Just as the Israel-Palestine Conflict continues to escalate, world leaders are calling on both sides to show restraint, though they mostly mean Israel’s government by that. For the first time in years, US politicians are calling on their government to react properly to this conflict and yet Biden prefers to dodge the issue altogether, still preferring to support Israel. This does pose a question: Is the continuation of war in anyone’s favour?
Since a few days ago, the news has been dominated by the reports coming out of Israel and Gaza. Never before have these two been like this unless an official war had been declared but what’s been happening these past weeks has been nothing short of an all-out war. Still, the West wants to keep things under the wraps for if the world were to treat this as something more of a skirmish, then the public would not abide by their government’s will to keep their cool in face of an annihilation. Even so, the conflict has drawn so much media attention that it would have been impossible for the world not to react.
The US government is perhaps the most ardent supporter of Israeli government since its conception. Ever since Truman’s era, the US has been for the Israelis no matter whether a Democrat or a Republican was at the helm. That kind of support was also institutionalized within the party structure as well, with neither the Democratic Party nor the GOP willing to touch upon the subject. In recent years however thanks to the rise of progressive left, Democrats are slowly beginning to show more empathy for the Palestinian cause. People like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her fellow “Squad” members have been quite vocal in their criticism of Israel’s settlement policies and Biden’s support for the country, asking fellow Democrats not to stand on the “side of occupation”.
That kind of display definitely doesn’t do much good for Biden. In spite of his rather progressive internal policies, Biden is a classic Democrat centrist when it comes to the foreign policy and committed still to the idea of supporting Israel no matter what circumstances the country might find itself in. Speaking at the White House, Biden once again decided to stick with his previous stances regarding Israel’s actions, saying that he did not think that Israel’s response to Hamas attacks were disproportionate. His press secretary Jen Psaki played more coy when hammered by the questions asked by the reporters, even refusing to mention whether or not there have been a call between Biden and Netanyahu, but it was clear that the sheer difference between the number of casualties on two sides had been too hard to ignore, forcing Psaki to deflect questions at every turn. Still, this has been perhaps the only time in US history that the government is actively trying to avoid engagement.
Aside from the reactions in the US, it is also perhaps the first time that the rest of the world is strongly reacting to Israel’s actions. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was among the very first to urge Israel not to use excessive force against the Palestinians. EU Foreign Policy Chief Joseph Borrell has condemned the eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, saying that it was what led to this conflict in the first place. Even the British and German authorities who have adopted a similar approach to Biden have begun referring to Palestine as a country for the first time in years. As expected, the reactions in the Islamic World are overwhelmingly in favour of Palestinians with figures such as Turkish President Erdogan and Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei expressing strong support for the oppressed nation. At this moment even the International Criminal Court has also expressed concerns that it might be forced to press criminal charges against a certain player.
Though for the time being no clear end is pictured for this conflict, it is certainly not viable for the Israeli government to continue its attacks against the Palestinians. After all, no matter how big of an attack Palestinians carry out against Israelis, it still pales in comparison to the damage Israel can inflict upon their enemies and such disproportionate numbers would sway more people from around the world to the Palestinian cause. In addition to that, civilians from both sides are also under the constant threat and that alone should be the reason enough for the warring sides to lay down their arms. The question is can reason prevail in such a time? Guess we’ll find out in a few days.