Israel expects absolute control over the UN narrative. The international organisation’s Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, is facing calls to resign and accusations of supporting terror from Israeli diplomats and politicians. His crime? He merely pointed out that Hamas’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood “did not happen in a vacuum.” Keeping in mind that the UN should be doing more than stating generic basic facts about Israel’s colonial violence against Palestinians since 1948, that’s the very least that he had to do.
However, the slightest departure from the usual emphasis by Guterres on Israel’s alleged right to defend itself — which contradicts the legitimacy of anti-colonial resistance against colonial dominance and occupation — was enough to unleash a disproportionate attack against the UN chief.
“The UN Secretary General, who shows understanding for the campaign of mass murder of children, women, and the elderly, is not fit to lead the UN. I call on him to resign immediately,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan wrote on X.com.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen cancelled a meeting with Guterres, stating that, “There is no place for an even-handed approach,” and reiterating the Israeli narrative of intending to wipe out Hamas. Knesset Member Benny Gantz also took to X.com, stating: “Dark are the days when the United Nations Secretary General condones terror. Absolutely nothing can justify the slaughter of innocent civilians. Now is the time to stand on the right side of history, or be judged by it. Terror apologists cannot speak on behalf of the world.”
If only Israeli politicians would direct their statements at themselves, the world would benefit from their clarity. They need to look in the mirror when making such allegations. Hearing Erdan and Gantz speak of the mass murder of civilians can refer equally to Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people since the 1948 Nakba. And so Gantz is right when he says that, “Terror apologists cannot speak on behalf of the world.” He shouldn’t, and nor should any other Israeli; why should a state founded and developed on terrorism control the international narrative?
Guterres is merely one example of how weak international diplomatic support for Palestine is. When leaders defend Israel’s colonial violence and terror, no number of explanations about Palestinian struggles from a humanitarian angle will suffice. Terror is stronger than humanitarian aid: the former, in this case, has political accomplices, the latter foreign donors that are also terror accomplices. At both ends, the defunct two-state paradigm reigns in colonial diplomacy and supremacy. Guterres might as well have been reading from a fact sheet when explaining why Hamas retaliated against Israel after 75 years of military occupation by the apartheid state. And fact sheets have never dented the narrative that Israel has controlled so forcefully.
In July this year, when Israel attacked Jenin refugee camp, Guterres said, “I don’t think it’s realistic to think we can have a military force sent” to protect Palestinians. Why? Because Israel wouldn’t consent. An institution where former colonial powers decide selectivity over human rights will, of course, protect Israel’s massacres of Palestinian civilians. Guterres is an apologist for colonial terror, and he is not alone. Israel has created a global niche of support for its terror actions against Palestinian civilians. Hamas is just part of the component Israel speaks about, and Israel garners support for this narrative because the international community failed in its plan to secure a complacent Palestinian leadership through democratic elections in 2006, which were won by the Islamic Resistance Movement.
Source : MEMO