The US is quick to back any protest taking place in countries where it’s looking for regime change. Eyes On Events explains why the White House will never support the Palestinians in Gaza, however, who are denouncing Israeli oppression.
At least 60 Palestinians were killed and over 2,700 injured by the IDF on Monday, marking the deadliest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2014. The use of live fire against largely unarmed crowds by Israel was slammed by human rights groups as well as many Western nations, including the UK, which described it as “shocking and appalling.”
But there was no criticism from the US, which shares the stance of Israel, Washington’s main ally in the Middle East, that Palestinian radical group Hamas is the one solely responsible for weeks of violence on Israel’s border with Gaza. “Hamas terrorists, backed by Iran, have incited attacks against Israeli security forces and infrastructure,” Nikki Haley, US envoy to the United Nations, said at a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.
Haley also said those who linked the escalation between Israel and Palestine to the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem on the same day were “sorely mistaken.” The relocation of the US mission “doesn’t undermine the prospect of peace in any way,” she said, despite the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem to become the capital of their future sovereign state, vigorously protesting against attempts by Israel to claim the historic city.
“No country in this chamber would act with more restrain than Israel has,” Haley said. The US envoy walked out of the hall at the UN headquarters in New York as soon as the Palestinian ambassador began his address.
However, when it comes to protests in other countries, especially those where the authorities refuse to obey the American dictate, Washington always seems to show much greater concern for the rights of those taking to the streets in anger.
During the protests in Venezuela last year, Haley blasted the country’s government for “destroying human rights and democracy” through “a campaign of violence and intimidation against unarmed demonstrators, businesses, civil society and freely elected political opposition.”
When Iranians showed their dissatisfaction with country’s leadership in late 2017, Donald Trump was quick to announce on Twitter that the US was “watching very closely for human rights violations!” The US president said that the Iranians were “finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism.”
But Washington seems to completely forget the term ‘human rights’ when it comes to Israel. On World Press Freedom Day on May 3, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was all about championing the rights of journalists.
“We see all too often that journalists continue to pursue this important work,” Nauert said, but her tone changed drastically when the name of Yaser Murtaja, a Palestinian journalist who was shot dead by an Israeli sniper during Gaza protests despite wearing a press jacket, was mentioned.
“Look, there are unfortunately a lot of journalists who die around the world. I’m not going to be able to list every single death of a journalist… And we understand that Israel has a right to defend itself,” the spokesman replied.
The Trump administration’s close ties with Israel mean that the Palestinians shouldn’t hold out for condemnation of IDF brutality or American support. They’re simply protesting in the wrong country.
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