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  • Writer's pictureSaleem Qamar Butt

Palestine: The Epitome of Courage vs Global Hypocrisy

A statement by the USA Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin released on April 13, 2024 stated, “At the direction of President Biden, U.S. forces in the Middle East on April 13 intercepted dozens of missiles and UAVs en-route to Israel, launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Our forces remain postured to protect U.S. troops and partners in the region, provide further support for Israel’s defense, and enhance regional stability. We condemn these reckless and unprecedented attacks by Iran and its proxies, and we call on Iran to immediately halt any further attacks, including from its proxy forces, and to de-escalate tensions. We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel”. Followed by that, Israel’s UN envoy, Gilad Erdan, said “all possible sanctions” should be imposed on Iran “before it is too late”. The UN secretary general, António Guterres, appealed for calm after Iran launched a swarm of explosive drones and fired missiles on Saturday 14 April in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory. The Iranian attack was in retaliation for a deadly airstrike widely blamed on Israel that destroyed Tehran’s consular building in Syria’s capital. 

Again on 15 April, the UN Chief said, “Step Back from the Brink, To Avert Full-Scale Middle East Conflict. The people of the Middle East are facing a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict”: urging “maximum restraint” across a region “on the brink”, hours after Iran launched attack drones and missiles against Israel overnight Saturday. Mr. Guterres explained that the emergency session was called by Israel following what it described in a letter as ‘a direct attack launched by Iran… of more than 200 UAVs, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles towards Israel in clear violation of international law.’ The UN chief added that in a separate letter, Iran stated that it had carried out a series of military strikes on Israeli military objectives ‘in the exercise of Iran’s inherent right to self-defense as outlined…in the UN Charter, and in response to…its armed attack on 1 April 2024 against Iranian diplomatic premises’ – in Damascus.

While Iran’s induced response in retaliation to Israel’s attack on its diplomatic premises in Damascus appeared well measured without causing any significant harm to Israel; yet, it served to pacify the domestic outrage besides giving shame to the deaf, dumb and blind Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has 57 members, 56 of which are also member states of the United Nations, with 48 countries being Muslim majority countries. It goes without saying that Israel despite its illegal occupation and expansion on Palestinian lands and consistent atrocities committed against the hapless Palestinian civilians including women and children, has been thumbing nose at the UNO, UN Security Council and the ICJ and continues the ongoing genocide of Palestinian Muslims in Gaza that includes complete destruction of infrastructure in Gaza with at least 33,729 Palestinians killed and 76,371 wounded, thousands taken as prisoners and almost two million facing famine without any shelters or medical facilities in the aftermath of Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 attacks stands at 1,139, with dozens of people still held captive.

While the Israel Defence Ministry is mulling over retaliation to largely harmless Iranian drone attacks, the regional peace remains a question mark. With USA, UK and France directly involved in military support of Israel, the other NATO countries won’t be left far behind if the intentions or plans are to invade resource rich Yemen with most critical geo-strategic location especially with regards to Bab-al-mandab Strait in Red Sea and for keeping the sea lines of communication open, and finally subdue so far surviving Syrian Government and Lebanon, destroy Hezbollah; besides, consolidate and further expand military footprints in Iraq despite large public agitations all over the Western countries in support of the Palestinian. Will Iran be left to play provocative proxies to provide justifications to USA/ NATO/Israel for military invasions in the region, sell billions of dollars worth weapons and military equipment to the Iran's rival rich Sunni Arab States, keep flourishing Western Military Industrial complexes, and thus keep NATO alliance intact for global hegemony or will Iran’s alleged or claimed nuclear military potential be finally taken down? How will Pakistan be impacted and can Pakistan with a weak internal front afford to stand alone in neutral mode especially if any meaningful military retaliation materialized against Iran? What will be Indian plans to make hay while the Western Sun is busy burning the Middle East? Can Turkey stay aloof despite being affected in multiple ways? How will China and Russia being the global competitors of the USA react to this fast developing situation in the Middle East with serious security and economic implications for both the states and the region? Will SCO and CSTO come into play to save both the alliances and interests/concerns of all the member states? Fingers crossed!

Nevertheless, Israel’s unabated atrocities and genocide of Palestinian Muslims has badly exposed the global hypocrisy, as well as impotence of UNO, ICJ, G-7/G-20 and OIC etc., who all have so far bowed down to the ancient law of the jungle where might is always right. As the ineffectiveness of the defunct League of Nations led to WW-2, who knows the incapability of the UNO and other international organisations to bring around a permanent peaceful solution to the oldest lingering flash points i.e. Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir may cause a catastrophic global conflict, which may outrun comprehension and any human control.




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