Patrick Lawrence: Gaza Divides the World

As the crisis unfolds, the brute exercise of power by the U.S. and Israel has catalyzed world reactions. A significant transformation in global diplomacy is underway.

Venezuela’s Samuel Moncada speaking at the U.N. in 2018. (UN Photo/Manuel Elías)

By Patrick Lawrence

My award for courageous elocution of the week goes hands-down to Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations, who addressed the General Assembly last week on the topic of Israel and its barbaric attacks on the Palestinians of Gaza. 

His remarks, which Consortium News reproduced, were appropriately lengthy. Here I draw from his introductory paragraphs:

“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela robustly condemns the Israeli aggression against the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territories. This is an operation of mass expulsion of an entire people in order to annex their territory by the occupying power. It’s a new cycle of expansionist terror, of so much that has been suffered by the Palestinian people over 75 years of occupation….

It is repugnant to see how, despite the cruelty of the facts that are on view to the world, the government of the United States of America and its satellites aim to justify the unjustifiable:

That the occupying power is carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian people as defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court. We ask ourselves where are those who in other cases rush to apply the responsibility to protect but now are ignoring the human rights of Palestinians submitted to the Israeli occupation?”

[See: A Blunt Message for Israel]

It is one thing, I have to say, for publications such as ScheerPost and Consortium News to publish commentary of this kind, or for many thousands of honorable people to march in the name of decency and justice. It is quite, quite another for a sovereign state to denounce Israel and the U.S. in a chamber such as the General Assembly.

It all counts, everything we do. But Moncada and the government he represents just elevated the condemnation of apartheid Israel to the level of global diplomacy and state-to-state relations.  

True-colour satellite image of Ireland, known in Irish as Éire. (Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

Jump-cut to the Land of Eire. Members of the Dáil, the lower house of Ireland’s national assembly, were the first in Europe — and remain alone in this — to speak for Palestinian rights and against the Israel Defense Forces’ savagery after Hamas’ Oct. 7 incursion into southern Israel (which the Dáil also denounced).

As noted previously in this space, the Dáil voted last month on expelling the Israeli ambassador and referring Israel to the ICC. These motions were defeated, narrowly. But the government’s counter motions nonetheless “deplore the escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory since [Oct. 7].”

As to the ICC referral, the government pointed out that an investigation into Israeli war crimes has been in train since 2021 — so, no point.

These are specific cases suggesting a larger whole. After the U.S., in February 2022, finally succeeded in provoking Russia to intervene in Ukraine, we recall, 90 percent of humanity declined to line up behind Washington and its European client states.

“The international community” whose support the Biden regime incessantly cited, turned out to be the 20–odd nations we refer to as the West.

Hamas’ attacks on noncombatants on Oct. 7 have been more or less universally condemned, as they should be. But Israel’s unrestrained response and the Biden regime’s unrestrained support of it have again divided the world.

The trans–Atlantic alliance, with the U.S. per usual in the lead, is full-tilt behind Israel’s outright genocide. Support for it is scarce in the non–West, while expressions of support for the Palestinians of Gaza are many if in some cases muted.

Exceptional Ireland 

Ireland is, of course, an exceptional and interesting case, I should pause to note. The government of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar won the day in the Dáil last month, yes, but Ireland’s identity is nonetheless as non–Western as it is Western. The Irish know Western colonialism firsthand and have not forgotten their time under it. 

During the Troubles, the Irish Republican Army insisted Ireland must be understood as a Third World country. If you want to go further back, Ireland lay beyond the Roman walls; Rome never attempted to conquer it.

These historical realities are often detectable in Dublin’s foreign policies and certainly, I would argue, in its position on the Israel–Gaza crisis. How fine it is to know the Dublin City Council began Wednesday to fly the Palestinian flag atop it for a week. 

As to the rest of “the rest,” Moscow proved notably quick out of the gate after the Oct. 7 events. Vladimir Putin waited all of three days to assign the U.S. responsibility for the Hamas attack and the Israelis’ disproportionate response, which was then gathering momentum.

“I think that many will agree with me,” the Russian president said in talks with Mohammed Shia` al–Sudani, the Iraqi premier, “that this is a clear example of the failed policy in the Middle East of the United States, which tried to monopolize the settlement process.” Two weeks later Moscow announced it would host a Hamas delegation for a round of talks. 

