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The US “stands all alone” on Palestine

IN strict geopolitics terms, this week will be marked by Washington’s expected – yet still a pill too hard to swallow – vetoing of a successful endorsement of the Palestinian statehood by the vast majority of the members of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

It was the cruellest blow that caused men and women who seek justice and equality before international law to shed tears of sorrow. Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, could not hold back the tears as he responded to the US’s unkindest cut. “The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will and it will not defeat our determination. We will not stop in our effort,” he said, his voice choking.

Of the fifteen members of the UNSC, only the US voted against accepting Palestine as a full member of the UN. Being a permanent member of the UNSC, the US negation of the motion set in motion its sweeping power to thwart the will of the majority of the council members who had voted in the affirmative.

This time around, even the staunchest allies of the US voted differently. To name a few, they were Japan, South Korea, France and Ecuador. Two other staunchest allies of the US – the UK and Switzerland, abstained. A total of 12 member-states had voted to accept Palestine as a full UN member. Only nine votes were required for the motion by Algeria to pass.

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I mention them by name to make the following pertinent point: The US stands alone in blocking the Palestinians’ right and passage to statehood.

For many, the recognition would have been a clear-cut path to pushing back against the decades-old illegal occupation of the Palestinian land by Israel.

It would have also accentuated the negotiations – this time truly internationally supported – for a two-state solution that has thus far proven elusive.

Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, lamented the veto by the US, saying every US veto on Gaza/Palestine costs thousands of lives.

“Every American veto on Gaza is not just a voting statistic in the UN Security Council. We must not forget that it also had a specific terrible price – the lives of thousands of civilians in Gaza,” he said following the move by the US to block Palestine from statehood.

The US policy towards Israel, which is based on “blind loyalty”, will cause irreparable harm to the world’s biggest economy and leading superpower. The double standards are there for all nations to see. But then, when it comes to Israel, the US does not give a damn. It applies a policy of “different strokes for different folks”.

The failure of the US, backed by the UK and France to condemn Israel’s fatal attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria earlier this month is a testament to the double standards of the powerful against the weak. For, Israel’s actions were an affront to the Geneva Convention and international law. The US-led Western hegemony has systematically undermined the principles of the UN Charter, based on multilateralism.

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This misguided US foreign policy harms the interests and reputation of the country as the so-called leader of the free world. It undermines Washington’s long-standing good image as a peace broker. Such a sheer display of double standards, unfortunately, undermines the global authority of the once most trusted and loved epitome of justice and liberty in the world. The Majority World, and indeed the bulk of the electorate across the global north, or Western capitals, will feel aggrieved by the US veto against Palestinian statehood for a very, very long time. It was a geopolitical miscalculation that has the hallmarks of disastrous consequences written all over it, regardless of how much Capitol Hill and the White House attempt to spin their self-harming blunder.

  • Abbey Makoe is Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Global South Media Network