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Editorial At the UN, a declining US empire is a boon to Palestinian progress

IT IS a sign of the changing balance of opinion in the world that the Palestinians are able to summon the foreign diplomats accredited to their beleaguered state to account for the actions of their governments in stalling the resolution before the UN which condemned the latest atrocities of the Israeli regime.

The Western powers have a twin track approach to the enduring question of the Israeli’s arrogant disregard for the formal positions regarding Palestinian self-determination.

Under both Democrat and Republican presidents, the leading imperial power simply exercises its security council veto whenever a resolution critical of Israel comes before it.

And before it exercises its veto it ensures that it does not stand alone by dragooning the odd East European satrap or minor micronesian island state to stand in solidarity with its Israeli ally.

No embarrassment on the part of US diplomats attends this public display of isolation. It is simply a demonstration that the US holds this most representative of international forums in complete contempt.

The standing of the US before the nations represented at the UN general assembly rivals that of Britain before a Eurovision song contest jury. Not quite “nul points” but pretty much the same level of support.

In implementing UN resolutions, Britain stands mid way between the position of the European Union and the US. It is just less hypocritical than the EU in that its diplomatic cover for the Israeli-US duopoly is less qualified than that of the EU as a whole or any of its member states individually.

The EU’s role in the division of duties is to subsidise the status quo — that is, to fund the fledgling Palestinian entity at subsistence level, offer formal support for a two-state solution and in practice do nothing substantial to compel Israeli compliance with the UN resolutions which would give effect to any of the compromises that the Palestinian leadership have agreed over the years.

The political crisis in Israel is substantially a product of the increasingly obvious fact that the stasis that has stilled Palestinian progress for decades is no longer sustainable.

The principal reason is that the Palestinian people of the Occupied Territories, the West Bank, Israel itself, Gaza and the diaspora are increasingly united and resolute in their resistance.

In addition, the global balance of forces has changed, partly as a consequence of a weakened global capitalist economy, and within that post-2008 crisis context, an economically weakened and politically compromised US.

What then are we to make of the news that a top Pentagon official has warned Middle Eastern states against alignment with Russia or China over security co-operation, arguing that they have more to gain by sticking with the US?

The Defence Department functionary chosen to deliver this message is Dana Stroul, an Obama-era retread with a long track record in managing US operations in Iraq, Egypt and Syria and in US arms sales to the region.

The significant thing is that the US feels it necessary to make the point — and what’s more — to put the threat in directly transactional terms. Not only the Arab street but even previously compliant Middle Eastern states sense that the strategic balance is changing.

There is a long way to go and the disproportionate military overreach of the US coupled with the “pivot to China” that Obama initiated is a real threat to peace.

It is in this context of an imperialist attempt to start a new Cold War that we should understand recent developments from the ramping up of military tension to Biden’s CIA-led investigation into the supposedly manufactured genesis of the coronavirus.


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