By Tom Castle
The announcement of a ceasefire is a victory for Palestinian resistance, and a heroic refusal to be beaten.
The Israeli war of aggression against the Palestinian people has receive a significant blow with the announcement of a ceasefire. Of course, this does not resolve the huge problems of the beleaguered Palestinian population. But in any war, if one side with overwhelming military might launches an offensive and is beaten back without making any gains, this must count as a victory against the oppressor.
The population of Gaza in particular will be burying their dead and tending to wounds for a very long time. There is no prospect of rebuilding their homes without significant aid from the rest of the world.
The moral obligation for that lies firstly with all those countries that supported Israel, primarily the US which three times vetoed resolutions proposed at the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire. The first two of those were proposed by China as the current chair of the UNSC. China also tried to convene another urgent meeting of the UNSC to discuss the growing military offensive against Palestinians and decided to go ahead anyway when even that was blocked by the US.
The US is the staunchest supporter of the Israeli war machine – although Britain is also deeply complicit in Israeli war crimes too via weapons and mutual training. Even while Biden was mumbling platitudes about peace, the US was exercising its veto. At the height of the ferocious assault, the US was also preparing to provide a further $735mn in military hardware for Israel. It is also reported that Biden has immediately ordered material for the strengthening of the Israeli ‘Iron Dome’ missile defences, presumably so that future Israeli attacks can be launched with greater impunity.
The contrast with China’s role could not be greater. China proposed peace, and the US blocked it. Even before the conflict, China was one of the few countries to provide any vaccine doses to the Palestinians, while Biden has continued Trump’s ‘America first’ vaccine hoarding. The US rearming of Israel continues the rotten alliance.
This will all have far-reaching consequences. After a defeat, the oppressed are obliged to seek support where they can, even from their enemies, and usually there is a political price to pay. But this is a particular type of victory in the struggle for justice for Palestine, of resisting against overwhelming odds and remaining undefeated. In that circumstance, the political outcomes are very different.
The Palestinian people and their leadership will be rightly proud of what they have achieved . And they will remember who their enemies were, and who were their real allies in the course of this struggle.