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Commentary. There are moments in the history of peoples when ‘symbolic’ events acquire significance far beyond their actual content. This is no small thing while the literal existence of the Palestinian people is at stake.

The US justification for opposing Palestinian statehood is a farce

The overwhelming majority in the UN Assembly voting to recognize the full right of the State of Palestine to be admitted to the United Nations is a formal and symbolic act; the Security Council has the decision power. However, there are moments in the history of peoples – as well as individuals and classes – when “symbolic” events acquire significance far beyond their actual content.

One of these was the resolution passed on Friday night. One hundred forty-three countries voted in favor, with a prominent presence of the global South and with Europe divided, to say the least, as France, Spain and Germany voted for the resolution; 25 countries abstained and nine voted against. This is no small thing while the literal existence of the Palestinian people is at stake.

If it wasn’t so, one could hardly make sense of the furious reaction of the Israeli representative, who accused the Assembly of “having opened the door to the new Nazis” and “having torn the UN Charter to shreds,” doing nothing else than putting the Charter through the shredder himself – as if the Israeli governments hadn’t already done this long ago by disregarding all the UN Resolutions that since 1967 have demanded that Israel withdraw from the military occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

And it is not without significance to note that Ukraine was among the abstainers, which is fighting against Russian aggression and wants arms for its own occupied territories (of the Donbass) but is turning away from the occupied Palestinian territories; and likewise Italy, on the fringes of history, supposedly committed to the global South, according to Meloni’s verbiage, with its neo-colonial Mattei Plan, only for its voting record to be plainly the opposite of the global South, while it remains silent and acquiescent on Palestinian rights. It is also relevant that among the “no” voters we find such “leading lights of democracy” such as Argentina and Hungary, as well as the neo-Atlanticist Czech Republic.

And it is poignant to look at the United States, which in April vetoed the same issue before the Security Council, now justifying its “no” vote with empty verbiage that would border on the comical if it wasn’t tragic: “adopting this resolution will not bring about a tangible change for Palestinians. It will not end the fighting in Gaza or provide food, medicine, and shelter to civilians in Gaza. That is where U.S. efforts are focused,” claimed U.S. Mission to the United Nations Spokesperson Nate Evans.

We are at the stage of witnessing a farce, in the embarrassment of figuring out what the U.S. will do next after the U.N. Assembly vote. Because now, the emperor is plainly visible as naked – namely, Biden and Blinken. The current mainstream narrative is that the White House is strenuously opposing Netanyahu’s criminal strategy; however, those protesting at U.S. universities disagree.

Not least because in reality, during these long and bloody seven months, the White House, with its billions in arms supplies, has given a free hand, and indeed consented to the massacre we have before our eyes. Likewise, it did so through its three vetoes at the Security Council against resolutions calling for a ceasefire and its veto in April on Palestine’s full membership in the UN; as well as through deciding to suspend funds to the UNRWA because it had been supposedly “infiltrated” by terrorists, an accusation that has never been proven and a criminal decision, to which Meloni – Biden’s “pet” according to the US media – immediately agreed.

The culmination can be seen in Biden’s “wavering,” with sharp words that he quickly softens; lately, the story has been about the US administration just “discovering,” according to CNN, that the weapons supplied by the U.S. to Israel – in particular, a super-bomb already tested in Vietnam – “may” have been used against civilians, in ways “inconsistent with international law.” Is there a way to bomb civilians while being consistent with international law? Haven’t Iraq and Afghanistan shown that there isn’t? Besides, the carnage lasted for seven months and they’re only noticing it now? The International Court of Justice did so long before, indicting Israel for “plausible genocide.”

The underlying position, adopted by the U.S. and the West, is to see Palestinians not as subjects with rights, to life and land, dignity and a state, but as shadows begging for help, starving and plaintive, wounded and maimed, thus justifying the need to support them. In short, the lowliest of all, reduced to a condition of subalternity so profound that destitution erases their human and political aspirations. Thus, what is at stake in the “political” management of so-called “aid” and the business of “reconstruction.” And among the things the Biden-Blinken duo have to answer for – do they deserve the Nobel Peace Prize yet? – is their strategic move to the right, right into Trump territory, continuing to keep alive the ill-intentioned Abrahamic Accords with Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia as protagonists, signed at the expense of the excluded Palestinians.

It’s certainly true that the UN General Assembly vote will not bring back to life the 15,000 children killed in Netanyahu’s disproportional offensive unleashed in Gaza as revenge for the October 7 massacre, nor will the bodies of thousands of wounded and maimed women, men, and elderly return to life and health. We are at 35,000 dead and the massacre is not over. The most beautiful image we have seen these days has been that of the banners held by Gaza children thanking the students taking part in the uprisings on U.S. campuses.

At this moment, as Rafah is being bombed and dozens more casualties are being added to the count, the result of the vote at the UN is reaching those fleeing the bombs, giving a vision of the future to the children escaping death, courage to those safeguarding the survival of communities, hope to those fighting against settler violence in the West Bank. Today, more and more, waving the Palestinian flag is becoming part and parcel of the defense of international law: it is against war and for real peace. According to the words and thought of Nelson Mandela, regardless of whether the UN assembly admits it and the Security Council refuses, “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

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