Palestine-Israel: Understanding the Lessons From Recent Escalations

What can we take away from the international response to the escalation, especially in relation to the US, UN, and EU?

They all did what they do best: The US continued its unconditional support to Israel, the UN issued statements of condemnation and called for calm, and the EU expressed concerns. They all failed, once again, to uphold international law and failed to hold Israel accountable for the continuous violation of that law. We witnessed the further erosion of the legitimacy of key global governance institutions, such as the UN Security Council, we observed the dysfunctional UN political bodies in action, and we experienced the complicit role of the EU and its key players, such as Germany, in subsidizing military occupation, sustaining colonialism, and normalizing apartheid. 

We saw the US administration aiding and abetting Israel in the destruction of Gaza, and then rushing to announce their intention to rebuild it in an ultimate expression of unsurprising insolence, rudeness, and arrogance. We saw the UN condemn the miserable situation, but unable to do anything meaningful to ensure it won’t be repeated in the near future. The EU became an entrenched part of the problem and not part of the solution, starkly showing that no lessons have been learnt despite its decades-long intervention in Palestine-Israel. The UN and EU in particular, did not only fail the Palestinian people, but they betrayed the very principles they claim to represent and embody such as justice, freedom, equality, and dignity.

The latest cycle of confrontation and escalation did not only expose Israel and its settler colonial project, but it also exposed the extent to which key powerful actors in the international community are supporting this project directly and indirectly. Colonization is one of the most easily recognized forms of oppression in the world, yet key powerful actors in the international community have decided to turn a blind eye and allow Israel to violate international law with impunity. If the international community is serious about solving the “Palestinian-Israeli conflict”, they know where and how to start. It isn’t as complicated as they wish to believe and argue.

Published at Institut Montaigne, 4 June 2021

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