The farce of post-Gaza Pax Americana in the Middle East

Marwan Bishara

Marwan Bishara

America’s Middle East diplomacy and Israel’s war on Gaza are two sides of the same coin. Washington’s efforts to shield Israel as it carries out war crimes in Palestine have implicated it in yet another war that threatens to engulf the whole region.

Since the Israeli army embarked on its bloody assault on Gaza a month ago, the Biden administration has dispatched its foremost naval strike force, including two aircraft carriers, to the Middle East in order to put its detractors on notice and its allies at ease. It has also sent its top diplomat to do Israel’s bidding in Arab capitals and to buy time for its military to “finish the job” in Gaza.

In meetings with Arab officials, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has deflected all criticism of Israel’s war conduct, which has been killing hundreds of Palestinians and injuring thousands each day. He has parroted false official Israeli statements and rejected any discussion of a ceasefire, lending unconditional US support to Israel’s all-out war on Palestine. 

But as Israel has intensified its bombings of hospitals, schools, mosques and residential buildings, and pushed forward with its land invasion of the densely populated strip, the Biden administration has switched emphasis from talking about the war to talking about future peace.

In his third visit to the region, last week, Blinken failed to contain the fallout from the war on Gaza or defuse the anger and disappointment in Arab capitals. Arab ministers he met with condemned Israel’s war crimes, expressing outrage at the skyrocketing death toll, which has surpassed 10,000 people.

Blinken tried to take the focus away from the war. He tried to convince Arab leaders to stop talking about a ceasefire and start talking about the desired “lasting peace” that follows. But his fanciful promise of peace fell on deaf ears in the Arab capitals, as they refuse to discuss the “day after”, at least in public, before the US agrees to call for an immediate ceasefire.

Blinken enjoyed a better reception at the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) headquarters in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. PA President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed US overtures, agreeing to take over Gaza in the context of a comprehensive post-war peace settlement.

This is truly mind-boggling, both in terms of its cynicism and gullibility.

The cynicism is derived from the PA’s collusion with the US-backed genocidal war on Gaza, where some 2.3 million Palestinians are struggling to survive a crippling blockade and heavy bombardment by Israel. Although the PA has condemned Israeli war crimes in Gaza and spearheaded Arab diplomatic efforts at the United Nations, it has also cracked down on all forms of Palestinian protest against the war.

Worse still, as Israel has intensified its military incursions into the occupied West Bank, including the city of Ramallah, arresting thousands, the PA leadership has remained quiet. And as violent Jewish settlers have escalated their attacks on Palestinian villagers, Abbas has been eerily indifferent.

Related Articles

Back to top button