Israel is now a pariah state

Israel is now a pariah state
Mark Seddon

This week, the Israeli Prime Minister’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, told Israel's Kan public radio that “The fighting in Gaza will continue for at least another seven months.” His interview took place in the immediate aftermath of Israeli attacks on a Rafah tent encampment that incinerated over 40 civilians, mainly women and children. The IDF promised another ‘inquiry’ into what ‘had gone wrong’, while US White House spokesmen still stuck to their line that no ‘US red lines’ had been crossed in Rafah and claimed not to know whether the munitions dropped on the IDPs ‘internally displaced persons’ were made in America. This despite the fact that US Network CNN were carrying pictures of what were identified by four explosive weapons experts as the tail of a US-made GBU-39 small diameter bomb. 

A new low was also reached this week, when the former Republican Presidential hopeful and ex US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, was photographed in Israel signing American donated missiles, with the message ‘Kill them all’. 

Meanwhile A senior World Health Organization (WHO) official also warned that Rafah’s last hospital was barely functional and that a "full incursion" by Israeli troops could lead to its closure and a "substantial" number of deaths.

And as Israel’s military took control of 75% of the buffer zone along the Gaza-Egypt border, it pressed ahead with its deadly assault on the southern city of Rafah, which is as packed with internal refugees as the German city of Dresden was in 1945 when the British Royal Air Force unleashed a firestorm that killed huge numbers of civilians.

In recent days the International Court of Justice has demanded that Israel ceases its military offensive in Rafah, while the International Criminal Court has called for the arrest of Israel’s Prime Minister and Defence Minister, alongside leaders of Hamas, on counts of war crimes. 

The pain and agony of the Palestinians people has united people, not only across the Maghreb and Arab World, but across the whole World. This week, Ireland, Spain and Norway recognised the State of Palestine. Out of 193 UN Member states, over 143 of them now do so. 

And yet the United States seems unmoveable, implacable, wedded to Israel no matter what and in a way that defies all logic, unless of course you follow the campaign finance in American politics. And yet, that statement by the Prime Minister’s national security adviser has clearly set alarm bells ringing. For the longer that the carnage continues the deeper the damage done to President Biden’s election hopes. Which is why we have begun once again to hear from Secretary of State Blinken of the need for a ‘post conflict plan for Gaza’, because there isn’t one. And seven months on, there is no real evidence to suggest that the Israelis are in any sense winning their bloody war in Gaza. Just the reverse in fact, as armed resistance springs up wherever and whenever their backs are turned, as has been happening in northern Gaza. 

Israel is now a pariah state. A whole new generation has been awakened to the tragic history of Palestine. The genie is well out of the bottle. 

*Mark Seddon is a former Speechwriter to UN Secretary-General Ban ki moon & former Adviser to the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly

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