Middle East Monitor / July 14, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden may try to sustain the fable that he is an alternative to current US President Donald Trump, but for the Palestinians a Biden presidency will most probably normalise the human rights violations that have attracted wider endorsement as a result of US support for Israel. Any political differences from those promoted by the Trump administration that Biden might have will definitely not include a reversal of the Zionist colonial project.
Indeed, US support for Israel, according to Biden, is a “longstanding, moral commitment”. The former vice president has also criticised the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) for “singling out Israel”, a slogan made popular during Nikki Haley’s stint as US Ambassador to the UN, and he will almost certainly stick to it. According to his foreign policy adviser, Tony Blinken, Biden “opposes any effort to delegitimise or unfairly single out Israel, whether it’s at the United Nations or through the BDS movement.”
While it is worth pointing out the blindingly obvious yet again that there is no anti-Israel bias at an international level whatsoever, the “singling out Israel” narrative will undoubtedly resonate further given that Trump has embarked on a series of unilateral political decisions that legitimise Israel’s colonial violence and normalises its actions within the international community. Without a reversal of Trump’s decisions, however, a pro-Israel stance from [would-be] President Biden would inevitably increase the likelihood of the international community widening the scope of Israel’s ability to act with total impunity.
The concept of “singling out Israel” is unfounded and has nothing to do with advocacy and activism for Palestine at an international level. Time and again, these actions have met with definite limitations, due to the international community’s complicity in Israel’s colonial project. Activism for Palestine is recognised as a right in terms of free speech and human rights, but these criteria will not be sustained politically at an international level to any meaningful degree, and definitely not enough to change the pro-Israel bias at the UN. The international body is, bizarrely, content to sit back and watch as its own resolutions are treated with contempt and broken routinely by the Zionist state.
As annexation remains pending, the US-Israeli propaganda regarding alleged anti-Israel might take a different turn. The international community has played along with the distorted scenario that pits the deal of the century against the two-state compromise. If Biden is elected president and fails to reverse Trump’s decisions or take harsh actions against Israel if it goes ahead and formalises its colonisation of additional Palestinian territory, any opposition from the international community will continue to be framed as being “anti-Israel” and, in the current twisted logic of colonialism, “anti-Semitic”.
However, since 2019 the UN has been more vocal about blaming Palestinians for any Israeli violations. If the narrative that Israel is being singled out is allowed a platform at a time when Palestinians are being rendered invisible at an international level, Palestine risks further oblivion.
However, Israel is not at all concerned about Palestinians gaining a recognised platform, because the fake narrative that it has promoted with help from the US only seeks to extend its impunity. It knows that regardless of whether the periodic international criticism of Israel continues or not, Palestinians are not gaining any additional attention that can alter their political standing. This is what Biden is vying for. As long as the focus remains on Israel, the rogue state will be given every opportunity to normalise its human rights violations and colonisation at an international level.
Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger; her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America