Sunday, May 19, 2024

The West sheds tears over starving Palestinians while sending arms to kill them

Irony dies a thousand deaths when the same hands that send arms to massacre Palestinians set out to deliver aid to the victims.

Hypocrisy seeks new definitions when the eyes that oversaw the safe passage of military shipments that wreaked havoc in Gaza shed tears over children dying of hunger in the streets.

But when the West plays out this absurdity with its usual recipe of dramatics, the Western media seems to be reluctant to project its lens of scepticism on the scene. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday questioned the ‘terribly high costs’ of Israel’s onslaught in Gaza, saying the world could not simply stand by and watch as Palestinians risk starvation in the enclave.

The statement comes from one of Israel’s staunchest allies alongside the United States.

Germany has continuously provided Israel’s genocidal war with a diplomatic shield by underscoring the latter’s ‘right to defend.’ Moreover, it has backed Israel in the ICJ genocide case.

Similarly, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday that Gaza was facing famine and there had to be a rapid ceasefire agreement in the war between Israel and Hamas.

The US and the UK, the big players in the game, have also been issuing similar statements related to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

It is worth noting here that as token gestures of concern regarding the passage of lifesaving aid into Gaza continue to pour in, the weapons exports that facilitate much of Israel’s offensive on the besieged enclave continue to flow.

Since the genocidal war began in October, the volume of weapons entering Israel to kill and displace Palestinian civilians has seen a consistent increase.

“On the one hand, we have this dire humanitarian need, on the other hand, we have this continual supply of weapons to the country Israel, [which is] creating that need,” Akshaya Kumar, the director of crisis advocacy at Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a recent statement.

Until 1988, the United States had refused to sign the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide – the only legal document which was invoked by ICJ in January to charge Israel with genocidal crimes.

Under the convention, member states are legally bound to prevent genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

At a time when the convention is of utmost significance, it fails to create any impact as the US and other allies of Israel easily surpass the obligations.

As per the Arms Trade Treaty, another international agreement, of which the US is not a part, a country is prohibited from exporting weapons to any state it suspects might use them for “genocide, crimes against humanity… attacks directed against civilian objects or civilians.”

According to the Stockholm Institute for Peace, the US contributes 69% to Israel’s total arms imports.

But recent reports by the Washington Post, relying on confidential briefings to the US Congress, suggest this may not be the exact figure.

The US donation of $3.8 billion to Israel’s military budget has continued, and an additional amount of $14 billion has been approved in February.

Many countries in the West continue to provide Israel with weapons, while a few others have stepped back fearing the legal backlashes of licensing weapons to a state the ICJ has found may plausibly be committing genocide.

Human Rights Watch’s recent findings have revealed a paradox wherein the Western states ceremonially force Israel to recognise its role in creating the suffering we see in Gaza and turn a blind eye to the flow of weapons from states such as the US, Germany and beyond.

Notably, Israel’s major arms suppliers have been vocal about delivering aid to Gaza while Palestinians are being attacked with the weapons they sold to Israel.

Amid these sham displays of humanitarian concern, in the most recent development, Israeli forces have stormed al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for the second time with tanks and heavy gunfire, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Israel may have killed more than 100,000 people using weapons provided by the West, according to reports by observers, aid organisations and analysts.

So far, 31,726 Palestinians have been killed, and 73,792 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

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