Why does the United States refuse to stop the war in Gaza?

The American insistence on continuing to support Israel comes from several considerations, including strategic ones, narrow interests resulting from personal considerations and partisan orientations.

It was not surprising that the United States of America used its veto for the third time in the Security Council against the draft resolution submitted by Algeria to stop the genocide committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

The American position came to confirm once again the extent of its bias and absolute support for Israel, even in its foolishness that has begun to harm American interests and harm the reputation of the United States in the world.

The American insistence on continuing to support Israel comes from several considerations, including strategic ones, narrow interests resulting from personal considerations and partisan orientations.

The absolute American support for Israel comes as a result of the intersection of the interests of the two countries at the strategic level. As for the American criticisms, they are the result of disagreements between the two countries over the means and tactics necessary to implement that strategy, meaning they are criticisms directed at “Israel’s behavior” and not at Israel itself.

Demands and expectations that the United States will put pressure on Israel or abandon it are nothing more than wishful thinking that are not based on political data or awareness of the nature of the special relationship that governs the two countries.

Anyone who believes that President Biden is able to stop the war in Gaza, or stop supplying Israel with weapons and aid, and stand with it in the Security Council against any draft international resolution aimed at criminalizing it or forcing it to stop the massacres it is committing, is wrong.

It is true that historical precedent says that many American presidents were able to do this, but President Biden is certainly not like those. Netanyahu’s recklessness, political stance, and legal status are very different from other heads of Israeli governments.

International reality also imposes itself. The world today is experiencing a state of fluidity and the absence of effectiveness of international law and international organizations in a way that we have never experienced before.

America…more isolation

We would be wrong if we thought that the role of the United Nations is to achieve justice and return rights to their owners. Rather, its role is limited to perpetuating the logic of power and legitimizing the actions of major powers, far from any moral or ethical standards.

The vote in the Security Council demonstrated the state of isolation that the United States is experiencing as a result of its position in support of Israel, ignoring the values and concepts enshrined by the “Founding Fathers.”

Even Britain, whose policy is very close to American policy, abstained from voting, in a clear message of the difference between it and the American position, and Britain’s desire to put an end to what is happening in Gaza.

As for France, which is the representative voice of the European Union, it supported the resolution, which indicates the beginning of the formation of a European position calling for a two-state solution, or even going to recognize the Palestinian state unilaterally, which Israel strongly opposes.

The movement in the Security Council demonstrated the role and effectiveness of Algerian diplomacy as it is currently the Arab member of the Security Council.

It also showed unprecedented severity in Russian criticism of the American position, which indicates the size of the gap between the two countries, and its impact on the effectiveness of the Security Council and the role expected of it in finding solutions to international problems.

The Chinese position also witnessed an increase in the tone of criticism directed at the American position, which reflects Beijing’s true position in support of the Palestinian cause, and rejecting Israel’s policies and its criminal war.

The Chinese position… stick to the principles, do not hold the stick in the middle

The Chinese position on the war in Gaza has always been the subject of criticism by Israel and the United States, and respected and appreciated by Arab and Islamic countries.

But at the same time, it was often interpreted as a hesitant position, or a pragmatic position based on profit and loss calculations, without any other considerations.

In fact, understanding the Chinese position requires knowledge of the constants and principles of Chinese foreign policy, and the values and trends that Beijing seeks to establish in its foreign policy.

Before the Al-Aqsa Flood, specifically in June 2023, Beijing hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Chinese efforts to present a peace initiative between the Palestinians and Israel. Netanyahu was scheduled to visit Beijing in November 2023, but that visit was postponed due to the Al-Aqsa Flood operation.

From the first day of the Al-Aqsa flood, the Chinese position was clear regarding what happened as a result of the occupation, and Israel’s refusal to give the Palestinians their right to establish their independent state.

The accounts of the Israeli embassy in Beijing and the Israeli consulate in Shanghai were subjected to a major campaign of criticism by Chinese citizens, as a result of the massacres committed by the occupation army in Gaza, which Israel considered an organized hostile campaign led by Beijing against it via the Internet.

On October 25, Russia and China thwarted a US draft resolution calling for the condemnation of the Hamas movement and describing it as a terrorist, while Beijing sees Hamas as a national resistance movement against the occupation.

Despite this, it refuses to deal with the Hamas movement and prefers to deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization, as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

China does not deal with entities or movements other than states so that this does not amount to interference in the internal affairs of other countries, which Beijing rejects and strongly opposes.

On November 29, 2023, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the Security Council session, where his country was chairing the Council, and then demanded that the truce in Gaza be transformed into a comprehensive ceasefire.

After that, there were Israeli accusations against Beijing of refraining from supplying Israel with some of the components it needs in its technological factories, and it considered this a kind of economic sanctions against it.

There was Chinese condemnation of Israel’s use of banned weapons, such as white phosphorus, which causes major disasters to humans, and Beijing continued its position rejecting the idea of displacing Palestinians, stressing the necessity of reaching a two-state solution as the only viable option.

Despite all of this, Beijing has not yet taken the initiative to submit a draft resolution in the Security Council to stop the war or something similar, perhaps because it does not want to be considered for any political failure, as it believes that the conditions for reaching such a resolution have not yet matured.

Beijing also still wants to maintain the role of an acceptable mediator in the future to play a mediating role in the file of the Arab-Israel conflict, especially since the United States has become a party to the war, and is no longer acceptable to play this role.

Extremist Israeli leaders

Many members of the Israeli war cabinet asserted that Israel “is not a star on the American flag,” meaning that it is not a state affiliated with the United States and takes its decisions from the American president.

The Israel war leaders realize the extent of the power they possess to pressure the American decision-maker to be sufficiently biased towards Israel.

What happened with “Democratic” President Clinton, when he wanted to pressure Israel to reach a two-state solution, must have been a lesson well present in the minds of President Biden and members of his administration.

In the coming days, the American President’s focus and all that will mean will be obtaining the votes of voters and addressing their trends and moods.

As long as opinion polls in Congress indicate that 72% of Republicans, 56% of Democrats, and 55% of independents, are supportive of continued American support for Israel. While the percentage of supporters of the Palestinians does not exceed more than 12%, we should expect more American bias and support for Israel.

Talking about unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will be an unattainable goal, in light of the division in the Security Council and American-backed Israeli intransigence.

The majority vote in the Knesset on the government’s proposal not to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state confirms this, and limits the ability of any future government to do so.

What is certain is that the Al-Aqsa flood was a major military victory that broke the prestige of the invincible Israeli army, so we should not expect this victory to turn into a political defeat.

Shaher Al Shaher
Shaher Al Shaher
Associate Professor School of International Studies Sun Yat-Sen University/ China Professor at the Faculty of Political Science - University of Damascus (previously)