The United States has recently monopolized mediation efforts in the Middle East settlement process, pushing aside other actors. In essence, Washington has taken a course to marginalize the Palestinian problem and it should be admitted that it has achieved certain results. The normalization of Israel’s relations with several Arab states – the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, which was achieved primarily thanks to the activity of the Trump administration, gave the impression that the solution of the Palestinian issue had become a secondary task.
According to the English magazine The Economist, Biden “spent the first three years of his presidency trying to ignore the conflict. He will have other things on his mind in 2024—and neither Israelis nor Palestinians are likely to embark on a peace process with a president who could soon be turfed out.”
The Hamas attack against Israel on October 7 brought the Palestinian issue back to the newspaper front pages and television screens.
It should be noted that relations between the current Israeli Government and the Biden administration in the last months preceding October 7 had been very tense due to disagreements over the reform of the judicial system, which created an unprecedented split in Israeli society. This tension also arose due to the policy of Israeli control in the West Bank announced by the ruling coalition. This had a negative impact on Israel’s relations with the US administration and postponed a meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu until they met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September.
The political division in Israel has become a factor that, to put it mildly, has clouded the regional perception of the country, weakening its position and contributing to the decision of Hamas to make a sortie on October 7.
The American press noted that the government’s controversial desire to reform the judicial system played a role in undermining Israel’s national security, and the current war in Gaza will probably permanently remove this issue from the agenda. “The Israeli Army,” Foreign Affairs magazine noted the other day, “is not equipped, either culturally or tactically, to handle a long-term military occupation of the Gaza Strip. Israel thus needs a clear-eyed view of its strengths and an understanding of which of its allies it can rely on for support. The United States will be crucial, but so, too, will be the Arab states with which Israel has signed peace agreements or normalization accords. Israel must also consider how to work with the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmoud Abbas. Most Israelis distrust the UN because of its perceived anti-Israel bias. It is, however, perhaps the only global organization with the knowledge and credibility to lead an effective postconflict stabilization effort in Gaza. No plan for “the day after” in Gaza can exclude it”.
It is noteworthy in this regard that the Politico media has already noted the other day that those responsible for Israel’s unpreparedness to repel the Hamas attack, including the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet, may resign. Analytical articles are published in the Western press regarding the fact that Israel, due to its relatively limited capabilities, cannot afford a long war.
In addition, the broad global movement of solidarity with the Palestinians, along with footage of the monstrous destruction in the Gaza Strip due to Israeli army strikes and the growing numbers of dead and injured Gazans, especially children, also impresses American public opinion – calls are being heard more vigorously, even in the US Congress, to move away from the unilateral approach in Middle Eastern affairs.
In the countries of the Global South, the US positions are harshly criticized: the thesis is that in the conflict in Ukraine, Washington constantly talked about the humanitarian component of the process, as for Gaza, the Americans simply do not want to notice the murder of thousands of Palestinian children. Turkish President Erdoğan said that the West sheds “crocodile tears” regarding the victims in Ukraine and ignores the actual genocide of the Palestinian people.
The Egyptian weekly Ahram Weekly wrote on November 2 this year: “The Western allies of Israel have shown themselves to be the true remnants of their imperial pasts and as being run by compromised governments that are clinging on to power through deception, war-mongering, and corruption. These countries have been actively supporting Israel in its violence against Palestine for the last five decades, their hands dripping with the blood of Palestinians, among them young children. … This represents the collapse of the West’s political system, which is supposedly based on the principles of democracy.”
The Al Jazeera website on November 3 stressed that the majority of institutions in North America, Western Europe and elsewhere are either actively participating in this genocide, or completely silent and are thus complicit.
As noted recently by the well-known journalist Ray Hanania, the American media rarely show images of Palestinian women and children who are killed or dragged out from under the rubble of destroyed buildings. But they do exist. And they are taking to social networks. When Americans see the truth, their attitude towards Israel’s war crimes in Gaza will change the same way as when they saw the truth about the war crimes in Vietnam.
Today, voices are being heard all over the world that Israel’s military offensive and the mass killings of Palestinian women, children and the elderly must be stopped.
Many are alarmed to warn that there is a real threat of spillover of the conflict with involvement of new countries and players.
It is reported that an emergency summit of Arab states will gather in Riyadh on November 11, at which efforts to end violence in Gaza will be discussed.
In Western countries, many oppose the policy of the establishment that unilaterally supports Israel – the demands to stop military operations and provide humanitarian assistance to the residents of Gaza are being voiced ever louder.
Vladimir Mashin, Ph.D. in History, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.