Moscow Sees a Role 

Since then, Putin and various senior Russian officials have pushed the idea that Moscow has a role to play in sponsoring or co-sponsoring settlement talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We have very stable, businesslike relations with Israel, we have had friendly relations with Palestine for decades. Our friends know this,” Putin said on an Arabic television channel a few weeks into the war. “And Russia, in my opinion, could also make its own contribution to the settlement process.”

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Getting straight to Putin’s point, he made a swift, one-day trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday. On Thursday the Russian president hosted President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran at the Kremlin.

This is starting to remind me of the diplomatic blitz China began earlier this year, notably with its sponsorship of an historic diplomatic rapprochement between Tehran and Riyadh.

[See: Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US]

 From left: Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Putin in Moscow on Dec. 7. (Sergei Bobylev, TASS)

China has sent the same signals, if more measuredly. It has said repeatedly that it encourages a ceasefire and settlement talks and wants to count among the sponsors of such talks whenever they may begin.

It has not been clear lately where Beijing’s efforts to assert itself on the Israel–Gaza question stand, but it is entirely in keeping with the People’s Republic’s determination to raise its profile as a political and diplomatic presence. 

Let’s not get lost in the idea of selfless altruism as the prevailing sentiment in Moscow and Beijing. While their positions on Israel and the Palestinians are as stated, it seems plain that these two powers see this crisis as an opportunity to advance their efforts to enlarge their presence in the Middle East.

Hence Putin’s complaint that Washington has for too long “monopolized the settlement process.” My prediction: We are watching a transformation in global diplomacy that will exert a significant influence on 21st century statecraft. 

Not to be missed, Russia and China also put this latest Mideast crisis in the context of the new world order they both espouse. And they are altogether correct in this, not only in my view but, as I read them, in the views of other non–Western powers.

It has been widely reported that numerous nations, notably in Latin America and the Middle East, have recalled their ambassadors to Tel Aviv; Bolivia has severed relations altogether. 

South Africa Sees Netanyahu Arrest Warrant  

Now the South Africans are taking things further. After recalling its ambassador in early November, Pretoria [along with four other countries] has since referred Israel to the ICC for an investigation into what it, South Africa, considers war crimes and genocide in Gaza.

There’s no Leo Varadkar to blunt the message this time: It was South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who made this announcement. Here is Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, whose title is minister in the presidency, explaining the South African position to reporters after Ramaphosa made public the ICC referral: 

“Given that much of the global community is witnessing the commission of these crimes in real time, including statements of genocidal intent by many Israeli leaders, we expect that warrants of arrest for these leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, should be issued shortly.”

Maybe, maybe not, given the extent to which the U.S. has corrupted international public space. But South Africa’s admirably unambivalent position is up there with Venezuela’s, I would say. You cannot be surprised, given South Africans’ bleak memories of their own 40–odd years under Afrikaner apartheid.

Once again, the history of imperial colonization returns to bite the West on its backside.

Ramaphosa at a BRICS summit in 2018. (, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

There are India and Brazil to consider, both among the larger and more powerful members of what we now call the BRICs–Plus group, originally comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 

The India of Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again proves a disappointment. After decades of support for the Palestinian cause, Modi, a religious fanatic in thin disguise, has offered Israel more or less unalloyed support in what New Delhi calls a “counterterrorism operation” against Hamas. It is craven, reflecting the Indian PM’s Hindu-nationalist Islamophobia and his desire to stay on the Biden regime’s good side. 

[Related: 10 Problems With India’s Stance on Gaza]

Brazil’s Lula Openly Critical 

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who returned to power as Brazil’s president last year, initially sought the middle ground from which he typically seeks to advance Brazil as a global diplomatic influence: Hamas’ Oct. 7 incursion into Israel was a terrorist act, Israel’s response has been disproportionate, we must support a two-state solution, etc.

But since the U.S. vetoed Brazil’s call for a humanitarian pause in the Security Council last month, Lula has moved toward an open critique of Israel and the Biden regime. “This is not a war, it is a genocide,” he said in a much-noted remark in mid–November. In an interview with Al Jazeera last week Lula asserted:

“There’s no leadership in the world today…. So we have a clear case of human insanity…. We have about 16,000 people dead, among them 6,500 children. We have 35,000 people wounded, we have 7,000 missing, and we have more than 40,000 houses destroyed, hospitals destroyed. In behalf of what? Humanity is going insane…. I can’t understand that a man as powerful as President Biden has not got the sensitivity to stop this…”

Lula, on right, on Nov. 13 with Brazilians and family members rescued from the Gaza Strip. (Palácio do Planalto, Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Domestic political balances, one or another kind of indebtedness or fear of the U.S., Hamas’ unjustifiable attacks on Israeli civilians: Factors such as these tend to temper some non–Western responses to the Gaza crisis.

