Opinion | The world's undisputed master of disaster
By Philip Yeung, university teacher
We don't need to wait for the military outcome of the war in Gaza. America and Israel are already big losers. In a UN resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor in Gaza, a staggering 120 countries voted in favor. Only 12 other states backed America and Israel. Massive protests are erupting in major global cities, and across much of the Middle East. Israel has the audacity to question the legitimacy of the UN after it passed the unfavorable resolution. It doubled down by demanding the Secretary General's apology and resignation from the world body for condemning Israel's indiscriminate bombing in Gaza.
The biggest losers are, sadly, the Palestinian people. Consider these sobering facts. Fully 85% of Hamas fighters are orphans who grew up in hate, many as young as 12 who stand shorter than the rifles they carry. Thousands of children are buried alive in the rubble, and thousands of expectant mothers are denied care because hospitals are either bombed, overstretched, or running out of medical supplies. According to the UN, over 70% of those killed in Gaza are women and children. It is a humanitarian disaster on a scale unseen since the last world war. So far, 203 schools, 47 mosques and 32,000 buildings were levelled. God knows how many thousands were wiped out. It is a killing spree Hitler would have been proud of.
Brushing aside the UN appeal, Netanyahu seems constitutionally incapable of compromise. Turkey calls him a war criminal, and is on the brink of joining the fighting, as is Iran. The 6th full-scale Israeli-Arab war looms. The world watches helplessly as orphans scream their grief.
When Hamas killed and captured Israeli civilians, they were crucified by Western politicians. But as Netanyahu made good his threat to reduce Gaza to rubble, in a frenzy of murderous bombing that took the lives of aid workers, journalists, women and children, world opinion swiftly shifted. Just four European minnows, plus eight tiny island states opposed the UN resolution, as their support can affordably be bought. Even staunch Israeli and American allies voted to abstain.
The root cause of this war is Israel's 50-year-long brutal suppression of Palestinians, who barely eke out as stateless people in their own country. In World War II, Jewish people won universal sympathy as the oppressed. Now they have mutated into brutal oppressors themselves. Netanyahu has Nazified the Israeli military.
America's fatal strategic miscalculation is to rush US warships to the combustible region, ostensibly to deter Iran from entering the conflict. But Biden is sending a wrong and strong signal that emboldens the trigger-happy Netanyahu to carry out his Gaza massacre. By not putting Bibi on a leash, America itself has become collateral damage of his butchery.
This miscalculation has reshuffled the geopolitical deck, with Yemen, Syria and Lebanon already fighting Israel sporadically. Heavy hitters like Turkey and Iran are crouching and ready to pounce. Russia, too, is entering the equation, airlifting supplies to Gaza and threatening all-out war if its planes are fired upon. The war in Ukraine is becoming a side-show, with NATO support possibly waning or wavering. China is being looked to as a credible mediator. America, by contrast, stands discredited as a meddler, aiding and abetting Israel's unjust war against a downtrodden people, losing its halo as the world's self-appointed policeman.
If the war widens, there can be no long-term winners, even if Israel wipes Hamas off the map. Genocidal oppression breeds its own revenge and lethal vicious circle. Hamas is the symptom, not the cancer itself. Rather, Netanyahu, the butcher of Gaza, is the danger to Israel's legitimate existence. China is walking taller among nations. That explains the mini-thaw in US-China relations. During the Chinese foreign minister's recent visit to Washington, both Blinken and Biden notably toned down their anti-China rhetoric. With two wars raging, America must restore bilateral relations to a normal footing.
Wars are notoriously unpredictable. Who will emerge on the right side of history? No one knows. But one thing is certain: injustice is inherently unstable. Regardless of military muscle, world opinion matters. Netanyahu has done what no Israeli leader has ever done: uniting the civilized world against his country. As the arsonist, he is neither the firefighter nor the hero. Instead, he is dragging his country, and America, into the heap of history as the latter-day false prophet. He is the undisputed master of disaster neither Israel nor this troubled world needs.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.
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