Within the first week after the International Court of Justice (World Court) decision for Israel to stop activities in Gaza that are clearly plausible (in legal parlance) as genocide, Israel, the United States, U.K., and a gaggle of backers have escalated both the immediate killing in Palestinian territories, and also regional strife, which can result in world war. The Anglosphere is deploying all deadly means on behalf of their killer “rules-based order”: bombing, bullying at the United Nations, and deliberate cut-off of resources for desperate people.
Though more dangerous, this makes them more vulnerable to defeat. Maximum, quick action by individuals and groups everywhere can be decisive, as the whole world is watching. At the conclusion of the weekly meeting of the International Peace Coalition yesterday, Schiller Institute leader Helga Zepp-LaRouche called for people to escalate: demand a Gaza ceasefire, demand a restoration of functioning of UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees), and humanitarian aid of all kinds.
On Feb. 2, the U.S. bombed 85 targets at seven sites in eastern Syria and western Iraq, saying “this is the start” of more to come, which they declare is in retaliation against Iran proxies for three American servicemen killed Jan. 28 in the Syria-Jordan region, where there is no justification for U.S. forces to be in the first place. Team Biden repeats the hollow claim that U.S. attacks will not go inside Iran, just bomb everywhere else. The U.K. today announced its “steadfast” support for the United States’ right to conduct these attacks.
Early this morning, and then again late in the day, the U.S. and U.K. together bombed Houthi sites in Yemen, which the attackers declare is strictly to protect their shipping in the region, and has nothing to do with Israel’s killing in Gaza. The evening airstrikes reportedly hit 36 targets at 13 sites in six provinces. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin praised the assault as a “collective action,” involving not only the U.K., but also Australia and Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark, and Bahrain.
In Gaza itself, resources were cut last week by over two-thirds for the functioning of UNRWA, which has been the main lifeline organization responsible, over three-quarters of a century, for shelter, water, education, and other necessities for Palestinians, continuously prevented from establishing their own independent state. The United States, Britain and 16 other nations suspended their funding to UNRWA, attributed by them to non-investigated allegations made by Israel to the U.S. that some Palestinians working for UNRWA were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas atrocity against Israel.
Finally, the U.S. moved against an Algeria initiative at the UN, and, by extension, moved against the entire 22-nation League of Arab States yesterday, to oppose implementing the International Court of Justice Jan. 26 orders for Israel to desist from genocidal activities in Gaza.
The sequence of diplomatic events: Algeria, a new member of the UN Security Council as of this year, demanded a UN Security Council meeting to address implementing the Jan. 26 ICJ decision, which meeting was held Jan. 31; and at that time, Algeria put in circulation the text of a UNSC resolution calling for increasing humanitarian aid and related measures. (The text is not public so far.)
On Feb. 1, Algeria’s full draft text was provided to all 14 other members of the UNSC. The very next day, Feb. 2, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced that the U.S. opposes Algeria’s initiative. By UNSC protocol, this signifies that the resolution will fail, if and when the draft is submitted for a vote, because any one “no” vote is enough from among the five permanent members of the UNSC to cause a resolution to fail.
Thus, the U.S., with the U.K. “steadfast” alongside, is increasing attacks throughout the region, and standing against any diplomatic move for resolution and compassion. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken carries this mandate as he starts today, on his fifth junket to the region, with visits through Feb. 8 to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Israel and the West Bank.
In Gaza, there are a minimum of 100,000 dead, wounded, and missing or presumed dead, not counting over 2 million more in failing condition. This is the way the situation was described yesterday to the weekly World Health Organization meeting by the Gaza administrator for the WHO, Dr. Rik Pepperkorn, speaking from Jerusalem. This 100,000 figure is 4.3% of the total Gaza population.
We are called to act.