The New Observer Uncategorized The US’s awkward ally

The US’s awkward ally

US State Department spokesman when confronted with apparent visual evidence of IDF soldier potentially breaching the Geneva Convention:

But obviously it is deeply troubling. I have no knowledge of information as it relates to the circumstances surrounding that incident and I will leave it to the IDF so speak to those specific situations. But we have been clear to them that the respect for basic human rights, the respect for humanitarian law needs to be respected and those who do not comply with that need to be held accountable.

Notice that all he asks of Israel is that they respect the respect for basic human rights, which I think is a pretty clear way of saying “go through the motions”.

The US has sent millions of dollars of weapons to Israel since 7th October, including bombs used in a way which is either deliberate targeting of civilians or is stretching the idea of acceptable collateral damage far beyond anything which a European audience would generally consider acceptable. The Biden administration is trying to get billions more passed by Congress. Since 7 October Israeli forces and settlers have killed dozens of children in the West Bank. 63 already by the end of November 2023. Many of these children were shot dead for throwing stones at armoured military vehicles. Again; there is no way this would be considered acceptable from a European military.

This must be affecting the perception of the US around the world. The UK is fully on board. I simply do not understand why we accept this from Israel. Even if Ukraine was doing this it would be blocked and funding would stop.

For context and for the avoidance of doubt. I am also dismayed by the actions of Hamas on 7 October. I don’t know what the idea was; possibly the key point was the previously imprisoned Hamas leader making good on a promise to free the other prisoners by taking hostages to use as bargaining chips. There is quite a lot of evidence that the attack got out of hand and killed far more civilians than was intended, In which case it was botched in a rather horrible way. But as NGOs and the UN point out – International Humanitarian Law and the ‘Laws of War’ do not have a clause that permits excesses on the basis of what was done to you and the US’s tacit acquiesce in this must be harming how they are perceived around the world.