2023 will be remembered as a stain on ‘Israel’, its backers

The credibility the West has lost to the rest of the world will also be lasting, with an impact similar to that of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

As 2023 comes to an end, the events of the year have ushered in a seismic geopolitical shift that is reshaping the global landscape. In particular, the fragile status quo of the Israeli occupation of Palestine has been broken. Not only has “Tel Aviv” decided to try to occupy the Gaza Strip in its entirety and remove the administration of Hamas, but its backers in the West have also chosen to support its destruction and the slaughter of innocent people with total impunity. This has led to a number of ripple conflicts around the region, including a growing confrontation with Iran, Hezbollah, and the Yemeni Armed Forces. While calls for peace are continually ignored, it is safe to say there is no way back given the scale and the consequences of the actions taken.

What caused the outbreak of the situation? The answer is that the balance of power was, by both “Israel” and America’s actions, shifting against Palestinians to the point of desperation. While the hardline administration of Benjamin Netanyahu continued to ramp up tensions through ideological settler expansion in the occupied territories and pursue oppression of people, the United States effectively rewarded this behavior unopposed by pursuing a “geopolitical gamble” initiated by hardliners in the Trump administration, known as the “Abraham Accords”.

The goal of these accords was to use bilateral diplomacy in order to “buy” Arab states into throwing the Palestinians under the bus and recognizing “Israel”, despite no changes in behavior or to the situation of the occupied territories at all. In other words, the “Abraham Accords” were not really about peace but diplomatic bribery. For example, the US agreed to recognize Morocco’s annexation of the Western Sahara or to remove Sudan from the “state sponsors of terrorism” list. Because of this, the “Abraham Accords” attempted to unilaterally change the geopolitical landscape of the entire Middle East, with the strategic goal of isolating Iran, at the expense of the Palestinian cause.

It is, of course, a basic law of physics that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and the long-term consequence of rewarding Israeli aggression was the initiation of an all-out war on Gaza by the last quarter of the year. This was designed to force the hand of the Muslim world to block further normalization of ties with “Tel Aviv”, for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was set to do so, in addition to stopping the Israeli desecration of Al-Aqsa mosque. In doing so, however, it was inevitable that “Israel” would respond with overwhelming force like never seen before and expose in the process just how weak the West is in holding “Tel Aviv” to account and mediating the situation. Benjamin Netanyahu has had a free hand; no matter what US representatives say.

The long-term results of this is that 2023 will stand as another definitive date in the history of the Middle East, being a reminder that peace cannot be “painted over” the Palestine people in the name of appeasement to “Israel” and that it will be impossible to diplomatically or militarily erase the cause of Palestinians. In this sense, it will be a hammer blow to “Israel” for decades to come until it makes serious amends for its actions, not least as it has every intention to fully occupy the Gaza Strip, reminding us of the uncompromising nature of its government.

But in addition to that, the credibility the West has lost to the rest of the world will also be lasting, with an impact similar to that of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The US and its allies like to frame themselves as the enlightened and moralist defenders of human rights and dignity and use this ideology to project their cause around the world and justify aggression both past and present, but in the eyes of the Global South, the West is now seen as the ultimate backers, defenders, and enablers of Israeli war crimes against innocent people on a scale unprecedented in decades. How can they be taken as credible on any other issue with this glaring elephant in the room?

This, in turn, will further steer the shift in geopolitics toward multipolarity, whereby an environment emerges where many great powers compete, as opposed to a single system dominated by one (unipolarity). This irony arises as it is the very essence of US foreign policy to prevent such occurrences. Consequently, the emphasis is on attempting to contain Russia and China, a goal pursued not only by the Biden administration but also by other partners like the EU, as they actively seek to “woo” the Global South away from aligning with Beijing. But how is any of this possible when they are unconditionally backing “Israel”? Unconditional Western support for “Israel” has always been strategically illogical and self-defeating, yet they have long gotten away with it due to where the prevailing balance of power. Now, this is increasingly less the case, as the emphasis shifts toward each nation defending its own national sovereignty and maintaining autonomy from great power hegemony. This portends bleak news for the long-term American dominance of the Middle East. Thus, only time will reveal the depth of the consequences of 2023. One thing is certain: there is no going back to the old world.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Tom Fowdy

Related Articles

Back to top button