Is USA selective in applying human rights?

By: Ali Zubair Soomro
Following the recent resolution of an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas put forward by many nations but vetoed by the USA, the USA seems selective in its embrace of human rights. For the USA, the lives of Palestinians do not matter, which are being taken on a daily basis under the pretext of jus ad bellum.

However, the USA’s response to alleged violations of human rights in other countries, including China, and in the Russia-Ukrainian war, differs from the response to Israel’s atrocities. Here the question arises: does the USA only embrace those violations of human rights that are committed in or by its antagonist countries or others, but not by the USA or its allies? The answer is obvious from the conduct of the USA. To add, the recent resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly was just a recommendation, not binding like the decisions of the United Nations Security Council’s.

In the war between Israel and Hamas, thousands of civilians, including children and women, have been killed; about 50,000 Palestinians have been injured; the health system has collapsed; as per the report, they have only one hospital left to treat patients; besides, cases of impetigo, meningitis, jaundice, and chickenpox have appeared, which require urgent medical care; daily life has been disrupted; half of Gaza has been turned into a graveyard; mosques have been destroyed; even UN-run schools have been attacked and left in rubble. Besides, the Gaza enclave has been besieged, which in consequence has deprived Gazans of fuel to operate essential machines to keep their people alive, deprived them of pure drinking water— lives have been lost in the hustle to get water from UN-provided containers; deprived them of food, which resulted in a want of food to eat two times a day, and parents spend days without a proper meal to give their children, and reports suggest that 1 in 3 Palestinians are food insecure; deprived them of medicines, which resulted in a heavy loss of lives, limiting doctors to cure patients properly; even operations have been performed without due anesthetization to patients. Apart from this, a viral video shows captive Palestinians stripped and humiliated. But all this does not suffice to be a humanitarian crisis for the USA, so it has been vetoing resolutions to enlarge the war, risking thousands of lives.

This was not the first time in the meantime that the USA has vetoed a resolution; before this, four resolutions had lagged. Two of them were tabled by Russia, demanding a ceasefire but failing to obtain a majority in the Security Council. One was presented by Brazil in this regard but was vetoed by the USA, and the last was put forward by the USA, which did not mention humanitarian pause or ceasefire; it was vetoed by Russia and China. However, the USA has utilized its veto power 34 times for Israel from 1954 to 2023, which, indubitably, allowed Israel to massacre and annihilate Palestinians freely.

Furthermore, the USA has supported Israel not only diplomatically but also financially. Financially, Israel is the largest recipient of the USA’s foreign aid since World War II, which will be $3.3 billion in 2022 only. But most awfully, the majority of it goes to the military and is utilized against Palestinians. Recently, the US House of Representatives passed a $14.5 billion military aid package for Israel, which includes $4 billion to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defence systems, and military equipment transferred from US stocks. Besides, Biden has asked Congress to pass a $106 billion emergency package that includes funding for Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine, which will, no doubt, add fuel to the fire.

Apart from this, the Russia-Ukrainian war is indubitably a loss of lives, infrastructure, and much more, which has caused a huge humanitarian, economic, and social impact. It will surely take years to recuperate, and the losses of lives on both sides are condemnable. But the USA’s take to the Russia-Ukrainian war has been far more distinguishable than the Israel-Palestine war. The US not only supported Ukraine financially and militarily but also diplomatically.

According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German think tank, at least 32 countries provided Ukraine with military aid, including weapons, equipment, or financial assistance for the army during the Russia-Ukrainian war. 25 out of 32 were part of NATO. The USA topped the list as a major financial contributor to Ukraine, following the European Union and the UK. Apart from this, 42 countries, including the USA, imposed almost 11,327 sanctions on Russia, making it the most sanctioned country in the world. Possibly, the response regarding Ukraine was distinct because the opponent is an antagonist of the USA, but if it were Israel or any close ally of the USA, the reaction would be predictable.

All lives are equal, and so are the lives of Palestinians, and therefore the USA, which claims to be a champion of human rights, must embrace the fact that Israel is also committing genocide and war crimes and must not back Israeli atrocities so that Israel and Hamas can reach an immediate ceasefire and Israel can be held accountable for human rights violations.
Additionally, the USA has recently issued a list of six countries allegedly committing genocide, which includes China, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Iraq, Syria, and South Sudan. The USA has even restricted the visas of Chinese officials who are allegedly involved in committing genocide, and dozens of Chinese companies have been listed on the USA’s entity list for their roles in the genocide of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

Myanmar’s military leadership was sanctioned for the February 2019 coup. The USA has sanctioned them in one way or another. But regretfully, the genocide of Palestinians does not meet the USA’s criteria for genocide. Thereby, it is causing blood and destruction across Gaza on the sole ground that it has been perpetrated by one of its closest allies, and the USA has conceded a free pass to Israel to decimate thousands of Palestinian lives by vetoing resolutions.

Basically, a genocide is defined as an act committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, such as: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring the children of the group to other groups.

But diving into the truth, Palestinians are victims of genocide since Israel is attempting to empty Gaza by either killing them or making them flee. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had clarified that they would not stop war until the entire elimination of Hamas, but on the actual ground, their possible targets are civilians, which is a clear violation of international law on war crimes that prohibits killing civilians. Possibly their purpose for all this is to ascertain a pretext to execute the Ben Gurion Canal Plan (BGCP). The proposed plan Is backed by the USA and is aimed at connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The canal’s route passes close to the northern border of Gaza, which was formerly home to two million people who have been displaced following the ongoing bombing of Israel.

All lives are equal, and so are the lives of Palestinians, and therefore the USA, which claims to be a champion of human rights, must embrace the fact that Israel is also committing genocide and war crimes and must not back Israeli atrocities so that Israel and Hamas can reach an immediate ceasefire and Israel can be held accountable for human rights violations.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.