When historians will write about the geopolitical conflicts of 2022-2023. Ukraine-Russia, Israel-Palestine will bear headlines. The role of western powers especially the United States will be debated. The unapologetic American hypocrisy practiced without shame or reluctance is nauseating. What is worse is the way American leaders weave in morality into the narrative, a story line which the media houses help co-create for delivery as a palatable diet for the consumers to be fed twenty-four seven. Collectively, a narrative emerges which is used to justify the atrocities, and to set the American taxpayers in a state of stunned stupor gullible to consume this narrative with complete obedience. We had seen this before.
Recall the false narrative of the weapons of mass destruction which nobody talks about anymore after killing thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. I submit that any time we are lectured on humanity and morality by the American leadership, they should be shown the door. America has lost its moral standing for its complicity in absolute razing of Gaza and complete annihilation of Gazans. Thankfully, what has emerged is a world order which sees things for what they are- apartheid, injustice, and international law failure by Israel and its cronies in Palestine. People on the streets all around the world see the American complicity in this holocaust of our time happening right now in Palestine.
Years later, history will judge America on the very ideals of democracy, diplomacy, and morality, that it boasts of when deliberating global issues. The protests on American academic and public places makes me hopeful that the civil society will not stand a mute witness to this barbarity. This is their Vietnam. This is their Rwanda. The US is clearly seen as a co-signer in the systematic elimination of Palestinian livelihoods, destruction of the healthcare system, killing of innocent civilians and a complete crushing of the capacity of a people to exist- complicit in a full-blown genocide. An ideological support to a genocide is one thing but offering precision weaponry to systematically kill and maim women and children is a whole another matter. Similarly, providing logistical support and offering minute-by-minute counsel to the oppressor to sustain a genocide is sheer complicity. I am no legal expert nor an authority on international law, I am simply a common concerned citizen of this world, yet I fail to understand how the international courts will let the US go off the hook.
The worst is the elitist attitudes brazenly exhibited by the American leadership in creating a caricature in public discourse labeling Palestinians as sub-human, ungrievable, lost, and lesser of mankind while confirming that all Palestinians are Hamas, and Hamas is Palestine. In the same vein, Ukrainians are deemed as those resisting Russian occupation hence enjoy the American taxpayer support but the resistance of Hamas to an occupying force is terrorism. It has been a long and hard investment to create a premise which equates all of Palestine with terrorism.
The propaganda which equates all Palestinians with terrorism, barbarism and animality is now all too deep rooted to be thwarted any time soon, such that in the western public discourse civilians don’t exist in Palestine. Using the same logic all Israeli citizens or reservists who stand ready to bear arms any time be deemed combatants as well but no one talks about that. The truth of the matter is that the violence unfolding in Gaza is a result of a long-standing 75-year-old violence inflicted on Palestinians by Israel characterized by systematic uprooting, killing, imprisonment, detention, and land grabbing. A fair and just political solution is needed. There is no future until the Israeli apartheid on Palestinians ends and Palestine is free and its people are allowed to live as equals.
Samina Salim is Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacological & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston