( Middle East Monitor ) – On 20 February, the United Nations Security Council approved a statement, described in the media as a ‘watered-down’ version of an earlier draft resolution which would have demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
The intrigues that led to the scrapping of what was meant to be a binding resolution will be the subject of a future article. For now, however, I would like to reflect on the fact that the so-called international community’s relationship with the Palestinian struggle has always attempted to ‘water down’ a horrific reality.
While we often rage against statements made by US politicians who, like former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, refuse to even acknowledge that Israel is occupying Palestine in the first place, we tend to forget that many of us are, somehow, involved in the watering down of the Palestinian reality, as well.
While reports by B’tselem, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, dubbing Israel an ‘apartheid state’, are welcome additions to a growing political discourse making similar claims, one must ask: why did it take decades for these conclusions to be drawn now? And what is the moral and legal justification for ‘watering down’ Israel’s apartheid reality for all of these years, considering that Israel has, from the moment of its inception – and even before – been an apartheid entity?
The ‘watering-down’, however, goes much deeper than this, as if there is a conspiracy not to describe the reality of Palestine and the Palestinian people by its proper names: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, apartheid and more.
I have spent half my life living in, and interacting with, western societies while lobbying for solidarity with Palestinians, and for holding Israel accountable for its ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people. Every step of the way, in every society, and on every platform, there has always been pushback, even by Palestine’s own supporters….