Is Biden upholding international law by remaining silent on Israel’s cruelties? - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Is Biden upholding international law by remaining silent on Israel’s cruelties?

For decades now, Israel has been terrorizing the ancient city of Jerusalem, which it occupied in 1967. While attempting to expand its illegal settlements that violate international law in the city, Israel is also forcibly evicting Palestinian families out of their private properties, at which they have been living for generations. Not to mention the violence that Israeli police forces exert against Palestinian Muslims praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In a statement by United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres, he called on Israel to stop its demolition and eviction practices that completely violate international humanitarian and human rights laws. Stating that the status quo of the sacred sites should be preserved, Guterres further went on to state that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved within the context of UN resolutions, as well as international law and bilateral agreements. And what good has all this done? A fat load of nothing. Calls have been made to Israel for years now for it to comply with UN resolutions. Israel continues to blatantly ignore UN resolutions and international law. Of course, it gets this audacity from the U.S., which is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council with a right to veto all resolutions. Washington protects Israel at every turn. Thanks to the U.S.’s unwavering and unconditional support, Israel has managed to wriggle free from being held accountable for its atrocities.

In the face of the latest developments, the Biden administration’s approach is not that much different from Trump’s. Contrary to his predecessor, Biden and his Foreign Affairs team promised that they would uphold the rules-based system governing international affairs. However, it seems that the Biden administration’s pledge to uphold international law, especially when it comes to human rights, doesn’t extend to Israel. The U.S.’s so-called discourse of international law and human rights that it uses at every opportunity to berate many countries evaporates with its policies to lend Israel unconditional support. In the statement made by the White House regarding the events in Jerusalem, a call for sobriety has been made to the "parties" in question. This statement is nothing other than equating the persecutor with the persecuted.

Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem, which is under occupation according to international law, as Israel’s capital, only served to stoke the belligerence of Netanyahu’s pro-settlers government. The Israeli government perceived this decision as an approval for it to expand its illegal Jewish settlements, not only in Jerusalem but also in other occupied areas. It is well-known that the Biden administration, for its part, has no intention to reverse Trump’s Jerusalem decision. I thought that they weren’t going to run things like Trump, putting international law first? An old load of codswallop.

On the other hand, Biden’s own party is making calls for Israel to stop its violence. Will Biden heed these calls of the Democratic Party’s “Progressive Group”? Nearly half of Democrat lawmakers in the U.S. Congress belong to this group. Four Democrat senators in the U.S. Senate want Biden to rein in Israel. Among these are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who ran against Biden for U.S. presidency nominations in 2020. Even though these figures later campaigned for Biden, they do not want America to support Israel unconditionally in every circumstance. Young Democrats are also demanding that the veils of lobbies over American democracy be removed. So, will the Biden Administration heed the calls from both the House of Representatives and the heavy guns of the Senate, or will the Israel Lobby remain as the apple of their eye?

Another bone of contention is the silence of Arab regimes, which signed the Abraham Accords with Israel, in the face of the latest developments. These agreements did not sway Israel from its annexation policies whatsoever, on the contrary, it only rendered them more impetuous. Spokespersons of these regimes had argued that the deals they had signed with Tel Aviv would allay annexation attempts. Palestinian families being uprooted from their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah last week clearly proved that this argument is a lie. These regimes are neither concerned with stopping the properties of Palestinians from being seized, nor with preserving the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque. All they care about is prolonging their rule, which they have sustained so far thanks to the support of the United States.


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