical notion of an anti-Israeli bias feebly withers away in the face of its gross misconduct, particularly by the IDF, in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Further, even momentarily disregarding the judicial illegality of Israel’s actions, its treatment of the Palestinian people violates the most fundamental laws of human rights. Whether enshrined in legislation or not, the mass killing of innocent civilians shatters any remaining common notion of morality. These crimes are not, however, confined to the conflicts of 1948 and 1967, where the word conflict is itself extraordinarily misleading in its connotations of mutual warfare and substantive resistance. Recently, the siege on Gaza by Israel’s military in July 2014 resulted in the deaths of 800 Palestinians in two weeks, injuring 4,000 civilians in the process. On Sunday 20 July alone, 100 Palestinians were killed by the aggression of the Israeli Defence Force. Reducing Palestinian identity to little more than ever-shortening numerical lists, Israel’s continuous assault upon Palestine is the outright polarity of anything resembling justice, or liberty.
Although the crimes committed by Israel have been acknowledged, indeed with the UN in 2009 dismissing any legitimate claims for the interminable military assault upon Gaza, little has been done. More alarming still is western complicity in these atrocities. In 2014, four western nations, including the UK, abstained from a Security Council Resolution to bring peace to Palestine within a year after Israeli bombardment, and to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories by 2017, while the US and Australia chose to veto. That even one European nation, where the rhetoric of progressive, egalitarian democracy is force-fed to the public by the champions of neo-liberalism, chose not to vote in favour of the resolution, constitutes complete hypocrisy. At the core of the neglect of Palestinian rights within the international sphere evidently lies political interest. Old ties and economic partnerships prevent any attempts to alleviate the plight of Palestinians through the electoral structures of the United Nations. Above all, it is the precedence of political allegiance over a glaring moral duty to defend the diminishing status of the Palestinian which renders Israel’s escape act from international law a loathsome success.