Criticising Israel: The Conceptual Deadlock

David Emeka Ogbogu Opinion

  “We had to remove all our belongings and find a place to stay,” she said. “We were shocked with the loss of our eldest son; before we had finished receiving condolences, we were faced with the demolition of our house.”

 

With much of the world’s attention on Syria and Iraq Israel has exacerbated what was already, by most standards, a conscious methodology of brutalization against an abject Palestinian population with more demolishment of homes and an exceedingly cantankerous stance on acknowledging anything that highlights Israel’s discrimination.

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Michael Lynk – UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories

‘Michael Lynk – the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967´ has described Israel’s deliberate fragmentation of the OPT and lack of development as having a negative impact on “human rights”. Such fragmentation that Lynk directly referred to in his recent report to the UN general assembly includes the ‘16 demolitions, displacing 92 people’ (as of July)’.

However, every year the world hears statistics about Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes. We also hear about the staggering amount of US economic assistance to Israel (Obama recently approved $38 billion in aid), whilst the yoke of the ICC focus grows ever stronger towards African leaders.

What is most striking is the litany of experts or highly esteemed representatives, usually from the UN or other NGOs, that continue to espouse words of dismay when Israel continues its violation of international law with regards to the Palestinians. But is there any function or political ramifications of such opposition to Israel’s expansionist policies?

This is not to suggest a cessation of critique but rather to highlight the ironic pass that Israel receives amidst critique and the diabolical example this sets for despots all over the world.

In the case of Israel, the term ‘expert’ seems to indicate an idiosyncratic or wholesome group of inept anti-Semitic (s) bent on the complete destruction of Israel, eloquently put by Mr Netanyahu, in response to UNESCO’s Al-Aqsa resolution “the entire world is against us.”.

In 2015 William Schabas, a leading professor of International law at Middlesex University, abdicated his role and inclusion in a UN inquiry into potential war crimes as a result of Israeli pressure. The reason was essentially the fear that an expert, with a functioning cognition, and an astute grasp of international law, would refuse to extenuate or justify Israel’s heavy handed use of force against the Palestinians .

Similarly, prior to the the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Micahel Lynk’s most recent report, an Israeli NGO released its own report titled ‘Mandate to discriminate’ which sought to highlight the ‘bias’ tendencies of the UN. This Israeli NGO claims the following about Michael Lynk:

“Lynk gave the keynote speech at CEPAL’s “International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians,” on November 29, 2001, where he spoke of “popular resistance.””

“Someone who accuses Israel of ‘Apartheid’ and openly seeks to dismantle the Jewish state is neither impartial nor objective. We call on Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and all other Council members to uphold the Council’s own basic principles and oppose Lynk’s nomination in tomorrow’s vote,” said Neuer”

In essence, an Israeli ‘expert’ is essentially someone who is willing and prepared to do what the powerful states have done since the creation of Israel; to waiver the gross amount of aggression, illegal occupation and expansion at the cost of the Palestinians. Anyone who does not acquiesce to this amoral standard is naturally ‘anti-Semitic’ and therefore unfit to critique or assist international judgements on armed conflicts (and other matters) between Palestine and Israel. Paradoxically, a great deal of Israel’s ontological security is predicated on a rhetorical connection to insecurity, in the form of claims relating to bias and antisemitism. It is this constructed sphere of insecurity that has granted a carte blanche to Israel to essentially behave with impunity.

As Dr Brian Klass’ puts it in his intuitive book “The despot’s accomplice”, international policy towards Israel appears to be ‘Do as I say and not as I do’, and this appears to be a mainstay in Western politics. The West exonerates the rule of international law to bash China, Russia, and place African leaders on trial at the ICC, whilst doing the reverse in other situations.hurst-klass-despot-cover-front-final-web

For many years Belarus was placed on sanction by the U.S. and the E.U. because of undemocratic practises. Russian assistance towards Belarus was blamed for essentially alleviating the economic sting, in part preventing Belarus from capitulating to the Western demands of democratisation. Simultaneously, the U.S. has pumped billions of dollars into Israel whilst it perused a policy of expanding what was already illegal settlements under international law and social discrimination, a problem that is seemingly present in Israel’s closest ally, the US.

The inevitable consequence of such policy on the international stage is the undermining of expert analysis and its deprivation of any moral or practical weight. This only serves to promulgate an atmosphere of sentiment paralysis in which a political and social deadlock that allows Israel to continue with its expansionist policy, and encourages wider ‘rebellion’ in the form of Duterte’s recent shift to China.

In the case of alleged biological warfare we now know from the Wilson Centre’s archive that experts colluded to help facilitate “two false regions of infection were simulated for the purpose of accusing the Americans of using bacteriological weapons in Korea and China” and a general atmosphere of confidence that the U.S. was guilty. NSA specialists skewed the presentation on SIGINT regarding the then alleged incidents in the gulf of Tonkin. Many documents that were eventually withdrawn in the trial of Milosevic were flawed “fabricated or manipulated” as put by Political scientist Mark A Wolfgram.

But in the case of Israel’s critique of UN experts, its cries of receiving a disproportionate amount of attention and resolutions is followed by its self-defeating action of holding and expanding illegal territory. This is simple elementary logic. To deny its existence in conjunction with the plight of the Palestinians would be to deny that earth does not rotate around the sun because gravity is somehow anti-Semitic!

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David Emeka Ogbogu is a PhD candidate in the field of propaganda and surveillance.

An avid follower of international relations, surveillance studies and communication, David also focuses on French foreign policy in sub-Saharan Africa and black nationalism in the US.

In his spare time, David ensures that his pockets are regularly full of strikers #Football #Soccer