Hypocritical US vetoes UN ceasefire resolution, cowardly UK abstainsDec 11, 2023
As the bloodbath in Gaza moves towards 18,000 casualties, 70% of whom are women and children, as a humanitarian catastrophe affecting a whole people persists, the rich and powerful US vetoes a U.N. Resolution calling for a ceasefire. The rich and powerful UK ducks for cover and abstains.
The governments of both nations apparently believe that support for a continuing genocide is the price to pay for being an ally of Israel.
The bullying, unethical and hypocritical behaviour of the US beggars belief, or does it? For decades they have armed nuclear powered Israel, treated Palestinian people with disdain even as US peace negotiators claimed to be the honest brokers, and when other nations have attempted to hold Israel accountable for flagrant violation of international law, on 43 occasions the US has vetoed any such criticism.
The US hypocrisy does beggar belief. Consistent with encouragement of more death and destruction in Gaza, because that is what opposition to a ceasefire means, President Biden in one breath insists that humanitarian law be respected and then asks Congress to approve the sale of 45,000 shells for Israel’s Merkava tanks, ammunition so necessary to continue mass murder operations.
The explanation by the UK Ambassador to the U.N. as to why her government abstained on the cease fire resolution, was a mealy mouthed justification for cowardice. She said that the Resolution did not condemn the Hamas slaughter sufficiently. This one sided, blind to history account ignores the decades of Israeli slaughter of innocents in Gaza and the West Bank, ignores the legions of Israeli terrorists, including leading politicians, who have been proud to kill thousands of Palestinians and have boasted about doing so. Only one group of people are terrorists ?
The notion that a ceasefire is one sided because it does not blame Hamas sufficiently or might allow that Gazan organisation to regroup, is also trotted out in letters to constituents by Australian MPs as to why a brave Australian government would not support a ceasefire, let alone a permanent one. I have been on the receiving end of such letters. They imitate the UK cowardice. And now we are to be treated to the obscene spectacle of MPs rushing off to Israel, presumably to hug Netanyahu or to avoid the Dutton accusation that they did not do so.
At which point let’s pause to consider the Israeli conduct which powerful western nations are so eager to support.
The slaughter of Gazans, the use of starvation as a weapon of war, the killing of babies in hospitals, the moving of destitute people from one unsafe area to another unsafe area, makes it difficult to deny the charge of bestiality against a country whose latest cruelty is evident in the parade of semi-naked Gazan men with hands tied behind their backs.
Let’s not mince words. To justify the unjustifiable, Israel has explained that their soldiers had to remove the Gazan’s shirts because they might have concealed suicide bombs and put Israeli soldiers at risk. Let us not be fooled. Israel’s technique is to deny, tell lies and dramatise cruelty as a virtue. As much effort is put into denying that cruelty occurs as is put into crafting cruelties against people whom the government of Israel considers animals.
Riyad Mansour the carefully thoughtful Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. said that the US veto of the ceasefire was a turning point in history, a judgment which endorsed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ fear that respect for humanity and for machinery to achieve peace and promote justice was fast disappearing.
That is ‘the turning point.’ In their refusal to support a cease fire, the US and UK governments have behaved as though moral and ethical principles should not be considered if Israel demands that their killing spree – ‘blow them up’, ‘eliminate the lot’ say Netanyahu’s Ministers – must continue.
How to react to the depravity of one nation and to the hypocrisy and cowardice of two powerful countries who apparently approve of war, who seem to think that not enough killing has occurred and who therefore support business as usual?
To answer that question, I call for help from the visionary Irish poet W. B, Yeats who seems to have foreshadowed the US’ rationale for supporting Israel by vetoing a ceasefire in Gaza.
In the poem ‘The Second Coming’, written in response to his despair at a state of amoral depravity in a similar turning point in history, Yeats wrote,
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
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