During Israel’s many wars on the Gaza Strip, Western officials invoke what they call “Israel’s right to defend itself”, to support the Israeli position on the war, and by repeating this saying, the lights are withdrawn from the disasters of the humanitarian war and the Palestinians are stripped of their rights to safety and protection, while the saying remains with the tongues As if it is a postulate that cannot be disputed.
But analysts critical of Israel’s policies and writers specializing in issues of colonialism and indigenous peoples see in these statements a great fallacy, and they also see in them an ornate discourse to justify waging wars, but it is not based on logic or legal justification. Read also The lost olive trees remember the Nakba… How did the British Mandate authorities uproot Palestinian agriculture from their land?Antonio Al-Talhami, the companion of Che Guevara.. The journey of a Palestinian fighter in Latin America A tank under the Christmas tree… Transformations of the Palestinian comedy in Ibrahim Nasrallah’s “Triple Bells”A leftist critic of the left and a Jew defending Palestine.. the Tunisian fighter Gilbert: debate and literature on tobacco leaves
Abu Manna continues in his article in the left-wing American “Jacobinmag” magazine, saying that Israel deprives the Palestinians of their human rights, especially the right to self-determination, and cannot invoke the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force.
Hypocrisy and a flawed saying
The writer confirms that this argument is corrupt and flawed, as Israel is an occupying country that wages wars against those it occupies, and its wars against Gaza violate all the rules of the right of self-defense, especially given that it is not obligated and is able to distinguish between military and civilians, and also because of the disproportionate use of force to strike military objectives.
In his article , published by Al Jazeera in its English version, award-winning Kenyan political cartoonist Patrick Gathara said that tepid statements about “dread” and “extreme concern” over the killing of Palestinians were punctuated by statements asserting “unwavering support for Israel’s security and its legitimate right to defend Israel”. This means that the actions of the Palestinian resistance factions – despite causing a small part of the death and destruction compared to what was left by the Israeli bombing – were the object of a stronger objection to the West.
Some progressive politicians, such as US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have pointed to hypocrisy in the blanket assertion of Israel’s right to defend itself, in return for reluctance to outright reject Israeli justifications.
The right of resistance or defense?
The Kenyan writer and journalist says that the colonists have always demanded the “right” to defend themselves against the resistance of the indigenous people, even if this was done by committing mass murder, and the history of colonialism in Africa is full of such practices, and the best evidence of this is the mass graves of those who dared to resist the superior Europeans militarily.
In her book The British Gulag, historian Caroline Elkins describes the British “brutal campaign” in colonial Kenya following the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s, which included the establishment of concentration camps for approximately 1.5 million civilians, and the adoption of a brutal regime in Torture camps claimed many lives.
The writer pointed out that the idea of giving the imperialist occupiers the right to intimidate, torture and kill the owners of land whose rights were stolen in the framework of “self-defense” contradicts United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 43/37 of 1982, which recognized “the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for independence, territorial integrity and unity.” patriotism and freedom from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.” This resolution specifically reaffirmed the right of Palestinians to struggle.
The term “moral clarity” is used in an American context within the talk about fighting terrorism and supporting Israel, and it means that the United States is leading a struggle between good and evil to promote American values and defeat terrorism.
Instead of seeking “moral clarity” in Gaza today – as the writer says – the West uses moral obfuscation to justify the attacks by which the colonial power targets the refugee population it expelled from their lands and besieged them in a geographical area similar to a prison, and then demands the right of Israel to carry out all these colonial practices Peacefully and quietly.
When the Western media talks about the “escalation cycle”, it balances oppression with resistance against it, and portrays violence as a conflict between two parties that have equal claims to security and land ownership, but it ignores the fact that the Palestinians are engaged in a struggle for national liberation against an illegal occupation and a system of racial and ethnic discrimination (apartheid). Human Rights Watch described it – in a report that the media refuse to talk about – as amounting to the definition of the international crime of apartheid, according to the Kenyan journalist and painter.
In interviews, Israeli speakers often stress the difficulty of what Israel calls “the world’s most moral army” in finding and killing Palestinian resistance leaders, who the Israelis claim are shielding civilians.
For its part, the Western press gladly accepts the description of the leaders of Hamas and other groups as legitimate targets, because it implies that Israel is waging a legitimate war even if its tactics are somewhat repugnant, and that full acceptance of this framework without questioning it makes the Western media complicit in delegitimization On the Palestinian resistance in return for the consolidation of colonial domination and Israel’s theft of Palestinian lands.
As Ocasio-Cortez has pointed out, ruminating on the view that “Israel has a right to defend itself” without taking into account the context of persecution legitimizes and justifies further acts of oppression.
If the Western media, politicians and diplomats truly seek moral clarity, they must completely reject the outrageous assumption that colonial states like Israel have the right to defend themselves against those they oppress, concludes the Kenyan writer.