But I detect beneath all the official statements, varied as they are, a certain unity of sentiment among the nations of the Global South. Of what is this unity made? From whence does it arise?

“We can frankly say that the dictatorship of one hegemon is becoming decrepit,” Putin said at a Russian forum on world affairs late last month. “We see it, and everyone sees it now. It is getting out of control and is simply dangerous to others. This is now clear to the global majority.”

I draw this quotation from an excellent piece by John Helmer, the longtime Moscow correspondent whose Dances with Bears website makes consistently good reading.   

Putin has an advantage, if this is my term, when it comes to making blunt observations of this kind. His relations with the West are so far down the crater that he has nothing to lose in speaking his mind.

He is also gifted, as his speeches often make clear, with an exceptionally acute understanding of history and our moment as a passage in it.  Does he speak for the non–West when he says such things as I have quoted?

This would be to take the thought too far, as non–Western nations are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves. But I am certain that Putin’s view of the “one hegemon” and the dangers it presents are commonly shared beyond the fence posts that separate the West from the rest. 

Israel’s abominable campaign against the people of Gaza and Washington’s unabashed encouragement of it are two displays of the same phenomenon.

As the Gaza crisis unfolds, the world witnesses two nations that rely on power alone, raw, unadorned power, to advance what their leaders insist are their interests. In both cases, the one more or less a creation of the other, power and violence, or the threat of the latter, have for years been the fundament of their relations with others.

If this was obscured pre–Oct. 7, it is obscured no longer. It is the high visibility of the brute exercise of power that has catalyzed reactions such as those I have reviewed. 

History, a history the U.S. and the rest of the West would rather the world forgot, also figures into non–Western responses to the Mideast crisis. As all the former colonies know well, empire does not have any care for humanity.

Empire is interested only in the continued projection of its power along with, in most cases, capital accumulation and profit extraction. These are empire’s raisons d’être.

The non–West, by dint of its shared experience and collective memory, sees Israel, which is nothing if not an imperial outpost, in this context. If Palestinians have asked for anything over the past 75 years, it is “a fairer world” — a phrase drawn from Putin’s recent speech — in the face of Israel’s relentless exercise of power over them. 

Let us entertain no illusions as to the place in the world order of nations such as South Africa, Brazil, or others standing against Israel’s daily atrocities in Gaza. With the exceptions of China and Russia, they are not first-rank global powers. Even these latter two cannot match the West’s collective power. 

But we must note a distinction I have drawn for many years: There are strong nations and there are the merely powerful.

Strong nations, among their many attributes, have an authentic ethos that consists of more than words, to the advance of which they dedicate themselves. They have a coherent vision of the future. They have, in a phrase, a genuine purpose, a cause, which is, however it computes out in practice, the human cause — the cause of a fairer world. 

The merely powerful, whatever they may once have stood for, have hollowed themselves out by way of their reliance on violence, coercion, or the threat of either. The powerful usually prevail, if you have not noticed. Power prevails in Gaza as we speak.

But let there be no question of the merely powerful winning anything. They have already lost by way of all they have given up.

Zionism’s obsession with land and its attendant hatred of those dwelling on it are destroying Israel in real time. America’s seven-decade obsession with global preeminence has led it into a state of — but precisely — decrepitude.

History’s wheel does not turn in such nations’ favor. 

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Journalists and Their Shadows, available from Clarity Press or via Amazon.  Other books include Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. 

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45 comments for “Patrick Lawrence: Gaza Divides the World

  1. anon
    December 10, 2023 at 16:43

    57 moslem nations had a summit meeting about Gaza.
    It was like watching an elephant go through labour pains and giving birth to a mouse.
    What was the result of this big shindig?

    A few, minimal, token steps to impose some kind of a cost on the Zionist Regime and its accomplices, like:-
    Breaking off diplomatic relations with Israel?
    Closing their ports and airspace to Israel?
    Ending security cooperation with Israel?
    Stop supplying Israel with oil to fuel its war machine?
    Trade sanctions on Israel?
    Closing US military bases on their territory that actively support Israel?

