By Greg Pence
For seven decades, the Palestinian people have endured the injustice of being denied their right to self-determination, while suffering under the brutal occupation and oppression of Israel. The recent escalation of violence between Hamas and Israel is a manifestation of this long-standing political impasse. The complicity of American politicians in creating and sustaining this deadlock, through their unconditional support for Israel and their disregard for international law, is indisputable.
One can see how deep and complex this crisis is by looking at the actions and statements of some US officials. For example, John Bolton, the former US national security adviser under Trump, proposed a three-state solution in an interview with BBC Farsi. He said that Palestine should be eliminated, that it has no right to form a government, and that the remaining areas with stateless and displaced Palestinians should be divided among Jordan, Egypt, and Israel. This shows how irresponsible and biased some American officials have been in dealing with this political impasse for decades.
The role and influence of the US government and politicians in the Middle East are not limited to these comments. It is the US that enables and encourages Israel to act with confidence and disregard for international law and human rights. According to the available statistics, Israel has constructed at least 250 illegal settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where nearly one million Israelis live in violation of the rights of the Palestinian people. Moreover, there have been at least 120 cases of undeclared informal settlements by Israelis. The US has consistently protected Israel from facing any legal or political repercussions of its actions at the international level, especially in the United Nations. The US has used its veto power to block at least 53 resolutions that aimed to criticize or condemn Israel’s actions in some way and to address its breaches of international laws and norms in the UN Security Council as the most important pillar of global collective security.
Israel, enjoying the full backing of its American ally, has pursued the facts on the ground policy. It has rejected the idea of two independent states for Israelis and Palestinians and has fragmented the Palestinian territories into tiny enclaves surrounded by Israeli land. This makes the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders unrealistic. The fate of 250 illegal settlements and one million armed settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories is a daunting and intricate challenge to the solution of the conflict. From October 7 to November 4, 2023, at least 128 Palestinians in the West Bank were killed by Israelis. This violates the existing treaties that prohibit any foreign presence in those areas under the name of Israeli settlements.
Moreover, Israel has established the only official apartheid system in the world, where the Palestinians have no rights or justice. If a settler kills a Palestinian, the Palestinian court cannot try him, but if a Palestinian kills a settler, Israel’s security laws allow the destruction of the Palestinian’s house. This is an organized apartheid that has been repeatedly condemned by the UN Human Rights Council but always blocked by the US veto. The US has opposed at least 45 resolutions of the Human Rights Council against Israel’s inhuman actions in the last few years.
The world also faces a double standard of who is good and who is evil. A Palestinian life is not valued. Since 2008, Israel has killed and wounded at least 150,000 Palestinians, including 33,000 children. But no one speaks up for them, no one calls them victims! This is while any criticism of Israel or support for Palestine can cost an academic or a journalist their job and reputation, and label them as anti-Semitic. This is the result of the powerful Jewish lobby that influences the US foreign policy, as Mearsheimer and Waltz argued in their book. After the Gaza war, even if Hamas is defeated as the US and Israel want, how can the US claim to be the champion of human rights? How can it justify its interference in other countries’ affairs? How can it persuade the world that it upholds the global human values? How can it prevent or stop other wars from happening?
The world faces a growing threat of aggression from the US and its allies, who want to reshape the world in the next 80 years, as Biden said in a meeting with the Chilean president. The countries that oppose this plan need to form alliances to prevent future conflicts. The world also needs to oppose occupation, territorial violations, human rights abuses, and war. The world has a historic choice to make. Will it be a victim of the US-Israeli agenda or a seeker of peace and development? The time to choose is now.