Gaza boosts global campaign against Israeli occupation: IPS Seminar

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Gaza boosts global campaign against Israeli occupation: IPS Seminar

DNA

Islamabad, NOV 7: The UN with its current composition and dynamics cannot provide any solution to chronic conflicts like Palestine and Kashmir. The ongoing genocide in Gaza has exposed the so-called rule-based world order and moral bankruptcy of the global institutions and forums responsible for it.

US President Biden and his government have become complicit in the aggression by backing Israel’s war crimes and endorsing its lies. While the US sticks with Israel, the world is witnessing a massive transformation driven by grassroot public support internationally, especially in the West, as millions of people rally daily for justice for Palestinians. The Muslim world, the Global South, Russia, and China with its soft power collectively have the desire and the potential to cause tectonic shifts in the US-led world order.

These were some of the key observations of renowned Pakistani and international scholars and experts who discussed different dimensions of the issue during an international hybrid seminar, ‘30 Days of Gaza Crisis: Global Response & the Reshaping World Order’, jointly organized by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad, and the Centre for Critical Peace Studies, University of Management & Technology (CCPS-UMT), Lahore.

The program was chaired by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairperson, Senate Defence Committee, and co-chaired by Khalid Rahman, chairman, IPS. The main speakers included Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, renowned political scientist and president, International Movement for a Just World, Malaysia, Na’eem Jeenah, executive director, Afro-Middle East Centre, South Africa, Ambassador (r) Syed Abrar Hussain, vice chairman, IPS, Oves Anwar, director research, Research Society of International Law (RSIL), Islamabad, and Dr. Fatima Sajjad, director, CCPS-UMT, Lahore.

The speakers deplored the discriminating support by the Western powers, particularly the US, to Israel’s torturous apartheid, which shows the failure of the global rules-based order.

While the US is acting as a guardian and protector of Israel, allowing it to commit whatever crimes it wants, grassroots movements against US hegemony and neocolonialism are gaining momentum, it was observed.

They lauded the widespread global campaign, not just from the Muslim world, and the Third World nations, but particularly from within the Western countries, and the emerging powers of the Global South against Israeli aggression.

The principle of the right to self-determination is eternal and cannot be taken away from the oppressed people of Palestine and Kashmir, said Mushahid Hussain, who also highlighted that the two issues are intertwined. He underscored that the global order is seeing transformation in three dimensions: the decline of the West, the resurgence of Asia with the rise of China, and the emergence of a new cold war, as the West is not ready to give up global power authority.

Amid these changes, he stressed that Pakistan, as a leader of the Muslim world, must initiate steps to adopt an action plan to counter Israeli actions. In this regard, he outlined a three-point agenda: Firstly, a media consortium is needed to fight US-Israel lies and false narratives. It could be in the form of media coordination between Pakistani channels and networks of like-minded countries to beam out the truth and factual situation. Secondly, the UN General Assembly should be pushed to vote for humanitarian aid and evacuation through a naval operation. After that, a flotilla of Pakistan, Turkey, and Indonesia navies could be sent through the Israeli blockade of Gaza to deliver relief goods. Thirdly, the leaders of like-minded countries should visit the UN, EU, Washington, and other capitals of power to push for an independent Palestinian state, as established by the UN resolutions.

Israeli aggression against the democratically-elected Hamas is not a war but a carnage and genocide, said Chandra Muzaffar.

Dr Fatima Sajjad stated that the aggression by Israel is nothing short of a Palestinian holocaust.

Oves Anwer stated that as Israel has time and again violated international law and used it as a fake leave and enabler for its atrocities, it has shown that the UN cannot play any effective role with its current composition and dynamics.

Na’eem Jeenah deplored the role of the OIC and Arab League for failing to do anything concrete to help the population of Gaza which is being held hostage by Israel for the last 17 years. He praised the role of the South African government and leadership in highlighting the Palestinian cause and condemning Israeli apartheid occupation and atrocities.

Khalid Rahman, in his concluding remarks, said that Gaza war has busted the myth of the invincibility of Israel, which has failed badly in the face of Hamas. He said that Palestine and Kashmir are two evident examples of how aggressors paralyze international law through its selective application.

He was of the view that the ongoing crisis has the potential to reshape global dynamics over the long term. The world needs to realize that the Middle East can never be at peace unless this issue is resolved. For that, immediate actions like ceasefire, food supplies, and humanitarian aid, as well as concrete negotiations for lasting peace are needed, he added.