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19 Oct, 2023 09:01

West has ‘lost’ Global South over Israel hypocrisy – FT

Standing up for Ukraine but not Palestine makes the US and its allies look duplicitous, officials have told the outlet
West has ‘lost’ Global South over Israel hypocrisy – FT

Attempts by the US and its allies to “paint Moscow as a global pariah” have been “poisoned” by their rush to support Israeli retaliation against Hamas in Gaza, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing more than a dozen officials.

Western nations have long framed the Ukraine conflict as an act of “unprovoked aggression” and blasted Moscow for the suffering of civilians.

However, the same nations have appeared reluctant to condition their support for Israel on exercising restraint in the wake of the deadly incursion by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, earlier this month. Israel has cut off essential supplies to the enclave and subjected it to intense bombardment.

“We have definitely lost the battle in the Global South,” one senior G7 diplomat was quoted as saying. “All the work we have done with the Global South [over Ukraine] has been lost… Forget about rules, forget about world order. They won’t ever listen to us again.”

“What we said about Ukraine has to apply to Gaza. Otherwise we lose all our credibility,” the official added. “The Brazilians, the South Africans, the Indonesians: why should they ever believe what we say about human rights?”

Meanwhile, an Arab official noted an apparent lack of consistency: “if you describe cutting off water, food and electricity in Ukraine as a war crime, then you should say the same thing about Gaza."

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was confronted over the issue on CNN. Host Jack Tapper stressed that “civilians are civilians” regardless of where they reside. The official declined to say whether Washington was putting pressure on Israel to let supplies into Gaza.

According to The Huffington Post, the US State Department last week instructed high-level diplomats working in the Middle East not to use three specific phrases regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “de-escalation/ceasefire,” “end to violence/bloodshed,” and “restoring calm.”

This week, a Russian-proposed draft resolution denouncing violence against civilians and urging a ceasefire was rejected by the UN Security Council. Another one submitted by Brazil was later vetoed by the US, after 12 members voted for it.

Russia abstained on the second proposal, after its amendment to include a call for a truce was rejected.

“You, colleagues, will certainly come up with some formal justification citing ‘unbalanced language,’ but at this point they would sound pathetic. You have made your choice,” Moscow’s envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, said about the non-inclusion of the wording.