A narrative for Palestinians | Pakistan Today

A narrative for Palestinians

  • The short-sightedness of liberalism as a school of thought and its much shorter half-life

The opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the opening of fire on protesting Palestinians aren’t events which were carried out in isolation. The atrocities faced by the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis have been ignored for far too long. These aren’t just limited to denying them their right to live, but also to the non-recognition of Palestinians as an independent nation fighting for their homeland. The events that perpetrated the heinous opening of fire, as witnessed by millions of people across the world, are a series of calculated foreign policy decisions spanning over the last two decades.

To think that the 45th US President, Doland Trump is an eccentric redneck who has only won the US elections as a result of electoral fraud, might be correct, however, we have to see that his policies are representative of white morality and a failing hegemon.

Liberalism’s corrective measure

Morality is as subjective as any country’s foreign policy decision. Correlating this with Kissinger’s thesis of a state’s foreign policy as an extension of its domestic structures clarifies how different states behave in the international arena. To counter for the variations in this morality, and resultantly the different narratives by states, as a means to facilitate ‘international cohesion’, liberalism was introduced. This was to present a universal system of norms and facilitate their propagation by inculcating a system of values which would ensure their continued survival.

With liberal and later, neo-liberal institutions in place, it became rather easy to practice and engender a generation of individuals to further breed on these ideas. With the scope of geo-economic engagement outweighing the political motives of individual states, this hybrid generation of liberalism has presented itself as an opportunity for states to sway international dialogue on matters pertaining to peace and security, in its favour.

To think that the 45th US President, Doland Trump is an eccentric redneck who has only won the US elections as a result of electoral fraud, might be correct, however, we have to see that his policies are representative of white morality and a failing hegemon

While liberalism seeks itself as a corrective mechanism for eliminating power vacuums in the international arena by creating avenues for dependency amongst states, the creation of economic vacuums has incentivised a compromise on internationally held liberalist covenants. Resultantly, we see states and international institutions turning a blind eye, and failing to uphold these.

Alliances of convenience

What we see presently is a US, formerly known as the champion of human rights, using Israel as a Launchpad for furthering its geo-political agenda in the Middle East, at the cost of the same tenets it has upheld for decades. But US isn’t alone in this, we have got countries like Saudi Arabia, the ideological centre for all Muslims, also recognising the state of Israel and expressing its earnest to extend diplomatic and economic relations with the gateway to troubling Middle East.

While on 6th December 2017, the international community witnessed an isolated US when the US State Department recognised Jerusalem as the capital and announced to relocate its embassy here, no course of action has been materialised that could address this move with respect to the Palestinians’ rights.

Most states have come forward to condemn the cross fire between the Palestinians and Israeli forces; the plan for the domination over the greater restoration of a favourable Middle East hasn’t been altered. This points towards the short-sightedness of liberalism as a school of thought, and its much shorter half-life. Primarily, because of this, the international community is witnessing the disintegration of liberalism into its various facets. The bending of liberalist covenants by the global hegemon/s highlights the emergence and prominence of realist notions as dominating state’s foreign policies. However, the evident masking of these as protective measures for maintaining the sanctity of these sacred values, has allowed greater leverage to the likes of US, the champion of these rights.

While the US has sanctioned a series of wars for the protection of civilian lives, it doesn’t only remain quiet for atrocities committed against the Palestinians, but is an equal perpetrator. The present move to open US embassy in Jerusalem is a testament of the fact that for the greater part, US is a champion of the rites of diplomat alliance. The timing of this is also to be noted – US’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal while simultaneously moving forward with opening its embassy in Jerusalem is an indication of US’ calculable manoeuvres to extend the sphere of its influence in Middle East by not creating consensus, but by raising the stakes for those who don’t abide by the principles of a ‘negotiated peace’ in this transcontinental region.

The fact that the KSA is on an equal footing with US and hasn’t expressed any kind of solidarity with the Palestinians points towards the chalking of new borderlines here. This change of ideological qibla points towards a more disintegrated Muslim world. It also highlights the importance of geo-economics and geo-strategic narratives as outweighing ideological means of creating alliances as was considered an integral part of the liberalist agenda.

In all of this, however, there’s very little being said about the Palestinians, fighting for a wretched state. With so many narratives present, there is still not a single one that could lend support for the Palestinian cause, or the mass atrocities that ensue there every day. Perhaps Trump represents the highest point of liberalism after which it is to suffer an eventual fall.

Remshay Ahmed

Remshay Ahmed is a Lahore-based freelance journalist and a published author of Foreign Policy of Pakistan (2000-2016): A Game Theory Analysis. She can be reached at [email protected]