Western media start to note how their politicians’ unwavering support for Israel and Ukraine is diminishing their countries’ global standing.
At Naked Capitalism Yves Smith notes the devastating political effects of the Gaza bombing on Biden’s foreign policies:
The US, in a continued demonstration of the degree of enbubblement of what passes for its leadership, seems to believe it still has the force and soft power to be able to bully talk its way out of its geopolitical messes. Yet this week we have stunning examples of how critical players in the rest to the world no longer buy what the US is selling. The gap between the American establishment’s connection to reality and facts on the ground has opened up to a yawning chasm as the Arab world, as Jordan cancelled a Biden summit with its King Abduallah II plus PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in response to Israel’s shelling of Al-Ahli Arab hospital. Not only are they rejecting the attempt to shift blame for the attack to Hamas (we’ll soon address the “rogue shell” claim), but also the bigger pretense behind that, that the US is incapable of, as opposed to unwilling to, applying the choke chain to Israel.
Even the Western media are not much on board with the Israeli and Biden Administration pretense that somehow Hamas dunnit, when Israel has been trying to herd Palestinians out of northern Gaza and specifically attempted to order the evacuation of the hospital. Oh, and this follows Israel ordering the UN to evacuate from Gaza in 24 hours and then shelling its warehouse there: …
Israel bombed, probably with a US made Hellfire missile, the courtyard of the Baptist al-Ahli Arab hospital where thousands had sought refuge. A short video of the immediate aftermath shows several dozens if not hundreds of dead and wounded. Doctors later held a press conference while standing among some of the casualties.
Like other hospitals al-Ahli Arab had been told by Israel to evacuate but could not do so as there are no other places where the sick and wounded, including many intensive care cases, could be cared for.
Three days earlier, notes the UN, the same hospital had, like others, already been bombed:
14 October 2023: In Gaza city city and governorate, Ahli Arab Hospital was hit by Israeli airstrikes, partially damaging two floors and damaging the ultrasound and mammography room. Four people were injured. Sources: Al Jazeera V and Personal Communication
To then claim, as Biden did, that ‘the other team’ was responsible for the attack is unfathomable.
It was also way too late says a RUSI fellow:
Going to repeat this as the situation has moved more in the past 16 hours than in the previous week.
The plates have shifted, radically. The window for Israeli operations has shrunk from more than a month, to a few days…if at all.
That is now the reality of where we stand.
No country besides the US and a few Europeans will ever defend such barbarity. They will simply stop listen to what the ‘west’ has to say.
The Financial Times quotes a G7-official who struggles with this global divide:
Western support for Israel’s assault on Gaza has poisoned efforts to build consensus with significant developing countries on condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine, officials and diplomats have warned.
The reaction to the October 7 attack on Israel by Islamist militant group Hamas and to Israel’s vow to hit back against Gaza has undone months of work to paint Moscow as a global pariah for breaching international law, they said, exposing the US, EU and their allies to charges of hypocrisy.
In the flurry of emergency diplomatic visits, video conferences and calls, western officials have been accused of failing to defend the interests of 2.3mn Palestinians in their rush to condemn the Hamas attack and support Israel.
The backlash had solidified entrenched positions in the developing world on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, officials said. They warned that this could derail future diplomatic efforts on Ukraine.
“We have definitely lost the battle in the Global South,” said one senior G7 diplomat. “All the work we have done with the Global South [over Ukraine] has been lost . . . Forget about rules, forget about world order. They won’t ever listen to us again.”
Some American diplomats are privately concerned that the Biden administration’s response has failed to acknowledge how its broad support of Israel can alienate much of the Global South.
Looking at the current BRI anniversary meeting of some 140 states in Beijing, the New York Times voices similar concerns:
Russia and China are siding with a Palestinian people seeking liberation and self-determination, while in Washington’s eyes, they themselves deny those same possibilities to the Ukrainians, the Tibetans, the Uyghurs and even to the Taiwanese.
But in their reluctance to blame Hamas and effort to associate themselves with the Palestinian cause, both Russia and China are appealing to a wider sentiment in the so-called Global South — and in large parts of Europe, too. For them, it is Israel that is conducting a colonialist policy by its occupation of the West Bank, its encouragement of Jewish settlers on Palestinian land and its isolation of the 2.3 million people of Gaza, who are subjected even in normal times to sharp restrictions on their freedoms.
The Global South, a term for developing nations, is a vital area of the new competition between the West and the Chinese-Russian alternative, said Hanna Notte, the director of a Eurasia program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
From the point of view of many in the Global South, she said, “the United States fights Russia, the occupier of Ukraine, but when it comes to Israel, the US is on the side of the occupier, and Russia taps into that.”
The editorial board of the Washington Post also declares the failure of US policies:
Still, the plight of Gazans has been treated by the United States and the wider international community as a sad but immutable fact in an irresolvable conflict. This was a moral and strategic error, helping promote the instability that has, for now, wrecked efforts on the part of Israel, the United States and Arab states to build a durable diplomatic settlement among the region’s big players. The Carnegie Council explains how the global rift necessitates a change in western policies. It especially sees a need to ditch the so called “value-” or “rules-based-order” policies:
A Requiem for the Rules-Based Order
The Case for Value-Neutral Ethics in International Relations
Regardless of how it eventually concludes, the Russo-Ukrainian War represents a seismic event signaling profound changes in the global landscape. The unipolar era is at its end, major countries are more concerned with their cultural sovereignty and strategic autonomy than they have been in decades, and it seems inevitable that the once-dominant Western hegemony must gradually yield to a more diverse and multipolar system.
The period following World War II witnessed the ascendancy of the United States and its allies as architects of a new international order premised on the institutionalization of Western values such as democracy and human rights. This Western-centric approach to global governance—known as the “rules-based order”—has encountered mounting challenges. China’s rise, Russia’s geopolitical subversiveness, and the growing assertiveness of emerging powers from the Global South have eroded Western dominance. The outcome is a more diverse world, characterized by multiple centers of power coexisting, challenging any single ideology or set of substantive values.
Our particular sense of morality in the West should not stop us from aspiring to pursue what’s both wise and right. The evolving international order, characterized by polycentrism and multipolarity, challenges the conventional Western-dominated “rules-based” order. Drawing from Nietzsche’s perspective on values, we recognize that values are context-dependent rather than innate, timeless, or universal. Similarly, the decline of our ancien regime does not spell the end of international ethics. If the current transition is understood correctly, it could promise the birth of a new normative system based on a functional, value-neutral, situational, and diplomatic ethic that has its primary concern in managing reciprocal relations between world powers.
Instead of attempting to impose our values on others (no matter how good or true we think they are), we in the West should prioritize engagement with other major powers based on common interests and shared objectives. …
In sum, within the intellectual framework offered by cultural realism, we need an alternative instrumentalist and pragmatic ethic that 1) accepts the realities of power politics and spheres of interest without moralizing and projecting a Manichaean mentality upon the world, and 2) is grounded in principles that are conducive to a pluralist modus vivendi, including mutual and equal recognition, statesmanship, non-interference, humility, strategic empathy, and open dialogue.
Some might say that the west will never change its behavior but I do not believe that.
The west WILL HAVE TO change its behavior or it will go down into history’s graveyard. There is no longer an alternative as the ‘rules based order’ has proven to be an unsellable dead end.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.