VERY few countries in the world can be as powerful as the state of Israel. The Jewish state in the Middle East boasts arguably the most sophisticated military and economy.
| ORLANDO SIERRA AFP
A WOMAN walks past a mural on a central avenue in Tegucigalpa. The Honduran capital has become an open-air gallery, where local artists give color and life to this former mining town.
Surrounded by hordes of Islamic states in the region, Israel uses religion as its magic wand to ward off any antagonism. To criticise Israel is regarded as tantamount to being anti-semitic. The charge is almost at the same level as treason, if not above.
It implies that to condemn Israel is to condone Hitler’s diabolic systematic annihilation of Jews.
But the power of Israel not only emanates from its economic and military development, it is premised on its very source – the US – the world’s only remaining superpower since the end of the Cold War at the turn of the 1990s.
Washington not only arms Israel to the teeth. One US administration after the other, Democrats or Republicans, the country’s foreign policy on Israel remains consistent and unwavering.
At the UN Security Council, Israel is guaranteed diplomatic immunity through the US’S veto power. Countless binding adversarial UNSC resolutions against Israel has come to nought, thanks to the US veto power.
Being the surrogate of the US, the benefits for Israel are immeasurable. They range from dozens of billions of US dollars of aid flow annually to the Jewish state, coupled with trading preferential treatment.
Bilateral relations between Tel Aviv and Washington are not only cosy and romantic; they flourish at every turn and opportunity. Since the Jewish state was established on the blood and annihilation of the Palestinians in 1948, Israel has thrived on nothing else but the subjugation of their fellow beings across the length and breadth of Palestine – from the river to the sea.
I elect not to go back to 1967, another watershed moment – an interval in history during which the Jewish state annexed the humanity of the Palestinian people.
But then, why has the suffering of the Palestinians been such a subject of apparent global indifference over so many years? Methinks because, since the end of World War II in 1945 when the US became a mighty superpower, Israel’s insulation from criticism, attack or diplomatic ramifications has featured among the US’S top foreign policy objectives.
As the US set out to continue with its conquer and dominance of the international world order, closer ties with Israel has served to keep the entire Middle East under constant surveillance, monitoring and on any other convenient occasion, even military invasion.
Most people in the Islamic world across the Middle East loathe Israel ostensibly for the Jewish State’s illegal occupation of Palestine, and subjecting the oppressed Palestinian people to a form of apartheid that is far worse than that of South Africa pre-1994.
But in defence of Israel, Washington regularly points out that the detractors of Israel in the region resemble a blood-thirsty mob that is hellbent on destroying the Jewish nation.
It is a narrative that any sitting administration in Israel dangles effortlessly. The incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader – has thrived on this narrative and truly has to be thankful to this dubious narrative for his political fortunes.
On the diplomatic front, the US hardly ever takes its foot “off the gas pedal”, as Americans say. In a matter of only 10 weeks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made a remarkable six visits to the Middle East, engaging in diplomatic twiddle-twaddle that distracts displeased Islamic nations from demanding justice for Palestine.
As the sly tactics of Blinken hoodwink the Arab world, it turns out that it creates a breathing space for Israel to continue with its systematic extinction of the Palestinians. Through it all, the international community appears to be accomplices to the genocide – by commission or omission.
Since the end of Word War II and the formation of the UN, the majority of the nations had thought that the UN’S founding charter that is premised on the ethos of multilateralism would foster global co-operation.
But lo and behold, the global system has systematically been tweaked and altered into what the Us-led Global North describes as a “rules-based international world order”. Surreptitiously, this has replaced the multipolar world order with a unipolar one that is based on the “rules-based” world order of the powerful Western powers. At the heart of this parallel global governance system that operates in juxtaposition to the UN is the Us-led G7, a society of the world’s wealthiest economies that is exclusionary in nature, and operation.
Among them are the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. Together, they represent a fraction of the world’s population, but their collective economic power and co-operation has positioned them as a force to reckon with.
Together, they dominate the EU, an organisation of 29 countries most of which are the relatively impoverished former members of the Soviet Union.
This domination by the few but powerful G7 group also dominate Nato, where their wishes and desires easily translate into policies and resolutions. This reminds me of the English idiom: “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”
Operationally, the US grossly funds Nato and serves as a financial and economic heartbeat of the EU’S very sustainability. It is no wonder, therefore, that at the heart of the EU and Nato policies and resolutions are the fundamental interests of Washington’s foreign policy dictates.
When former US president Donald Trump refocused America’s foreign policy interests from global dominance to domestic politics fashioned under the slogan, “Make America Great Again”, both the EU and Nato suffered tremendously and the underlying weaknesses around dichotomous approach to international and regional relations among member states threatened their unity of purpose. Worse, when Trump pulled back America’s funding of Nato and implored all member states to honour their financial commitments to the organisation the wheels almost came off! Until, luckily, the choice of the establishment, in the form of President Joe Biden, replaced Trump and breathed new life into the struggling strategic entities.
The US resumed pumping money into the two organisations, thereby ascertaining that Washington’s foreign policy goals would be repositioned at the heart of both the EU and Nato once more, to this date.
The looming spectre of a Trump return to the White House after the November elections in the US is a source of deep anguish for many EU and Nato members.
At the top of their reasons to worry is a triumphant Trump’s return with a vengeance, as he will almost certainly stop the funding of the Ukraine war with Russia.
His detractors in the Democratic Party already paint him as a dangerous pro-russian, pro-putin man who should not be trusted.
I paint this seldom explored status of Israel’s remarkable status as an “untouchable” in international relations within the context of the omnipotent power of the US in geopolitics.
Nations such as South Africa can invoke their morally upright status and approach global judicial institutions such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), but as the world can see, Israel just shows the middle finger to the ICJ. The loud cries of the UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres remain inaudible in the wake of the unfolding genocide. His plea for Israel’s mercy, and by extension the US, constantly falls on deaf ears. It is the reality of our global governance system.
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