Tue 28 Nov 2023 10:37 am - Jerusalem Time

Guardian article: The Gaza war is an unforgettable lesson in the illusory nature of international law

British Guardian columnist Nesreen Malik says the only thing she can say with complete certainty about the Gaza war is that people have seen a lot that will stay with them for a long time, and that their trust in the “international community” will never be the same.

She explained that whatever happened with the fragile truce that released a thin beam of light, a darkness was released into the world whose final form is not yet complete, but it continues to take shape.

Not universal

She added that the inability to convince "the only democracy in the Middle East" of something seems quite clear, which is that the events that occurred last October 7 cannot be erased with more horror, and the lesson is brutal and short: human rights are not universal and international law is applied arbitrarily. 

She pointed out that political leaders in the United States and the United Kingdom present a blatantly bloodless narrative of the conflict that ignores the absolute truth and the number of deaths and instead resorts to almost surreal language calling for “all possible precautions” to protect civilian lives, and UN officials lose their calm and use the strongest possible terms, in what appears to be a direct result of this strange insistence on not calling reality what it is.

The writer commented on the atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation during the war, saying that Gaza is the place where the feeling of losing your mind comes from: the fact that Western powers seem unable to even pretend that there is a global system of rules that they claim to uphold.

Terrifying speed

She added that part of the inability to come up with convincing narratives about the cause of the death of so many innocent people is that events escalated at a terrifying speed, and there was no time to determine the pace of the attacks on Gaza, prepare justifications and hope that time and short attention spans would eventually cover the losses. 

She noted that the Gaza war was a uniquely intense and uncomfortable conflict, and pointed to what the New York Times said that the rate of death during Israel's campaign has few precedents in this century.

Not like Iraq

Nisreen Malik continued by saying that the past few weeks were a powerful lesson in the illusory nature of international law, unlike Iraq, where it took years for bodies to accumulate, and evidence to mount and prove that the project did not make anyone safer, was merciless and misleading, and in the end confidence seeps through Political leadership.

She explained that the events in Gaza are taking place in real time, and in some cases are broadcast live, and that the bombing operations are so relentless and focused that entire families have been wiped out. Thousands were displaced, carrying their children. There is also the moral force of the conditions of children, not just their deaths, estimated at 6,000 in less than two months, but their orphanage, displacement and deprivation of food and water in besieged Gaza which is now, according to UNICEF, “the most dangerous place in the world for children.”

Source: Guardian


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Guardian article: The Gaza war is an unforgettable lesson in the illusory nature of international law