UN Resolution

The American strategy of pacifying Arab anger by way of repeatedly urging Israel to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza is not really working. On March 26, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and for the first time since the beginning of Israeli military offensive five months ago, the US abstained rather than vetoing it. But this symbolic gesture towards the Palestinians is not going to change the ground reality. Even many concerned Americans think the resolution is still very late and still not enough. UN resolution or no resolution the Israeli Defence Forces slaughtered tens of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children, even after the World Court found South Africa’s claim that Israel is committing genocide to be “plausible”. America along with its permanently subservient ally Britain air-dropped food packets to ease the famine situation but at the same time the Pentagon sent bombs and fighter jets to Israel to continue its campaign of ethnic cleansing. This is sheer hypocrisy! That a cease-fire resolution was finally achieved was in large part due to the massive pressure being exerted by the Palestine solidarity movement across the world.

UN resolution cannot stop American weapons supply to Israel. They are bombing homes, hospitals, schools and places of worship, deliberately destroying critical infrastructure and blocking life-saving humanitarian aid from entering Gaza even as undeclared famine is already there. For Israel food is a weapon. The weaponisation of food has brought about mass starvation and unthinkable horrors for Gazans.

Aid-drops won’t prevent famine and they don’t absolve the US government of this genocide. Tragically 12 Palestinians were reportedly drowned while trying to reach air-dropped aid that fell into the Mediterranean.
The resolution demands an immediate cease-fire and unconditional release of all hostages while emphasising the expansion of flow of humanitarian assistance. Palestinians are really tired of hearing the relentless talk of ‘humanitarian aid’; it is more like a kind of humiliation for an entire generation. In reality the much talked about UN resolution was vague and the language was watered down to please America and Israel. Then the resolution demands cease-fire only for the month of Ramdan, which however ends in two weeks. What will happen after Ramdan? No promise of extending the cease-fire. The resolution demands the release of all hostages, but it fails to explicitly name the tens of thousands of Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails.

Though Security Council Resolutions are legally binding, parties simply ignore them. It remained to be seen how many parts of the resolution–including a pause in the fighting, the use of “all available routes” for aid deliveries and the release of all hostages–would be carried out. The situation is so dire that even Israel’s allies, otherwise not supporters of independent Palestine, are against continuation of the war in Gaza, where a humanitarian crisis gets worse daily. The UN has been warning of the risk of famine in Gaza where hunger and diseases are spreading rapidly and 1.9 million people have been pushed into squalid or forced to live outdoors. They are in overcrowded shelters in the south. Their make-shift tents are apologies of human dwellings.

Gaza is now a shell of its former self, its entire landscape rendered unrecognisable by the Israeli military’s months-long bombing. Over 32,000 Palestinians have been killed. Despite outcry across the world about the human catastrophe of the century 1.1 million people are said to be facing starvation.

The only positive outcome of the UN resolution was that Israel agreed to send delegates to the indirect cease-fire talks to be held in Doha and Cairo. For one thing Tel Aviv agreed to talk cease-fire following agitation by the families of hostages and missing persons. Israel is unlikely to stop unless they get back all of the hostages and destroy Hamas militarily, notwithstanding Doha or for that matter Cairo Diplomacy. Meanwhile, graveyards in Gaza will multiply with every passing day.

Solidarity movement throughout the world is the real strength of the Palestinian people to fight back. Surprisingly the Indian left-wing forces have done precious little to support the cause of Palestine other than routinely issuing some harmless press statements condemning Israeli barbarism.


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Vol 56, No. 42, Apr 14 - 20, 2024