The US Administration’s Hypocrisy and Israel’s Insolence

In this article, Gilbert Achcar lambasts the hypocritical stance of the US administration and the insolence of Israel regarding a UN Security Council resolution that called for a ceasefire in Gaza during the month of Ramadan, highlighting Washington's complicity in Israel's ongoing genocidal war against the Palestinian people.


It is truly astonishing that Washington abstained in voting on the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on Monday, although the resolution is consistent with the US position that rejects the call for a permanent ceasefire, as it only calls for “an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan” (of which one half has already passed), adding as a good wish that this would be “leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire” (the resolution did not use the term “permanent”, but “lasting”, which refers to a duration instead of a final cessation). Indeed, the parties that drafted the resolution made a special effort to use expressions and concepts that would satisfy Washington so that the text reconciles the US position with the Arab position. Thus, the resolution deplores “all attacks against civilians and civilian objects, as well as all violence and hostilities against civilians, and all acts of terrorism” recalling that “the taking of hostages is prohibited under international law”.

The resolution was such this time that Britain itself could vote for it, after it had until now tail-ended the US position, not daring to contradict it except by abstaining once while Washington used its veto. As for the US administration’s justification of its abstention on Monday by pointing out that the resolution did not name “Hamas”, it is a completely vain pretext that cannot fool anyone, since the resolution did not name Israel either, even when talking about the necessity of opening the way for international aid to enter! Avoiding the two direct designations constituted indeed one of the compromises upon which the resolution is based.

The truth is that Washington’s abstention was intended to try to alleviate the resentment of the Israeli side so that Washington would not appear as if it were participating in a UN Security Council’s consensus on a resolution that Israel rejects. Just last Saturday, the Likud-Zionist Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, had accused the United Nations of having become, under the leadership of the current Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “an antisemitic and anti-Israeli body that shelters and emboldens terror”! With this, Israel’s usual policy of labelling any criticism of its policies as anti-Jewish reached a new low in decadence and vulgarity.

As for the administration of US President Joe Biden, it has reached for its part a new low in hypocrisy. It continues to supply Israel with weapons and ammunition, as it began to do immediately from the beginning of the Zionist genocidal war on Gaza, so that it has become fully complicit in the ongoing onslaught, which is in fact the first fully joint war between the United States and the Zionist state. While Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a visit to Washington that was scheduled for a delegation headed by one of his advisors on strategic affairs, the Minister of “Defence” in his government, Yoav Galant, who is of course also a member of the smaller war cabinet formed at the beginning of the current onslaught, arrived in Washington on Monday. His visit is much more important than the one that Netanyahu cancelled. Upon his arrival in the US capital, Gallant declared that his armed forces would inevitably invade Rafah. He came to consult with the Biden administration on how to package the Rafah invasion so that both sides could claim that they took into account the humanitarian considerations that have become a highly sensitive issue for the US administration.

Needless to say, this sensitivity does not stem from any dedication to those humanitarian considerations themselves. How could they stem from them after Washington has fully participated in the killing of approximately forty thousand people and the wounding of tens of thousands more, including a high percentage of seriously injured; in the destruction of the Gaza Strip to a degree the likes of which history has never witnessed with regard to the extent of damage achieved in very few months; and in the displacement of the vast majority of the population of the Strip to the Rafah area? The food aid boxes that Washington drops from the air are gesticulations that are far from being able to disculpate the US administration as intended, as all the persons in charge of international humanitarian aid have confirmed that it is an expensive and ineffective way to eliminate the deadly famine that is spreading among the Gazans. They point instead to the thousands of trucks lined up on the Egyptian side of the border, which Israel prevents from entering, while it would be enough for Washington to exert actual pressure on the Zionist state by seriously threatening to stop its military support in order to force it to open the doors to aid via land, which is the only way that is truly capable of reducing the humanitarian crisis and preventing the spread of famine and its exacerbation.

As for the port that they are building on the coast of Gaza, it is also not capable of resolving the crisis. Moreover, people have every right to question the true intention behind it, as it may be used to encourage the Gazans to emigrate if the gates of Sinai remain closed to them. Indeed, the fascist Zionist government intends to complete the second Nakba by uprooting the Palestinians from the land of Palestine one more time, this time from the Gaza Strip. Their first intention was to deport them into Sinai, but the rejection of this perspective by the regime of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (for security considerations, not humanitarian ones, of course) made them consider deporting them to various parts of the world. They made contacts with several countries for this purpose, according to Netanyahu’s own testimony.

Recently, voices have been raised in Israel suggesting a concentration of the Gazans in some corner of the Negev desert on the Egyptian border so that the Zionist state could annex the Gaza Strip as a much more valuable property, especially due to its coastal line. All this worried Washington, which prompted it to invite Benny Gantz, a member of the war cabinet who opposes Netanyahu and the Likud government, to discuss the matter with him. It also received Gallant, who is also an opponent of Netanyahu, but from within Likud. The US administration is concerned about the deportation project, which contradicts its position calling for preserving the Oslo framework and getting the “Palestinian Authority” to supervise the Gaza Strip again, primarily under Israeli tutelage, which might be accompanied by the deployment of regional or international forces.

Translated from the Arabic original published in Al-Quds al-Arabi on 26 March 2024.

Source >> Gilbert Achcar’s blog

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Gilbert Achcar’s newest book is The New Cold War: The United States, Russia and Ukraine, from Kosovo to Ukraine (2023).

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