A resounding defeat for the “rules-based order” was delivered today with the United Nations General Assembly vote for an urgent ceasefire in Gaza. This resolution passed overwhelmingly, with 153 in favor, 10 against, and 23 abstaining. Compared to the last UN vote in October which called for a “humanitarian truce,” at 120-14 and 45 abstentions, this shows that the world is increasingly opposed to the barbaric slaughter being conducted by Israel, and that the U.S. and its allies are isolated to a degree never seen before.
When the U.S. vetoed last week’s UN Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza, it was met with a wide denunciation; but it also pushed those in favor of peace to become even more determined. This was perhaps best exemplified by UN Secretary General António Guterres—who had initiated the Dec. 8 Security Council vote—and said forcefully afterwards: “I promise I will not give up” in achieving a ceasefire. Echoing this sentiment Dec. 11 while visiting Egypt’s Rafah crossing into Gaza, Chinese UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said: “We are here with the belief that with our joint efforts we can stop the war. We might not be able to change the whole situation, but we will not give up.”
Over the entirety of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the U.S. and U.K. have attempted to “manage” all parties involved, by massaging public perceptions and promising one thing while doing the other. This short-sighted approach was bound to fail, as it clearly is now. But beyond that, it is setting into motion something far broader than the immediate issue at hand, and is collapsing any trust in the Western “rules-based order” by force of its own actions.
The vote on Dec. 8 was likely the final nail in the coffin of this perception management operation, and the world is now forced to see the ghastly truth of the pro-genocide orientation of Wall Street and London which underlines all Anglo-American policy. The Dec. 12 UN General Assembly vote showed that more and more of the world are not cowed by threats and word-games. While the Five Eyes thought police may be able to control Westerners’ perceptions on television and the internet, the world is seeing what is happening in Gaza in full color.
This is why China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman’s remarks hit so hard on Monday, Dec. 11. When asked about China’s response to the new round of sanctions and condemnation of China for “human rights” abuses, Mao Ning simply said: If the U.S. really cares about human rights, “the last thing it should do is to veto the Security Council resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire, the only country that has done so, while the humanitarian disaster in Gaza deteriorates by the hour.”
Expect pressure to continue to build against this blatantly hypocritical and failing system. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Dec. 10 at the Doha summit over the weekend, there is a new “multipolar world which is emerging after 500 years of domination of what we call the ‘collective West.’ … In order to suppress this kind of development, [or] any dissent, our western colleagues decided to sacrifice all the principles of globalization, which they have been selling to everybody for decades and decades … for the sake of rules-based world order.”
Another element of this can be seen at the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, where all language implying the elimination of fossil fuels has been rejected by China, India, and the rest of the developing world. No amount of lecturing or stomping of feet is enough to convince the majority of the world that energy consumption is bad, and that development should be reserved for only wealthy countries.
These actions and others are setting into motion a profound and historical shift which can no longer be avoided. But at the same time, the intensity of the evil being perpetrated in Gaza risks triggering a much broader conflict throughout Southwest Asia and even beyond. As Egypt’s UN Ambassador Osama Mahmoud Abdel Khalek Mahmoud said during the General Assembly Dec. 12: “The perpetration of this destructive war will lead to a full-fledged catastrophe. This will unfortunately mean that genocide will be used as a tool for war, completely disregarding international law. This will lead the region to a full-fledged war, and it will jeopardize the credibility of this international organization.”
Therefore, the eyes of history are upon us in these coming days and hours. Will we act in time?