The US veto of the UN Security Council resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the only country to vote against this, shows the total isolation of the US and Israel from world public opinion and other countries positions. But Israel and the US will continue with their massacres in Gaza unless there is a further escalation of international action against these policies – to a level that forces the US to recognise that it is suffering intolerable damage to its international position.
In just over nine weeks Israel has killed more than 17,000 people including over 7,000 children. In Gaza hospitals, schools, refugee camps and basic infrastructure for survival have been targeted, making large parts of its territory unfit for human life. According to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, more than 60% of Gaza’s housing has been destroyed or damaged, and 85% of the population has been forced from their homes. The aim of this is simply ethnic cleansing – to attempt to make it impossible for Palestinians to live in Gaza.
As Secretary General Guterres powerfully summarised: “More than 1.1 million people have sought refuge in UNRWA facilities across Gaza… Others have nowhere to shelter and find themselves on the street. Explosive remnants of war are rendering areas uninhabitable. There is no effective protection of civilians.
“The health care system in Gaza is collapsing. Hospitals have turned into battlegrounds. Only 14 hospitals out of 36 facilities are even partially functional… Under these circumstances, more people will die untreated in the coming days and weeks. Nowhere is safe in Gaza.”
In an attempt to prevent reporting of the real situation in Gaza, and crimes which it is committing, Israel has specifically targeted independent witnesses of Israel’s atrocities including UN personnel and journalists.
It was this desperate situation in Gaza that led Guterres to take the action, unprecedented during his Secretary Generalship, of invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter, which states that the Secretary General: “may bring to attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”
Simultaneously with massacres in Gaza Israel has escalated its attacks on the West Bank where Israeli soldiers and settlers are pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing, killing over 200 Palestinians, and forcing entire Palestinian villages to flee.
The catastrophic situation in Gaza indicates the future which the US’s current foreign policy agenda threatens to bring to the entire world.
It is the US which is entirely sustaining Israel’s attack and the US which could bring it to an end at any time.
The US provides Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid annually and the Biden administration has proposed an additional $14.3 billion in military assistance as part of a $105 billion national security package. Since 7 October alone the United Sates has sent 200 planes to Israel carrying 10,000 tons of military equipment.
It is clear the US and Israel’s offensive against the Palestinians is being carried out in blatant disregard of international organisations and the overwhelming majority of international public opinion.
The latest US veto in the UN Security Council is just the latest in such a series of US violations. On 27 October the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, unhindered access to humanitarian aid and for Israel to revoke its call for northern Gaza’s evacuation. 120 countries voted in favour and only 14 nations, including the US and Israel, voted against.
Simultaneously, with these US positions, across many countries around the world, tens of millions of people have mobilised in the largest series of popular demonstrations this century in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Israel and the US are defying this overwhelming international majority in order to continue with their assault on Gaza.
This action has the most profound consequences – not only for the Palestinian people but the entire world.
They show that the claim of the US that it represents international public opinion is a lie. It demonstrates that the claim of the US that it bases itself on a rules based international order is equally a lie. The US, acting in this case with Israel, is instead claiming a right to impose by force its will on the overwhelming majority of the world regardless of the opinion of the rest of the world, represented by international organisations, governments and social and political movements. If the US and Israel succeed in this attack, this ultra-dangerous and disastrous US policy will inevitably be extended to further countries.
It is crucial that the global majority call the US and Israel to order – first and foremost to halt the suffering of the Palestinian people, but also to defend the interests of humanity as a whole.
The US will only force Israel to halt when the US understands that it will suffer enormous damage to its international position if it does not do so. Every measure must be taken to secure this.
– Intensifying the international popular actions demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
– Unrelenting action in the UN demanding a ceasefire.
– Isolating Israel internationally – following the lead of countries and cities that have suspended relations with Israel or withdrawn their ambassadors.
– Demanding that the International Criminal Court commence action against the war crimes authorised by Netanyahu and others.
– Step up the international consumer boycotts of companies complicit with Israeli apartheid.