Woe is Palestine: A Story Of Global And Regional Failure

It is imperative for the Israeli government to recognize that just as not all Jews are Zionists, not all Palestinians are associated with Hamas.

Woe is Palestine: A Story Of Global And Regional Failure

Palestine stands at the throes of annihilation and being withered away in the echoes of a brutal, unjust and harrowing destruction which can wipe it from existence. This impending catastrophe represents a failure in policy, not limited to a single entity within the vast global framework, but rather in the form of a shared responsibility among various actors spanning to both state and non-state. These are also not limited to the global actors but on the regional entities as well, which have had an equally important role in furthering the current cataclysm in Palestine and its civilians who now stare death in its face.

What happened on October 7 2023 appears to be a repetition of history across all fronts, Palestine and its inhabitants as always, are on the losing end. This situation is deeply concerning, not only because it signifies the potential annihilation of an entire population by Israel but also because it holds the power to engulf an entire region in its turmoil.

The ongoing conflict has revealed significant deficiencies across various domains: the policies and communication of key regional powers, particularly the US and the Western nations, alongside the shortcomings within liberal institutions, values and global diplomacy. These events have highlighted the fragility of both regional and global relationships, emphasizing the delicate equilibrium among policymakers within these alliances.

To begin with, the United States’ endeavour to orchestrate a diplomatic "balancing act" between Israel and Palestine has undeniably faltered. This intended policy aiming for balance has proven inadequate, marked by fluctuating rhetoric and inconsistent positions concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict. For years, the US foreign policy approach to Israel and Palestine has witnessed a consistent clash between a pro-Zionist/pro-Israel Congress and an Executive branch aiming for a balanced stance.

Alongside this dynamic, numerous interest groups, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, actively lobby within political structures, exerting considerable influence on US policymaking. This collective, forms the Jewish Lobby comprising over thirty-eight groups dedicated to shaping and advocating for the Jewish stance on foreign policy matters in the US. While pro-Palestine or Arab lobbies do exist, their impact is not as pronounced as their counterparts, notably due to the influence and structure of oil-interest-driven lobbies aligned with the Palestine bloc. The informal lobby of the Electoral population also significantly impacts internal US politics.

Unfortunately, this division within lobbying groups poses yet another hurdle for Palestinians in their quest for a secure and safe haven. But between all of this, the US official stances, especially those from the office of the Presidents have been portrayed as neutral. 

Amidst this, we now find for the first time, an Executive which has begun swiftly back-tracking on the otherwise balancing rhetoric and openly shown support to Israel. Biden’s visit to Jerusalem in October 2023, his unwavering support for Israel in its actions against “Hamas,” despite blatantly evident war crimes and the genocide of Palestinian civilians, reveals this balancing act as a hastily constructed response dictated by situational dynamics. It now seems clearer than ever that the US cannot be a peace-maker because it has constantly backed the war-maker in the region.

It is imperative for the Israeli government to recognize that just as not all Jews are Zionists, not all Palestinians are associated with Hamas.

Moreover, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East including this brutality against the Palestinian people, have become a poignant illustration of the systemic failures afflicting Liberal institutions and international diplomatic activities in addressing the plight of the Palestinians. It is a situation that not only underscores the geopolitical convolution of the region but also the inefficiencies of conventional structures designed to facilitate peace and equity.

Liberal institutions, foreshadowed as bastions of democracy and human rights, have faced severe criticism amid this war. Their incapacity and borderline powerlessness, to efficiently intervene and put a halt to Israel’s brutal genocide of the Gazans or to even find a remedy the grievances of the Palestinian population has exposed the limitations within these institutions.

The principles they espouse—equality, justice, and liberty—have greatly fallen short in this long-standing conflict. The supposed Liberal institutions are implicated in this violent turmoil as none have taken effective action to prevent the Israeli government from further bloodshed. This exposes a hypocrisy in their values, seemingly applying different standards based on the ideological identities of states.

