UN Security Council passes resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire but who will enforce it?

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UN Security Council
UN Security Council passes resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire

A Long-Overdue Censure of Israeli Barbarity

At long last, the supine edifice of the United Nations has summoned a vestigial flicker of principle and called for an immediate ceasefire to Israel’s barbaric onslaught against the Palestinians of Gaza.

This belated, heavily caveated censure comes a full six months into Netanyahu’s depraved welter of civilian massacres and collective punishment that has left over 32,000 innocents dead and rendered two million more displaced into the wilderness, now facing famine.

For the first time since Zionist forces launched their blitzkrieg last October in retaliation for the Hamas attack the UN Security Council has finally voted to demand an end to the killing fields and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the resolution “must be implemented” to secure a ceasefire and the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages”.

Mark Lyall-Grant, who was the UK ambassador to the UN from 2009 to 2015, told BBC Radio’s 4 PM programme that the resolution meant Israel was now “under an obligation, essentially, to stop its military campaign for the next 15 days” – the duration of the remainder of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which the text stipulated for the ceasefire.

He added that the text was legally binding on Israel but not on Hamas, as the Palestinian group is not a state.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group which governs Gaza and which triggered the war with an unprecedented attack on Israel on 7 October, also welcomed the resolution. It said it was ready “to engage in an immediate prisoner exchange process that leads to the release of prisoners on both sides”.

The group has made any hostage release conditional on the release by Israel of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

That such an eminently humane call for restraint is viewed as seismic in the corridors of international diplomacy speaks bitter volumes about the moral cowardice and protective indulgence habitually afforded to Israel’s militarised racist regime.

Indeed, the United States – that wretched imperial Running Dog ever-obsequious to Israeli criminality – saw fit to rebuke this token resolution and voice furious dissent. In a characteristically petulant outburst, the Netanyahu cabal went on to denounce Washington for “abandoning” its traditional role as a vulgar apologist for Zionist atrocity.

In an unusually strong rebuke, a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the US had “abandoned” its previous position which had directly linked a ceasefire to a hostage release.

“Regrettably, the United States did not veto the new resolution,” it said.

The statement said this harmed efforts to release hostages by giving Hamas hope it could use international pressure on Israel to achieve a ceasefire without freeing the captives.

It also said Mr Netanyahu had decided to cancel meetings between an Israeli delegation and US officials in Washington that were scheduled for this week.

Israel’s defence minister said Israel would not stop the war in Gaza while hostages were still being held there.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US’ decision to let the resolution pass did not mean a “shift in our policy”. He said the US backed a ceasefire but did not vote in favour of the resolution because the text did not condemn Hamas.

Speaking at a press briefing after the resolution was passed, Mr Kirby said: “We have been very clear, we have been very consistent in our support for a ceasefire as part of a hostage deal. That’s how the hostage deal is structured, and the resolution acknowledges the ongoing talks.”

Let none be fooled – the UN resolution, while undoubtedly welcome, is the hollowest of symbolic gestures in the absence of robust enforcement mechanisms and punitive costs for Israeli defiance. Guterres timidly implores it “must be implemented” – yet with what consequences if Netanyahu’s thugs continue their sanguinary contempt for international statutes? None, if history is our guide.

For 6 long months, they obediently parroted the Israeli regime’s ludicrous fictions about “hostages” and “self-defence” as justification for reducing Gaza to a smouldering abattoir. Homes, schools, hospitals – all were legitimate targets in this depraved expression of the “Palestinian solution.” And all the while, the UN nattering boutique fiddled and prevaricated as the Palestinian corpses piled obscenely underfoot constantly bowing to its US masters.

This latest UN pantomime merely exposes the sickening depravity at the corrupted heart of our supposed “rules-based international order.” While the Western powers congratulate themselves for this empty grandstanding, over 32,00 dead and 100,000 maimed Palestinian victims cry out for justice from the rubble of Gaza’s martyred streets, pleading for the world to match deeds with words.

We are left with unanswered questions – who will enforce this risible ceasefire? The IDF, drunk on Palestinian blood and emboldened by Western indulgence, has already contemptuously dismissed it. Unless the UN is willing to deploy robust peacekeepers to Gaza and forcibly compel Israeli withdrawal, this “resolution” will be nothing but more abject blustering into the eternal Palestinian headwind.

Which raises the most vital question of all. Should the Zionist regime continue to spit in the eye of international law and defy this resolution, will it finally be cast into the outer darkness as the rogue pariah state it has become? Or will the Western powers continue to indulge its genocidal rampages against the Palestinians out of venal economic self-interest? Don’t forget there’s gas of those there shores…

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For too long, the Palestinian victims have been sacrificed on the altar of Western realpolitik and commercial self-interest. The UN’s sudden lamentable gestures toward peace ring tragically hollow. Only a complete reversal of the economic and military status quo which enables this endless colonial atrocity offers any hope of justice. Absent that, this greasy resolution is a mere figleaf over unfolding apartheid barbarism.

Unless real punitive sanctions are urgently imposed, real embargoes enacted against this racist hydra, we may well see Gaza’s fresh horrors replicated. The choice is stark – bring Israel to heel through global solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, or bear the ineradicable moral stain of being midwives to the next great crime against humanity of the 21st century.

The choice is now starkly binary – will the world finally exert concerted economic and diplomatic pressure to bring down this grotesque racist edifice? Or will we all be forever damned as accomplices in its monstrous crimes through our abject silence in the face of Gaza’s agony?

There is no more justification, no balance to be had…Death begets death begets death.

The Palestinians have suffered enough at the scourge of colonial arrogance. If we fail to seize upon this latest resolution as the casus belli for an all-out sanctions campaign, we will share culpability for the final indelible stain of apartheid upon the 21st century.

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