Sat. May 18th, 2024

The global response to the conflict between Israel and Gaza has highlighted deep divisions, with Western countries finding themselves increasingly isolated on the international stage. This trend has been noticeable since the beginning of the Ukraine war. Western countries strongly condemned Hamas’ attacks on Israel and insisted that “nothing justifies terrorism.” However, non-Western countries like Argentina and India have shown solidarity with Israel, while others have called for de-escalation, including regional powers like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, and global powers like Russia and China. Algeria, Iran, Sudan, and Tunisia have openly expressed support for Hamas.

Across the Middle East, thousands of people have demonstrated in support of the Palestinians, including in Jordan and Bahrain. This divide in global response to the conflict is intersecting with the divisions seen over the Ukraine conflict. Hosni Abidi, director of the Center for Arab and Mediterranean Studies and Research in Geneva, explains that these trends are particularly visible in the countries of the “global south,” specifically in Africa and the Arab and Muslim world.

The fate of the Palestinian people has become a focal point in an increasingly fragmented world. This issue is especially challenging for Arab states that have normalized relations with Israel while still claiming unwavering support for the Palestinians. Francois Heisbourg of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London says that Arab countries are now fearful of the reaction from their own people. Mobilizing public opinion in such emotionally charged circumstances is a major unknown. Bertrand Badie, a professor at Sciences-Po Paris, says that supporting Palestine is seen as too expensive by some Arab governments, but the population’s position is tied to the Palestinian cause and serves as a way to express frustrations with authoritarian regimes.

The Palestinian cause has historically been a rallying cry for non-aligned countries. However, there has been a shift where influence is now moving towards non-Western nations seeking to reintroduce the issue of Palestine into global negotiations. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called for the protection of Palestinian and Israeli children affected by the war.

Feelings towards Israel are likely to evolve as the human toll of the conflict becomes evident. Israel’s response in Gaza is expected to generate significant violence and present a geopolitical dilemma between dismantling Hamas and managing hostages. Unlike the conflict in Ukraine, foreigners are among the victims in the Israel-Gaza conflict, with around 150 individuals of various nationalities being held by Hamas.

Former French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin warns that reactions to events should be taken into account, especially from those without a Western perspective. It is clear that the global response to the Israel-Gaza conflict is revealing deep divisions and highlighting the challenges faced by countries in navigating this highly sensitive issue.

By admin