The promises of a “liberal democratic world order” envisioned by the Western states have got into the dust with the hypocritical attitude of their leaders, institutions and media in the wake of Israel’s military ongoing brutality in Gaza.
An estimated 10,000 Palestinian civilians have been massacred in the “international rules-based order”, but their leaders are consciously ignoring to evaluate the legitimacy of Israel’s actions. The only glimmer of optimism is the citizens of Western states who are rising to the occasion and demonstrating their resilience against their callous leadership.
Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators have marched in Washington, London, Berlin, Milan, Paris and other European cities to call a halt to Israel's bombardment of Gaza and express their disillusionment with their governments for supporting Israel in its bloodthirsty campaign.
The “self-proclaimed defenders of human rights and democratic values” are denying to call Israel’s atrocities against civilian Palestinians “genocide”. Instead, they are bent on projecting the “innocence” of a “terrorist state” which has a notorious record of human rights violations and war crimes.
Perhaps, the failure of Western states to prevent the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust has left them burdened with guilt that they are now trying to address by giving excessive leverage to Israel to “do whatever it wants”. This is evident from their continuous moral, diplomatic, and arms support to Israel.
UK’s PM Rishi Sunak expressed “solidarity” with Israel in “its darkest hour” by saying “We will stand with you and your people. And we also want you to win.”
The US, the beacon of justice and democracy, has expressed complete solidarity with Israel with its President Biden remarking: “We stand with Israel. And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself, and respond to this attack.” Biden has also assured Netanyahu over a telephonic conversation that “a forceful and continued battle will be required, in which Israel will triumph.”
Similarly, the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy India, Narendra Modi has also expressed that India “stands in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour”.
Human Rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations who have already declared Israel as an “apartheid state”, are condemning the ongoing Isreal’s atrocities against Palestinian civilians. United Nations has reported that “Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide.”
A group of current U.N. special rapporteurs on human rights wrote in a statement on November 2 2023, that called for a cease-fire. “The time for action is now. Israel’s allies also bear responsibility and must act now to prevent its disastrous course of action.”
Ironically, those who were afraid that the foundational principles of the UN Charter and UDHR would be "trampled and twisted in the pursuit of naked political power” are now themselves undermining these 'universal principles.' "
When Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb 2022, Mr Biden remarked “It wasn’t just Ukraine being tested. The whole world faced a test for the ages. Europe was being tested. America was being tested. NATO was being tested. All democracies were being tested.” Sadly, no state or liberal institution is being “tested” in the wake of Israel’s invasion of Gaza.
While the loss of the Ukrainian war-weary population is indeed tragic and irreparable, there should be a homogeneity in the response of Western leadership when it comes to the Muslim war-struck population.
Bruno Macaes, an outspoken Portuguese politician and geopolitical analyst has rightly tweeted: “I spent my trips in Africa, Asia and Latin America over the past two years trying to convince people I met of the justice of Ukraine’s cause. That is no longer possible (unless you want people to laugh at you).”
Similarly, Louis Charbonneau, U.N. director for Human Rights Watch, has also given a very thought-provoking statement: “If the U.S. and other Western governments want to convince the rest of the world they are serious about human rights and the laws of war, principles they rightly apply to Russian atrocities in Ukraine and Hamas atrocities in Israel, they also have to apply to Israel’s brutal disregard for civilian life in Gaza.”
In conclusion, Western governments need to apply the principles of human rights and the laws of war consistently, irrespective of geopolitical considerations, to maintain their credibility on the global stage. They should treat Palestine, Syria and Yemen with the same lens as they treat Ukraine and other European war-struck regions. The bombs falling on Palestine and Syria should have the same importance as the bombs falling on Ukraine.