Gaza’s Mass Graves: Double Standards and Hypocrisy of a Rules-Based Order


The Bloody Hands of Hypocrisy of a Rules-Based Order

Remember when Antony Blinken waxed poetic about a “rules-based international order” upheld by lofty UN charters and human rights declarations? A noble vision indeed – “reflections of the world’s shared aspirations” to prevent conflict and uphold the rights of all people through laws and institutions.

Yet for the rest of us confronted with reality, the rhetoric rings bitterly hollow. This vaunted rules-based order seems to exist only when the West can point its accusatory finger at its enemies or those conveniently labelled “rogue states”.

Just like this amoral Tory government, our leaders are all too willing to avert their eyes from genocide or human rights violations when lucrative arms contracts or surreptitious trade deals are at stake.

The brazen hypocrisy was on full display during today’s Prime Minister’s Questions. As the UN declared itself “horrified” by reports of over 300 bodies found in mass graves outside Gaza hospitals, SNP’s Mhairi Black rightly urged the UK government to condemn these discoveries as the war crimes they patently are. After all, when mass graves emerged in Ukraine, this same House united in furious condemnation, branding the atrocities as irrefutable proof of Russia’s depravity.

But in the case of Gaza, the double standards are laid bare. Deputy PM Oliver Dowden had the audacity to claim the UK can simply “trust” the Israeli government, an administration currently bombarding the open-air prison of Gaza, to “properly investigate” itself. He found it “extraordinary” to even draw parallels between Israel’s “legitimate self-defence” and Russia’s invasion.

Let that horrific juxtaposition sink in – the Israeli assault that has killed over 34,000 Palestinians, including 14,500 children, is masterfully rebranded as mere “self-defence.” The bombing that tore a premature infant from her mother’s womb is just justifiable “misconduct” to be probed by the very perpetrators. All while Dowden condemns Russia over mere “allegations.”

This is the very distinction that lays bare the West’s moral bankruptcy. When massacres implicate our geopolitical rivals, evidence is unnecessary as we become society’s unfettered judge, jury and executioner. Yet when our allies commit unconscionable atrocities, when mutilated corpses and mass graves scream of war crimes, we suddenly develop ethical blindness.

Dowden’s cynical invocation of Israel being a “democratically elected government” we can “trust” is perhaps the cruellest insult of all. As if the mere trappings of democracy confer some inalienable ethical purity, granting immunity from human rights violations. As if Gaza’s 1.4 million horrifically oppressed souls somehow democratically elected their own subjugation under Israel’s brutal occupation and ceaseless bombardment.

To flippantly equate democracy with moral infallibility is a perverse corruption of the term. The Germany of 1933-1945 was a democracy too, democratically transforming into a xenophobic, genocidal racist ethnostate. Under the banners of democracy and nationalism, millions were consigned to industrial-scale slaughter.

How can Dowden cite Israel’s “democratic” credentials when its forces have killed over 34,000 Palestinians in this current Gaza onslaught alone, overwhelmingly civilians caged in the besieged cities with no means of escape? The indiscriminate targeting and collective punishment of the imprisoned Gazan populace is a glaring testament to man’s boundless capacity for inhumanity, no matter what high-minded principles or nationalistic slogans adorn the perpetrators’ banners.

To equate this institutionalised cruelty as mere “misconduct” to be blindly “trusted” to Israel’s internal investigations is an insult to the mangled remains being pulled from Gaza’s mass graves. Some had been mutilated, hands bound in summary executions – not the spurious “self-defence” Dowden sanctimoniously alleges. When the mass graves of Ukraine sparked outrage as “proof of Russian war crimes”, how can these freshly uncovered atrocities in Gaza not be condemned in equal measure?

Of course, expecting moral leadership from the hollow husk of Starmer’s Labour is futile. Having wholeheartedly capitulated to this corporatist new world order where “peace is war and ignorance is strength”, their only contrived principle left is “We’re not the other guy.”

The people deserve better. The world deserves better. And most urgently, those broken Palestinian souls interred in Gaza’s mass graves deserve justice and accountability, not the bloodstained hypocrisy of continued arms sales and military aid to their oppressors. Let the deafening silence from our leaders over these atrocities indict them as unfit custodians of any “rules-based order” beyond the banal prioritising of profits over human dignity.

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