Saturday, December 16, 2023

Last week on the 75th Human Rights Day, US embassy in Uganda on its X account, @usmissionuganda, formerly twitter, bragged; “In Uganda and around the region we have seen the brave work of human rights defenders everyday advocating for the most vulnerable, fighting in the courts, and championing the safety and wellbeing of those in need. We support you. As we mark 75 years of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let us reaffirm our commitment to advancing human rights for all people, in every region of the world.”-AmbPopp.


Yet back at the UN headquarters in New York, the US, and UK governments, found it convenient to cynically veto and abstain respectively a UN Security Council resolution for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip apparently because it would have exposed Israel’s atrocities not seen before. As well, for its ‘respect’ of human rights, UK’s House of Commons, passed a new bill to deport unwanted asylum seekers already in UK to Rwanda, the moral equivalent of trading in human beings to a poor country in exchange for cash and other material favours against established international rules that it should be the asylum seeker to choose the third country they wish to settle in. Regardless of what the respective beneficiary governments say this policy is backward because it replicates slave trade era when Arabs and Europeans traded in the unfortunate Black Africans.


By this week, the heavy, indiscriminate, and destructive aerial and ground bombardments by the Israel military had killed 86 Palestinian journalists who are the “human rights defenders” in the Gaza Strip, some with entire work colleagues or families wiped out, yet US and UK have not vociferously condemned it or spoken for them. Journalist Mohammed Abu Samra is reported to have been killed on Human Rights Day by Israel sniper fire. When IDF invaded Gaza two months ago, international media groups asked for the safety guarantee of their journalists, which was declined, consequently foreign journalists did not go in immediately, and so the bulk of media work to tell the unfolding tragedy fell on Palestinian journalists who were on ground.


We must continue to shine light on Israel, US, UK, and their allies for being deeply culpable in the ongoing unimaginable atrocities even as we condemn Hamas’ abhorrent acts of 7th October 2023 which killed over 1,200 partygoers in Isarel and abducted 349 with many still unaccounted for. The US claim that it vetoed the resolution because it would help Hamas regroup is insincere and should be dismissed with contempt. Both US and UK have habitually shielded Israel’s intransigence against UN resolutions for the past seven decades.


The resolution would have created the much-needed reprieve from the ongoing cruelty, destruction, and massacres by Israel in its manhunt for Hamas ‘terrorists.’ It was to allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance and reopen efforts towards negotiations for hostage and prisoner swaps between IDF and Hamas. But Israel and its western backers prefer an all-out military victory to settle the humiliation they collectively suffered on that fateful 7th October. It may sound conspiratorial to suggest that Israel, US, and UK fears were that an extended ceasefire would provide the unintended consequences for deeper inspection of the war by the media, diplomats, NGOs, and humanitarian organisations of IDF’s extensive destruction which could turn public opinion of their domestic audiences against the war.


The cumulative experiences from Vietnam and recently Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan are too scary for them to fathom, after all Israel depends so much on Western arms, aid, diplomatic support and media propaganda. So, block a ceasefire in the hope to give yourself ample time to wipe your arse clean while the atrocities remain in the shadows. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the IDF will remain in-charge of the Gaza Strip for an undeclared duration as Israel clientele group of Palestinian elites like the US and NATO did in Iraq and Libya to shield them from closer scrutiny of scandalous including the theft of unmetered oil from those countries.


A hawkish and now deeply wounded Netanyahu is seething to appease his Zionist gods before the political guillotine, which is certain, comes down to chop his neck. Gaza civilian health, water, energy, education, and humanitarian facilities have all been reduced to rubbles and Israel falsely believes that by targeting local Palestinian journalists as the truth tellers on the ground it has designated as ‘terrorists’ and terrorist enablers, it will succeed in covering up its truly mindboggling atrocities. 


Described by UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder at his 31st October press conference in Geneva as a “graveyard for thousands of children, and a living hell for everyone else,” when only 3,450 children had been killed at the time. Today no one and nowhere is safe anymore. Therefore, the cynical veto and abstention last week against worldwide calls for a ceasefire has left US and UK nakedly exposed although as old colonists and mass murderers they may not give a hoot to public outcries.