    No, no, no, no, no, Heaven forbid!!!
    None of the above.

    The corrupt, cringing, servile, contemptible bought and paid for useless whores ruling those countries did precisely NOTHING.
    They did not so much as lift a finger to help the Palestinians.

    So what was the sum total of their weighty deliberations?
    The UN should do something!!!
    The ICC should do something!!!
    Somebody, anybody, (anybody except them) should do something!!!

    If they have no self respect, why should anyone else respect them???

    How can creatures like Biden, Blinken and Sullivan be allowed to set foot in any moslem state without being strung up from the nearest lamp post, or at least tarred and feathered and run out of town??????

  2. David Otness
    December 9, 2023 at 16:45

    “With the exceptions of China and Russia, they are not first-rank global powers. Even these latter two cannot match the West’s collective power. ”

    I’m going to beg to differ with you on this one, PL.
    The tide has turned. And the confidence of China and Russia is rightfully theirs to assume. The fact they remain the adults in the room because of their nations’ first-hand experiences with what war actually does to people and their states, the actual destruction of civil harmony and all that makes it possible via infrastructure; it is this that governs their temperament and decision making, especially those they know are irrevocable once chosen.
    The US, in its brash, supreme and overarching hubris, has never experienced what full scale war does to diminish the human condition of its survivors. Just as so few American (U.S.) citizens have ever endured actual hunger and starvation. It builds an element of character unknown to most if not all North Americans in the 20th and 21st centuries. Both Russia and China have that reservoir of even genetic memory of just what such destruction as all-out war entails.

    I’ll only go further to say that their missile technology surpasses out own to the extent that the option of them smacking us down now before we can gain parity must have a sizeable contingent in their military think tanks and doctrine writers. It is only their cooler heads of an experienced and history-aware professional corps from the army to the Duma and Presidency that grants us our so far “life as we have known it” to continue. Those maneuverable hypersonics are quite capable and are configured for defensive interception as well.
    The ball is in their court.

  3. KE Heart
    December 9, 2023 at 15:33

    Thank you for your beautifully written essay. However, one point of interest.

    “With the exceptions of China and Russia, they are not first-rank global powers. Even these latter two cannot match the West’s collective power.”

    I am curious as to why Mr. Lawrence states that China, whose Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) sees it economy at 22% greater than that of the US’, and Russia, whose complete destruction of NATO via its Ukrainian proxy army foisted against Russia by the West and currently being obliterated in Ukraine, not to mention the technological, military chasm between Russia and the West (see hypersonic weapons, state-of-the-art ABM systems (S500, S400, S350, Tor 1,Tor 2, etc)), and the growing de-dollarization across the globe, the rapid realignment of the South with China and Russia, and the imploding West–financially, industrially, militarily, etc.–find China and Russia no match for the “West’s collective power.” Further, there is the catastrophic failure of the countless sanctions and ‘caps’ leveled against Russia and China that find them both developing, literally, more interconnected than ever before, their economies growing (Russia 3.0%), again, while Western economies implode as a direct result of those very same sanctions (see Nordstream, Germany, UK, EU, US, etc.). Mr. Lawrence’s statement appears to fly in the face of current and quickly developing on-the-ground realities.

  4. Carolyn Williams
    December 9, 2023 at 06:37

    Thank you Mr Lawrence for your excellent article. A small point, I know, but the Scottish Parliament also voted for a cease fire in Gaza and condemned the actions of the zionist government in Israel. Unfortunately Scotland’s voice is not heard on the international stage at the moment because of the so-called union with England, but one day we will be. Our people are far more empathetic to the downtrotten than our English neighbours, just witness the hostile reception Mr Starmer received when visiting Glasgow recently because of his stance on the genocide in Gaza.

  5. WillD
    December 8, 2023 at 21:45

    The US, and by association and subjugation, its western vassal ‘allies’, has just thrown away its last chance of salvaging its remaining credibility as a country that upholds human rights.

    The world knows now, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the US is funding, supplying and supporting Israeli atrocities and genocide that are taking place in the open for all to see.

    Not even trying very hard to claim ‘collateral’ casualties, Israel is targeting civilians directly and deliberately – butchering and slaughtering indiscriminately. It’s a brutal deranged killing frenzy, fuelled by hatred, obsession, religious ideology and paranoia.

    This will be the end of Israel – it has gone too far. Far too far.

