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Opinion: The US-Israel joint declaration is fundamentally against the global community’s system of justice

The US explicitly declares its commitment to preventing Palestinians from seeking international justice at the United Nations or the International Criminal Court.

The contents of this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Jersualem24’s editorial stance.

Riham AbuAita – Following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Israel on 14 July 2022, a joint declaration was adopted on the US-Israel strategic partnership.

The joint declaration explicitly states that “the United States and Israel will continue to work to combat all efforts to boycott or delegitimize Israel, to deny its right to self-defense, or to unfairly single it out in any form, including the United Nations or the International Criminal Court.”

Famed US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a key actor in creating the United Nations after the Second World War with the main goal of “maintaining international peace and security.”

But when it comes to Palestinians’ rights, successive US administrations over the past four decades have directly worked to undermine the mandate of the United Nations for the sole purpose of shielding Israel from criticism.

The United States has used its veto power over 50 times against UN resolutions addressing Israel’s violations against Palestinians.

In 2016, just before Barack Obama left office, the US didn’t use its veto but rather abstained from a UN vote demanding “an end to Israeli settlements in ‘Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem,” and declares that the establishment of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” This was the first time in 40 years that a UN resolution condemning Israel had passed.

This was a powerful message and a kind of legacy that President Obama left for history, especially after his administration vetoed the same UN resolution in 2011.

Preventing Palestinians from seeking international justice – in front of the UN, at the International Criminal Court – means that the United States and Israel are fundamentally against the global community’s system of justice. The United States keeps protecting an apartheid regime that commits daily violations of human rights by killing, arresting, displacing, torturing, and depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.

This will never lead to the peace, justice, and human equality that US administrations claim to seek for both Palestinians and Israelis, and undermines US credibility as an actor in the peace process.

In May 2022, European Union Representative to the Palestinian Authority Ambassador Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff said in a conference organized by the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP):

What do you think a child who sees the houses of their parents, their brothers and sisters demolished because he or she was a suspected or real terrorist will feel? What kind of hatred will burn in this child? What do you think will happen?

Mr. Burgsdorff concludes: “It does not matter if you provide economic incentives unless human beings also have dignity and justice… We need to bring to the fore and to the worldwide attention the plight the people of Palestine have been under for the past 74 years…

Since 2008, thousands of Palestinians have been killed and only a handful of those perpetrators have been brought to justice – only a handful.

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