What is more is that the international diplomacy, characteristically regarded as a means for conflict resolution, has struggled to maneuver through the complexities of the Israel-Palestine issue, especially after the October 7 attacks. The discrepancy in taking note the human rights violations, humanitarian slaughter and ethnic cleansing, which most of these institutions fail to recognize even has raised questions about the integrity of these policies. 

The European Union, often championing human rights and diplomacy, has struggled to wield its collective influence effectively in resolving the conflict.

Consider the United Nations, which has been a long-term personification of global cooperation and peacekeeping. Despite numerous resolutions and discussions, it has struggled to enforce meaningful actions or bring about substantive changes on the ground. Though the UN Security Council has failed to halt the on-going war, not only that, not even a Ceasefire, the Resolution 2217 calls for humanitarian pauses, which implies that Israel still has all the power to committing war crimes when the Security Council should have had the power to completely stop the bombings and actually called for negotiations and mediation. 

International diplomacy has not only failed in its attempts to free the Israeli hostages by Hamas but also failed to prevent the passage of any resolutions preventing Israel from committing further atrocities. On October 25 2023, the U.N. Security Council encountered this setback in addressing the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza, because it dismissed competing resolutions proposed by the United States and Russia. It can be claimed that as the primary organ responsible for upholding global peace and security within the U.N., the council’s internal divisions have rendered it ineffective, leading to a frantic search for a resolution that garners consensus among its members. The constant vetoes by the powerful states in favor of Israel and the destruction make one think of the structural deficiencies within the global governance body.

Additionally, the European Union, often championing human rights and diplomacy, has struggled to wield its collective influence effectively in resolving the conflict. Though condemning violence and advocating a two-state solution, concrete actions and policies to enforce these ideals have been elusive. Even though, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell on 10th November 2023 emphasized the international community’s failure in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting its constant nature and the severe human toll it exacts on both Israeli and Palestinian lives. He described this ongoing crisis as a stark demonstration of the political and moral deficiencies within the international community, exposing an inability to reach a resolution for this conflict.

These instances underscore a broader systemic issue. Liberal institutions, despite their aspirations and declarations, face significant hurdles in offering tangible support to the Palestinians. International diplomacy, while attempting mediation, has been stymied by deeply entrenched conflicts of interest and power dynamics. This goes to show that while these Liberal institutions regard the values and principles of peace, equity they do so only when it concerns them revealing a hypocrisy and bias. It highlights the fact that for these institutions and entities governing them, rhetoric is more important than concrete, sustained actions that address the root causes and complexities of this enduring conflict.

A testament to this disparity is the Western world’s readiness to label non-Western factions and states like Iran and Iraq as rogue while turning a blind eye to Israel’s consistent defiance of International Humanitarian Laws. Despite Israel’s actions in clear violation of these laws, it remains unchecked and seemingly exempt from international scrutiny.

This highlights the shortcomings within regional powers, each facing their own failures they cannot overlook. The initial reluctance and failure of major Arab powers to curb the Israeli insurgency is not unprecedented. While the Palestinian cause has historically held a significant position in the consciousness of Arab leadership, symbolizing the freedom of expression, the tightening control by Arab governments restricts the advocacy for Palestinian rights. Prior to October 7 2023, major powers were gradually establishing strategic alliances with Israel, a move considered rational.

However, their misstep was the disregard for addressing the Palestinian issue at diplomatic negotiations, revealing flaws in their diplomatic approaches. This oversight emphasizes the imbalance between prioritizing relations over seeking justice for the Palestinian cause.

Presently, most regional powers offer symbolic gestures to avoid clashes with Israel and the United States, shifting attention to internal challenges while neglecting the Palestinian struggle and Arab unity. The Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman on 23th November 2023 in the BRICS Summit 2023 voraciously condemned the Israeli war and said an ‘arms embargo needs to be placed on Israel’ but this seems merely a gesture and one which is too little, too late!

The Riyadh Summit in November 2023 marked a rare occasion where all Arab leaders united in condemning Israeli atrocities and advocating for an end to the ongoing conflict.

