Who are Israel’s true friends? 

 Israel has branded the international community in two neat categories: Friends, and enemies. To Israel, a friend is one which tolerates (and chooses complicity) with its actions that violates international law, UN resolutions, Geneva conventions, and International human rights law. In other words, those persons and countries that go along with Israel’s atrocities against a people it has occupied for 50 years and oppresses them in the most inhuman of ways is a friend. You qualify as ‘friend’ of the Middle East’s only democracy once you endorse (implicitly or explicitly) tacit violation of human rights standards and all manner of cruelties against Palestinians. But if you choose the truth and speak it out, you are an enemy. You are even anti-Semitic. In this case, you become racist and evil.

So, the near-unanimous UN resolutions of the last many decades are redundant to Israel and the US and several other European powers that toe the Israeli line for purposes of political convenience. Israel argues that it is anti-Semitism. They are prejudiced regardless of the fact UN condemnations judge the situation is the fairest way possible, and, sometimes, are much too sedate. The oft-and-on condemnations have even become mere routine condemnations which carry no weight or substance. After the resolution, it is always back to square one, which is about keeping apartheid Israel afloat and prospering.

With each passing year, and increasingly each passing week, Israel is cementing its occupation with some of the most outlandish legislations and actions that have no legitimacy in law. The world watches muted. One part watches aghast and the other turns a blind eye or will issue a mild reprimand with the footnote: “Please ignore above.” Others are intimidated into silence. The rest simply don’t care.

In the last week, Palestinian Prisoners have launched a hunger strike in their thousands against prison conditions – but more pertinently, against the very occupation. Israel has vowed to not to negotiate deeming the action of prisoners to be irrational. From all indications, Israel is not looking for honest negotiations and a just settlement. Nor do the powers-that-be in the international community want justice. They would rather choose the easy way out with a solution that offers Palestinians a Bantustan State.

It is the West alone who must accept blame for the ongoing catastrophe. True negotiations will not happen as long as the West is in charge – least of all the US and UK. They are proven dishonest brokers and cannot be expected to change until a South-Africa-like situation emerges. The solutions lie on the streets of the world with progressive movements that compel governments to pressure Israel into standards of civility and common sense. They (Israel) cannot rule the Palestinians forever. They must not. It was bad enough that an unequal partition agreement was drawn up by a colonial-racist West in the first place and passed off as a UN agreement. It is simply not tenable any longer given the brutality of what is happening.  Walking past the problem blindfolded does not mean the problem has gone.

Violence is not an option although the Gaza wars have shown that Israel understands force and is afraid (all bullies are also cowards). But civil disobedience, local protests, among the people remains forms of defiance that Israel also fears. Israel is absolutely terrified by what the BDS can do to it.

Israel’s true friends are not those who offer it aid with which it kills Palestinians and further equips them to steal their land and oppress their peoples. They are those who will acquire and exercise the moral principles of pushing Israel to the table not as the superior, but as the party that has stolen land, maimed and killed people, imprisoned without reason, terrified children, demolished homes, kept people as refugees for a life time, and make mere living close-to-impossible.

Ranjan Solomon