Friday, February 09, 2024

Media review: How to End America’s Hypocrisy on Gaza

    Friday, February 09, 2024   No comments

Sarah Yager, director of Human Rights Watch in Washington, described the US handling of the Israeli war on Gaza as “hypocrisy,” and the Biden administration must evaluate Israel’s behavior and hold it accountable for that.

Yager commented in an article published by Foreign Affairsmagazine that the staggering numbers of Palestinian casualties and injuries as a result of the war launched by Israel on Gaza in response to the attack by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on October 7 is impossible to consider without considering whether Israel has violated the law. International humanitarian aid during its war.

She added that a large amount of available information indicates that Israel did in fact do this, as human rights organizations and the media published reports of illegal collective punishment of the Palestinian population, the use of starvation as a weapon of war, air and artillery strikes, and the demolition of buildings that had no targets. A clear military operation, but it resulted in heavy civilian casualties and the destruction of property.

She pointed out that there was enough smoke to suspect a fire, which put American officials in a dilemma, because American law obliges the State Department to ensure that American security aid does not go to security forces that constantly commit gross human rights violations.

 Current US policy also requires the department to evaluate whether recipients of US military assistance are “more likely” to use US weapons to violate international law, and prohibit transfers to any country that meets these criteria.

 Yager questioned whether the State Department had conducted these assessments yet, despite the fact that its Secretary, Tony Blinken, and Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, repeated on more than one occasion the phrase that the number of civilian casualties was “very high.”

 However, despite President Joe Biden's offhanded warning last December about the risk to Israel's reputation by carrying out "indiscriminate bombing," US officials have avoided clearly stating that any specific Israeli actions in Gaza are unacceptable, taking Administration spokesmen walk back Biden's comment.

 The director of Human Rights Watch referred to the direct questions directed to White House spokesmen regarding Israel's behavior in Gaza and their twisted responses on more than one occasion.

 She commented that these official statements and many others were noticeably absent of any positive declaration that Israel is in fact adhering to international law.

 She said if American officials believed that Israel was doing this - or at least taking all possible measures to avoid harming civilians under difficult circumstances - they would say so with passion, but they did not do so even though the Biden administration was not shy about criticizing the behavior of the warring parties in Other conflicts.

 The reason is that drawing more attention to what is happening in Gaza could almost certainly force a policy change that Biden does not want to make, could confront his administration with a series of difficult choices that it would rather avoid, and could also further complicate the already complex dynamics of the US-Israel relationship. And it may create political weakness for Biden in the election year.

 She added that as long as the administration avoids the reality of Israeli violations in Gaza and selectively applies the rules for military assistance, the moral authority claimed by the United States will diminish more and more, and the Biden administration’s apparent unwillingness to apply the legal aspect to the available information will be exacerbated by its clear failure to adhere to policies that She put it herself as an expression of Biden's supposed commitment to human rights.

 Yager believes that the worst consequence of the administration's refusal to comply with the letter and spirit of American law is that Washington may make it possible for massive and perhaps criminal loss of civilian lives in Gaza.

 

She added that there is another victim of this approach, which is the credibility of the United States, which has been damaged by what can be considered at best inconsistency and at worst hypocrisy.

 

For example, in 2016, President Barack Obama condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s deprivation of food and water to civilians in Aleppo. It can be said that Israel did the same thing with the civilian population in Gaza for more than 3 months without facing any criticism for this method from the Biden administration. Biden Netanyahu called for opening a corridor to Gaza to deliver more aid, but he did not directly criticize the blockade.

 

She added that to begin to rein in Israel and stop the bleeding of American credibility, the Biden administration needs to assign its lawyers to evaluate all available information - confidential and non-confidential - regarding the Israeli military campaign in Gaza and determine the time and place of Israeli forces violating the laws of war, and the results should be published and evidence submitted to Congress.

 

She concluded that the political costs resulting from looking directly at the evidence and correcting the course of American policy as necessary will not be comfortable for the president and lawmakers during the election campaign.

 

But these costs are less than the cost of US authorities acting as if the extreme suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza does not deserve the same scrutiny as the suffering of civilians in other conflicts, a position that gives an argument to those who claim that when it comes to applying basic American principles and protecting inherent human rights, Washington applies A clearly hypocritical double standard.

 

 

 

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