07.01.2024 Author: Veniamin Popov

The US position in the Middle East, and in the world at large, is weakening

Israel’s nearly three-month war on Gaza, in which more than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 53,000 wounded, has caused enormous destruction to the housing stock in the Strip and brought the existence of more than 2 million people in Gaza to the brink of disaster. There is a growing wave of sympathy for the suffering of the Palestinians around the world and a corresponding condemnation of Israel’s barbaric bombardment.

Unfortunately, the desperate attempts of the United Nations to halt hostilities and achieve a sustainable ceasefire have so far failed to produce the desired results. This is because the United States is trying by all means to provide diplomatic cover for Israeli military action, blocking Security Council resolutions and acting against the clearly expressed will of the majority of the world’s nations in the UN General Assembly.

On 22 December, the Arab states, through the UAE representative in the UNSC, decided to force the main body of the Organisation to take an agreed decision. As a result, the Security Council approved a resolution that calls for humanitarian pauses between Israel and Hamas, increased aid to Gaza and the creation of conditions that will allow for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.

Washington, in full view of the world, categorically refused to approve an urgent cessation of hostilities, i.e. a ceasefire. In addition, the Americans rejected the proposal to establish a monitoring mechanism in the Gaza Strip under the auspices of the UN with the necessary personnel and equipment under the leadership of the UN Secretary General.

The Americans demanded a postponement of the vote on the resolution four times, seeking to avoid clear wording. In the end, Israel’s representative expressed gratitude to the US, while Hamas called the resolution an insufficient step because it did not include a ceasefire. A statement published on Hamas’ official website said the UNSC resolution does not meet the requirements of the catastrophic situation created by Israel, “Over the past 5 days, the US administration has worked hard to strip the resolution of its essence and present it in this weak formula.”

Many human rights organisations, in particular Doctors Without Borders, called it “almost meaningless”. The Russian representative to the UN said the US had “resorted to its favourite arm-twisting tactics” and called the text “toothless”.

After the vote, the UN secretary-general said Israel’s offensive was a real problem, creating a huge obstacle to humanitarian supplies. “A humanitarian ceasefire is the only way to begin to address the desperate needs of the people in the Gaza Strip and end their ongoing nightmare,” he added.

The Saudi channel Al Arabiya published a big article titled “It’s time to rethink American support for Israel”.

Nebenzya, the Russian representative to the UN, called shameful and cynical the behaviour of the US, which has sabotaged UNSC decisions on Gaza, giving Israel the green light for war crimes. The wording of the text of the resolution was essentially emasculated due to pressure from the United States, while the adopted provisions of the document preserve Israel’s control over all aid.

Even the American press recognises that Netanyahu’s goal of destroying Hamas is unrealistic. In all recent polls, 72% of Palestinians in Gaza approve of the Hamas attack on 7 October, a figure that rises to 82% among those living in the West Bank.

The US Biden administration’s actions regarding the war in Gaza are odious. Even such a pro-Israel, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote on 23 December that the US should tell Israel clearly that a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in exchange for all Israeli hostages and a permanent ceasefire under international supervision is needed.

Aid groups working in Gaza have criticised the SC resolution as too weak to help alleviate Palestinian suffering.

Washington’s handling of the Middle East conflict was a classic example of hypocrisy.

All the events related to the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution of 22.12.23 show that the American administration opposes itself to the entire international community, practically giving carte blanche to kill Palestinians. In doing so, Washington is guided not by its national interests, but by the desire to favour Israel as much as possible. Many Arab newspapers warn that the United States will pay a heavy price for this counterproductive course.


Veniamin POPOV, Director of the Centre for Partnership of Civilisations, MGIMO (U) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Candidate of Historical Sciences, especially for online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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