Israel is finding that it has diminished public support across the US and the Western world.
Shifting dynamics in global public opinion, particularly in the US and Europe, against Israel, could irreversibly hurt the Middle Eastern state.
Israel has long enjoyed support from both Western governments and their populations. In recent escalations, most Western governments, primarily the US, have continued to explicitly back Tel Aviv.
But the same thing cannot be said for Western public opinion as thousands of people across different US states and European cities like London, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, Paris and Dublin have marched against Israeli attacks on Gaza. Also, in Canada and New Zealand, protesters in numerous cities have strongly condemned Israeli occupation and the recent assaults against Palestinians.
“What’s happening is that Palestinian people are resisting fiercely, unfortunately alone. And they have been able to raise the world's consciousness towards their plight,” says Sami al Arian, a prominent Palestinian-American professor.
“What we are seeing today is that there is a major shift in many capitals around the world, particularly, among people and the youth, rejecting this Zionist apartheid regime and ethnic cleansing that is taking place today in Palestine,” Arian tells TRT World.
“That’s a very hopeful sign. I believe eventually Palestinian people will prevail over these Zionist and racist policies,” adds the professor, who was a leading voice in the American Muslim community in the past, prior to his forceful exile from the US.
The moment a 13-storey residential tower in western Gaza City collapsed after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike on Tuesday night.— The Express Tribune (@etribune) May 11, 2021
(Content Warning: The following video contains material that may be harmful or traumatizing to some audiences.)#etribune #Gaza #israel #airstrike pic.twitter.com/XWcXvkCYbg
Despite the continuation of Western support for Israel’s aggression and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, a move towards a pro-Palestinian global sentiment signals that Israel, under its embattled hardliner Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, might be losing the bigger picture and the war of ideas.
‘Geopolitical panic attack’
Comparing the current situation in Israel to the former South African Apartheid regime, Richard Falk, a leading international law expert and an emeritus professor at Princeton University, says that losing the war of ideas could be a devastating blow to the State of Israel.
“Despite having what appeared to be effective and stable control of the African majority population through the implementation of brutal apartheid structures, the racist regime collapsed from within under the combined weight of internal resistance and international solidarity,” Falk wrote in a recent article, referring to the South African Apartheid regime.
“Israel is not South Africa in a number of key aspects, but the combination of resistance and solidarity was dramatically ramped upwards in the past week,” Falk reminded.
Like some former white South African leaders, Netanyahu, who is facing several corruption charges, appears to be keen on using escalating tensions to favour his political fortunes. Israel has gone through four elections in two years and Netanyahu has failed to assemble enough votes for its right-wing coalition, exposing the country’s internal rifts.
“Israel has already long lost the main legal and moral arguments, almost acknowledging this interpretation by their defiant way of changing the subject with reckless accusations of antisemitism,” asserts the Jewish-American professor.
Despite its occupation of Palestinian lands for over five decades, the international community continues to regard Israeli actions as illegal. In an even more worrying sign for Israel, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has allowed its prosecutor to launch a comprehensive investigation over Israeli war crimes against Palestinians across the Holy Land.
While Washington continues to block the UN Security Council from holding Israel accountable for its actions, there is a solid moral majority in the international body which finds Israeli actions immoral and illegal.
A few years ago, a report commissioned by the UN also reached the bleak conclusion that "Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole." With its discriminatory laws and inhumane political practices, Israel aims to create a dominant Jewish majority at the expense of Palestinians, according to the report.
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