On Hypocrisy and Genocide – How Gaza Has Exposed the West Like Never Before 

MARCH 5, 2024 – https://www.counterpunch.org/



The Israeli genocide in Gaza will be remembered as the moral collapse of the West.

As soon as the Israeli war began, following the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7, every moral or legal frame of reference that Washington and its western allies supposedly held dear was suddenly dropped. Western leaders rushed to Israel, one after the other, offering military, political and intelligence support – along with a blank check to rightwing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and his generals to torment the Palestinians.

The likes of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, went as far as joining Israel’s first war council meeting, so that he could take part in the discussion which directly resulted in the Gaza genocide.

“I come before you not only as the United States Secretary of State, but also as a Jew,” he said on October 12. The interpretation of these words is disturbing, no matter how it is spun, but it also ultimately means that Blinken has lost all credibility as an American, as a politician or even as a fair-minded human being.

His boss, President Joe Biden, as if in an infinite loop, has been, for years, repeating that “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist”. Indeed, he has lived up to his maxim, declaring, time and again, “I am a Zionist.” Indeed, he is.

Like many other US and western officials and politicians, the US President abandoned international and humanitarian laws altogether, even the law of his own country. The Leahy Law “prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign security force units that violate human rights with impunity.” Instead, he, like Blinken, subscribed to tribal affiliation and ideological notions, which simply added fuel to the fire.

Though “protected persons” under international law, Palestinians seem dispensable, in fact, irrelevant to the point that their collective death appears critical for Israel to regain its ‘deterrence’, and to protect itself, in the words of Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, against the “human animals” of Gaza.

If there is a stronger word than hypocrisy, one would have used it. But, for now, it would have to suffice.

At the beginning of the war, many rightly drew a parallel between the West’s reaction to Gaza and their enraged response to the war in Ukraine. However, as the death toll grew, this comparison seemed inadequate. Over 12,000 children have been killed in Gaza in 140 days of war, compared to 579 in the two-year Russia-Ukraine war.

Yet, when the EU Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, was asked, point blank, in an Al-Jazeera interview on November 20 about the violations of international law in Gaza, he offered two completely different answers. “I am not a lawyer,” he said, when the legality of Israel’s atrocities in Gaza were questioned. When the interviewer shifted to talk about Al-Aqsa Flood, Borrell had no qualms about the issue. “Yes, we consider that a war crime, for killing civilians in this apparent way without any reason,” he said.

This episode has not been repeated often in the US media, simply because few mainstream media journalists are bothered or, more accurately, dare to question Israel’s grisly behavior in the Gaza Strip.

However, when such opportunities arose, the flagrant hypocrisy was impossible to hide. Marvel, for example, at Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the US State Department, in response to rape allegations in both Gaza and Israel. When he was asked, on February 18, about allegations of rape by Israeli soldiers of Palestinian women in Gaza, his answer was that the US has urged Israel to “thoroughly and transparently investigate credible allegations”.

Compare this to his response to a question about unverifiable allegations of sexual assaults made by Israelis against Palestinians, although debunked even by Israel’s own media. “They’ve committed rape. We have no reason at all to doubt those reports,” he said at a press conference on December 4.

Such examples are produced daily by hundreds of western leaders, top officials and media organizations. Even now, when the death toll has broken all records of brutality in recent human history, they still speak of Israel’s “right to defend itself”, willfully ignoring the fact that Israel has forfeited this right as soon as it engaged in this prolonged aggression, starting in 1948.

Indeed, international law on the rules of wars and military occupation is situated within a framework – notably laid out by the Fourth Geneva Convention – that exists to defend the rights of the occupied, not the right of the Occupier.

This time-honored truth is obvious to the vast majority of humanity, save Washington and a few others.

As dozens of envoys from around the world testified before the International Court of Justice from February 19 to 26, protesting Israel’s horrific violence, protracted occupation and racial system of apartheid, the US sent its envoy to the highest Court in the world to lobby for something else entirely.

With the ironic title of “Acting legal adviser for the US State Department”, Richard Visek bizarrely urged the ICJ to ignore international law altogether. “The Court should not find that Israel is legally obligated to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from Occupied Territory,” he said.

For far too long, but especially since October 7, Western governments, starting with the US, have violated every last set of ethics, morality and laws that they themselves developed, drafted, promoted, even imposed on the rest of the world for many decades. Currently, they are practically dismantling their own laws, and the very ethical standards that led to their formation.

Now that some western leaders have begun to feel increasingly uncomfortable as the enormity of the Gaza genocide unfolds, a few, though bashfully, are declaring that Netanyahu may be ‘going too far’. Even so, not even an outright admission of responsibility would erase the fact that they are active participants in Netanyahu’s killing campaign.

When all is said and done, the blood of the horrifyingly high number of Palestinian victims will be shared equally between Tel Aviv, Brussels, London, Sidney and all other genocide apologists. A crime of this magnitude will never be forgotten or forgiven.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net