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How the U.S. and Europe are Stoking the War in Gaza

It is unrealistic for a nation to provide another with extensive military support without any conditions and then expect it to act humanely and responsibly. This paradox has been evident in the stance adopted by the United States and the European allies of Israel towards the actions of Tel Aviv since the onset of hostilities in Gaza.

The policy of unconditional armament, coupled with absolving Israel of any allegations of excessive force, while simultaneously urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to show restraint, has resulted in a noticeable discrepancy between the West’s words and actions, casting a shadow over Israel’s international image.

The pursuit of contradictory objectives by the United States and European nations has seemingly emboldened the Netanyahu government, giving the impression of carte blanche for military actions in Gaza, underpinned by unwavering financial and military support from Western allies. This stance appears to be at odds with the principles laid out by the International Criminal Court two decades ago, which obligate signatories of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to actively prevent and penalize such acts. The emphasis on ‘prevention’ underscores the critical moral and legal responsibility of nations to intervene proactively to avert the occurrence of genocide.

Israel’s blatant non-compliance with the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures, which mandated an immediate cessation of genocidal acts within Gaza, has led to the tragic loss of 40,000 lives. Furthermore, Tel Aviv’s obstruction of humanitarian aid, reducing it to a mere third of its prior volume, starkly exemplifies the tacit endorsement of these atrocities by Western powers. This cooperation contravenes the United States and Western nations’ pledged commitment to preventing genocide. Such actions implicate these countries in the Palestinian civilian casualties, as adjudicated by international criminal law.

In 2007, the International Court of Justice held a landmark case where Bosnia accused Serbia of failing to prevent genocide. The court found that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, under President Slobodan Milošević’s leadership, had not taken necessary measures to prevent the atrocities. Consequently, Milošević was arrested and faced punitive actions. Despite South Africa’s intervention, which included a formal petition and a provisional court order demanding an immediate cessation of the genocidal acts in Gaza, Israelis have refrained from any form of action. The inaction has extended to the allied governments, which also have neglected their responsibilities to halt and prevent further genocide, seemingly indifferent to the prospect of being implicated as accomplices in these heinous crimes.

The gravity of the partnership intensifies as Netanyahu’s Western allies persist in supplying Israel with increasingly lethal armaments—a point underscored in Nicaragua’s distinct legal challenge against Germany. Within this petition, Nicaragua contends that Germany’s provision of weaponry to a government indicted for genocide by an international tribunal contravenes global legal standards. This is while the court’s verdict explicitly accuses Israel of perpetrating genocide within Gaza.

Conversely, the Palestinian groups’ resistance to occupation stands as a legitimate act under international law. The Geneva Convention upholds the right of an occupied nation to resist its occupier. Since 1967, Israel, supported by statements from its allies, has occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem and illegally settled approximately 700,000 individuals in these territories. Amidst this backdrop, voices from the Global South have amplified their criticism against the double standards and prejudiced actions of the United States and European nations backing Israel. These Western countries have subjected the occurrence of genocide within Gaza to protracted and rigorous scrutiny. Meanwhile, based on anonymous sources, they have severed humanitarian aid to the city. This withdrawal comes at a critical juncture, as reports from the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations indicate that Gaza teeters on the brink of a widespread famine.

Western allies have been supplying Israel with an increasing arsenal while simultaneously shielding it from genocide allegations. This dual approach implicitly endorses the regime’s harsh tactics without repercussions. Conversely, Washington and European capitals have paradoxically curtailed Netanyahu’s authority—authority they originally granted—to intensify conflicts. Their sole stipulation is the avoidance of this power’s misuse against urban civilians. This incongruent policy not only contravenes the Western bloc’s commitments to international treaties and humanitarian laws but also implicates Washington and other Israel allies as complicit in Gaza’s atrocities.

This strategy not only erodes the international stature and moral authority of the Western world but also increasingly discredits the multilateral global order and the principles of international humanitarian law. It widens the chasm between Western citizens and their political leaders, thereby diminishing the domestic legitimacy of these governments. Recent surveys indicate a growing discontent among American and European citizens with their governments’ wartime policies. Consequently, by enabling Israel to wield its might unchecked against Gaza’s populace, Western nations, particularly the United States, are inadvertently stoking the war’s flames. Their involvement in the conflict, under the guise of supporting Israel’s triumph, is tantamount to abetting the atrocities committed.