The League of Arab States failed to effectively address the Gaza blockade, particularly to Israel’s use of starvation as a method of warfare, which has been deemed a violation constituting a war crime and a crime against humanity. Despite issuing a resolution on October 11 2023, it lacked a cohesive Arab stance on the continuing war crimes.

Moreover, the Arab Group’s absence of action in key forums like the Human Rights Council, Security Council, or General Assembly regarding a UN resolution for a ceasefire or humanitarian passages underscores a lack of proactive engagement. 

The Riyadh Summit in November 2023 marked a rare occasion where all Arab leaders united in condemning Israeli atrocities and advocating for an end to the ongoing conflict. Despite this, save for Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Qatar which has been key in mediating between Hamas and Israeli government, most Arab states have yet to demonstrate decisive action to halt the war. Additionally, the involvement of Hezbollah, Iran, and Iraq could exacerbate and extend the conflict beyond current territories, heightening the volatility of the already unstable region. Considering Syria’s vulnerable state, regional leadership needs to convene not only to cease hostilities but also to engage in negotiations for a lasting Palestinian resolution.

While Egypt and Jordan are directly impacted by the Israel-Palestine conflict in terms of geo-strategy, more so than KSA, Iran, and Turkey, the focus remains on which regional power can strategically navigate towards a permanent and peaceful resolution. Such an achievement could confer geopolitical influence over regional affairs, emphasizing the urgency for concerted efforts to address this enduring conflict and to make sure that at times like these, countries like Egypt can put aside their political agendas for the safeguarding of the Palestinians. These divisions in the region have not merely made the Palestinian demise today more potent but also the strategic and political issues among the Arab states, non-Arab states and other non-state actors’ grave. 

The lack of actionable support beyond mere rhetoric by the regional and international states makes one questions about why are states today so powerless in the face of Israel. Obtaining a mere 4-day Ceasefire does not imply an abrupt end to Israel’s genocide, nor does it signify the resolution of the conflict. 

The ongoing conflict supposedly waged against Hamas serves as a veil for ethnic cleansing. Israel’s security strategies faltered significantly on October 7th, 2023, resulting in a ‘war on terror’ that claimed the lives of more than 22,000 people, mostly innocent children. This failure in strategizing against Hamas is glaringly evident. The inconsistencies observed during operations at al-Shifa hospital further highlight Israel's inadequacies. This by no mean entails that Hamas has won any favors. Hamas’ initial tactic, which still remains widely unknown, to attack Israel on October 7th 2023 and capturing Israeli nationals has widely backfired for the people of Palestine and on Gaza. It also has further wedged a gap between the internal politics of Palestine and its population who now seem ever more divided between the various factions, including a powerless Palestine Authority. 

Israel encountered a significant setback due to its strategic failure, revealing vulnerabilities in its claimed strict security measures. The intense attacks on Gaza appear more as acts of retribution following this failure. Israel’s delay of over 40 days in engaging in ceasefire talks and hostage negotiations exposes its diplomatic inadequacies.

Critics who opposed Israel’s actions in Gaza have been vindicated, as it becomes increasingly apparent that this conflict was merely a pretext for Israel to carry out widespread genocide and replicate another Nakba in Palestine. It is imperative for the Israeli government to recognize that just as not all Jews are Zionists, not all Palestinians are associated with Hamas.

However, this policy and diplomatic failure will not fare well for the Israeli government, as some of the Global South and North nations are gradually becoming reluctant to overlook their war crimes.

The escalating loss of life demands urgent attention to the plight of Palestinians before irreparable damage is done to generations. The international and regional communities must prioritize an immediate ceasefire and work toward a political resolution to this enduring conflict. It is crucial for liberal and diplomatic institutions to uphold the values and principles they claim to champion in order to address this humanitarian crisis effectively.

The Israeli government must not only face regional scrutiny but also international intervention to prevent it from evolving into a potential threat to the Middle East. 

And beyond this scrutiny, international and regional powers must place embargoes and sanctions to curtail the ever-increasing war-mongering of Israel otherwise this war will remain a vile conflict of perspectives, identity and power, putting on the garb of religious discourse and drive further wedges among the international and regional communities and Palestine will only become a graveyard of death and failures.