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CurrentMiddle East

How Has The International Community Responded To The Ongoing Palestinian Crisis?

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CurrentMiddle East

How Has The International Community Responded To The Ongoing Palestinian Crisis?

As Palestinians continue to struggle for their basic human rights amidst Israel’s continued apartheid regime, it remains imperative that people around the world continue to pressure and lobby for their own governments (both locally and nationally) to support BDS movements, support Palestinian statehood, and support international laws and agreements over the illegality of Israel’s settlements across the West Bank.

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As Palestinians continue to struggle for their basic human rights amidst Israel’s continued apartheid regime, it remains imperative that people around the world continue to pressure and lobby for their own governments (both locally and nationally) to support BDS movements, support Palestinian statehood, and support international laws and agreements over the illegality of Israel’s settlements across the West Bank.

Image credit: AlBawaba

In a shocking display of defiance, several thousand people demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley and establish illegal settlements in the West Bank.

International governments, including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, and Albania, have all shown support to Palestine so far – but the support is weakening with increasing pressures from Israel amongst other nations, trying to serve their own interests at the expense of Palestinians.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, home to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, has a duty to protect Palestine and its fellow Muslims. However, in 2018 Prince Mohammed bin Salman recognised the Jewish people’s right to “their own land.” In the same interview with The Atlantic he said “Israel is a big economy compared to their size and it’s a growing economy, and of course there are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan.’’

US President Donald Trump’s Middle East ‘peace’ plan was also announced in January to recognise Israeli sovereignty over settlements. Saudi Arabia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, praised some “positive elements” of the peace plan despite it being considered illegal under international laws – now putting into doubt Saudi Arabia’s support for Palestinian statehood. 

Iran

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the other hand, has condemned Trump’s plan, stating that “the devilish and vicious policy of America toward Palestine called the ‘deal of the century’ will never materialize…all Muslim nations will confront them and will not let it materialize.” Khamanei is not afraid to speak out against Israel, previously calling it a “tumour” which needs to be removed. Iran has also pledged to support Palestinian armed groups. 

The United States continues to implement severe sanctions upon Iran amidst the two countries’ bitter disputes, despite (or because of) Iran’s continued stance for Palestine.

Lebanon

In February 2020, Lebanese President Michel Aoun pledged his support for Palestinian refugees to return to their land, despite Trump’s ‘peace plans’ also including the act of permanently settling refugees in Lebanon.

According to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), 459,292 Palestinian refugees reside in 12 of the Lebanese refugee camps. Ali Faisal, a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and a refugee in Lebanon said:

“The economic crisis that Lebanon is experiencing has affected Palestinian refugees, who are already deprived of their human rights. The unemployment rate among Palestinians in Lebanon’s camps has risen from 60 percent to 70 percent. UNRWA’s medical and relief services have declined. What is needed is an emergency plan from UNRWA to help Palestinians survive Lebanon’s economic crisis.”

It remains to be seen how Lebanon will react to Trump and Israel’s plans to increase the number of Palestinian refugees within the country.

Jordan

Jordanian King Abdullah II also has pledged a “firm” position supporting the Palestinian cause in February 2020. He believes that the goal should be a two-state solution – which would potentially include dialogues with the state of Israel.

But in an interview with France24 in January 2020, King Abdullah II has said there had been a lack of dialogue with Israel. Because the deal “has been a grey area for all of us…unless we know what the plan is”, it is difficult for Jordan to move forwards, according to King Abdullah II.

Indonesia

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi believes Indonesia is one of Palestine’s strongest supporters – hoping that the US would “stop Israel’s plan to annex more parts of the West Bank.”

During a UN Security Council teleconference in May 2020, she argued that “international humanitarian law is desperately needed now as [Israeli] annexation and Covid-19 might soon strike the Palestinians all at once.” 

United States

President Trump has excluded the Palestinian Authority to have any direct involvement with the recent peace deal – despite the US, being a loyal supporter of Israel, having given $118 billion dollars in foreign aid to Israel.

According to The Institute of Policy Studies, US aid to Israel is higher now than twenty-five years ago and this growing support is not purely motivated primarily by security needs but rather because of the US’ own strategic interests. This includes Israeli intelligence service assisting the U.S in intelligence gathering, covert operations, and anti-missile defense systems. 

Supporting Israel is incredibly popular amongst US voters. According to the Pew Research Center, 54% of American Jews think the US supports Israel the right amount — and 31% say it doesn’t go far enough. 

One other major issue to consider why voters in the US are increasingly supportive of Israel could simply be down to the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment amongst President Trump’s supporters – encouraging widespread Islamophobia against Muslims which already exists in Palestine.

As Palestinians continue to struggle for their basic human rights amidst Israel’s continued apartheid regime, it remains imperative that people around the world continue to pressure and lobby for their own governments (both locally and nationally) to support BDS movements, support Palestinian statehood, and support international laws and agreements over the illegality of Israel’s settlements across the West Bank.

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