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Regardless of 2024 US presidential election winner, Arab world braces for unfavourable consequences

Dec 28,2023 - Last updated at Dec 28,2023

Following the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on Gaza last Week, UAE Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh eloquently summed up the situation by saying that the Arabs had to cope with the “world we live in rather than the world we want to be”. During the week-long debate in the UN Security Council, the Arab draft resolution presented by the Emirates was stripped of its existential demand for “the urgent suspension of hostilities to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and for urgent steps towards a sustainable cessation of hostilities”.

As this demand would have attracted a third veto by the Biden administration in the Council, Nusseibeh, her Arab colleagues and determined colleagues had to draw the teeth from the draft resolution. The final result called for “urgent steps to immediately allow safe, unhindered and expanded humanitarian access, and also for creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities”. US President Joe Biden is allergic to the word, “Ceasefire” when it applies to Israel in its war on Gaza. This led to his two Council vetoes and his no vote in the UN General Assembly on a resolution calling for a ceasefire; 153 out of 193 UN members voted in favour while 10 voted against.

Former Irish president Mary Robinson — who heads the Elders group of senior statesmen and women — declared, “President Biden’s support for Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Gaza is losing him respect all over the world. The US is increasingly isolated, with allies like Australia, Canada, India, Japan and Poland switching their votes in the UN General Assembly to support an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”

She concluded, “The destruction of Gaza is making Israel less safe. President Biden’s continuing support for Israel’s actions is also making the world less safe, the Security Council less effective, and US leadership less respected. It is time to stop the killing.”

The current Irish government has been an outlier in the European Union by calling for respect for the rule of humanitarian law and an end to Israel’s war on Gaza.

Her words should be important to Biden, the second Irish Catholic US president, who is fond of claiming Irish ancestry. His Irish roots are through his mother’s connections with the Blewitts in County Mayo and the Finnegans in County Louth. Biden visited Ireland in April 2023, six decades after the tour of the first Irish Catholic president John Kennedy.

Nothing dissuades Biden, who decades-ago chose a Zionist vocation. He has chosen to back Israel politically, militarily, and financially despite the current situation in Gaza. The UN reports that 80 per cent of Gazans have been driven from their homes and Gazans face hunger on a daily basis with 57,600, or 26 per cent, are at starvation levels. People can no longer resist disease because they do not have enough nourishment. The risk of famine increases by the day. Lorries delivering food bring only 10 per cent of needs. Only nine of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are functioning; none are in the north, the World Health Organisation has said. So far, some of the US arms Biden has sent to Israel have killed and maimed more than 21,000 Gazans, 70 per cent of whom are women and children.

Nothing deters Biden from his policy of supporting Israel in its murderous, destructive offensive against Gaza. White House and State Department officials have dispatched letters to Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding an end to the administration’s total support for Israel in this cruel and devastating war. 

In October, well before the ongoing catastrophe took shape, State Department officer Josh Paul resigned in protest over the continuation of US deliveries of tank shells, bunker buster bombs, and other weapons to Israel while it assaulted, besieged and blockaded Gaza.

Josh Paul was director the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs which deals with arms sales and supplies to foreign governments. In a LinkedIn post, he said he promised himself when he took the job over a decade ago that he would remain “as long as I felt the harm I might do could be outweighed by the good I could do”. He stated, “I am leaving today because I believe that in our current course with regards to the continued — indeed, expanded and expedited — provision of lethal arms to Israel — I have reached the end of that bargain.”

He told US NPR that “the administration’s new conventional arms transfer policy, enacted earlier this year, explicitly states that no transfers will be authorised” if they will be used to commit “’genocide; crimes against humanity; grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949’.” These transfers meant attacks against civilians, notably children.

Biden’s handling of the Gaza war could lose him the 2024 election if his approval rating does not rise. His overall positive rating is 37 per cent among registered voters, according to a Times/Siena poll. Only 33 per cent approves of his policy towards the Gaza conflict. Only 26 per cent of voters below the age of 30 gives him a positive rating overall and only 20 per cent for his involvement in the Israeli war on Gaza. The poll also found 47 per cent of young people sympathise with Palestinians, while 27 per cent sympathise with Israelis. This amounts to a major shift among US youth and bodes ill for Israel if the shift solidifies. Overall, challenger Donald Trump leads Biden among young voters by 49 to 43 per cent and has a 46 per cent lead over 44 per cent among registered voters. As far as the Arab world is concerned, whoever wins the 2024 US presidential election the result will be bad news.

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