  6. wildthange
    December 8, 2023 at 21:16

    The Gaza War, “Big Money” and the Insidious Role of the World Economic Forum

    The profits of warfare in our permanent war NATO based rules world order.
    Perhaps the US ability to create reality for the rest of the world is losing its magical touch in lust for full spectrum dominance and maximizing corporate profits is hostile military takeovers. .

  7. LeoSun
    December 8, 2023 at 19:39

    “I got chills. They’re multiplying.” Patrick Lawrence’s, “Gaza Divides the World,” is, “HANDS-DOWN,” electrifying!!!

    HEAR! HEAR!! “The “Patrick Lawrence” award for courageous elocution of the week, goes to Venezuela’s Ambassador, Samuel Moncada.” IMO, CRANK IT UP!!! “A Blunt Message For Israel.”

    ….”It is one thing, for publications to publish commentary of this kind,” FULL context, above!..….“[IT IS QUITE, QUITE] another for a sovereign state to denounce Israel & the U.S. in a chamber such as the General Assembly.” Patrick Lawrence

    *…”The UNSC is the UN’s [HIGHEST] highest decision-making body w/FIFTEEN (15) members, Albania, Brazil, China, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, US, UK, Russia, UAE; FIVE (5) permanent members, China, France, US, UK, Russia, who can BLOCK resolutions, using their vetoes; &, 10 States on rotation.

    DECISIONS made by the Security Council are legally binding for all 193 member countries.” Concluding, Statesmanship & Diplomacy, LIVES!

    ….The UNSC “calling for an immediate & sustained humanitarian truce & cessation of fighting , condemning all acts of violence aimed @ Palestinians & Israeli citizens,” is w/o a doubt, pure reverence for plant, animal & human life. It’s all inclusive. However, “121 countries voted in favour of resolution; 14 countries voted against, including Israel & the US; 44 others abstained.”

    “Never Say Die.”….. “[IT ALL COUNTS, EVERYTHING WE DO]. But Moncada & the government he represents just elevated the condemnation of apartheid Israel to the level of global diplomacy & state-to-state relations.” Patrick Lawrence.

    Imo, CRUCIAL to the $h*tuation, “As to the ICC referral, the government pointed out that an investigation into Israeli war crimes has been in train since 2021-so, no point.”

    The Super Powers, China, Russia, USA are not signatories to the “Treaty for an Egalitarian World sustaining Peace on Earth.” However, the ICC investigates war crimes & crimes against humanity, regardless of the Super Power’s position, i.e., “We will not cooperate w/the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.” John F. Bolton, 9.10.18

    Fuhgeddabout that downer! Focus on, “Palestine Loves Ireland.” BRICS, Lives! Bidenomics tank’s the U$D. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Vladimir Putin aka PeaceMakers; i love the website’s name, “Dances with Bears;” &, Patrick Lawrence, you, too, are “gifted,” righteous, spot f-on!!!! TY. “KEEP IT LIT!”

  8. Ace Thelin
    December 8, 2023 at 14:55

    Patrick Lawrence has written us an excellent article on how the world sees what is happening in Gaza and why the world sees it the way it does. This is the exact view that the dominant media in the U.S. is constantly suppressing, omitting and replacing. The onus lies with us. It is our government, the great enabler of crimes against humanity, that is the Father of Israels genocidal crimes that are being fire and brimstoned on the Palestinians and Arab peoples. Tbose who say the world has turned its back on the Palestinians are wrong. It is the U.S. that must change. Us. If you are not doing everything you can: marching, writing, speaking, calling, petitioning, arguing, pressuring, condemning Zionism and U.S. imperialism then you are part of the problem. The answer is a one state solution. The talk around a two state solution is really a 3/5 Compromise. We must end Zionism, which is Israeli Aparteid and Colonization, and create one democratic state with freedom and equality for all from the river to the sea.

  9. Drew Hunkins
    December 8, 2023 at 14:28

    The only thing that can stop this slaughter is America saying “no more” – or maybe a Russian-Chinese declaration of war on America/Israel.

    Because of the lock the Zionist power configuration has on Washington, the USA saying “no more” is not very likely.

  10. John Manning
    December 8, 2023 at 13:46

    Lawrence implies a thought I have had since Oct 7. The Israeli response this attack is not just a further example of its illegal expansion, it is in fact the beginning of its end. The world majority now not only sees Israel for what it is (a European crusade) but is now speaking openly against Israel.

    I suggest any European who is still thinking should take action. Boycott Israel, boycott those who support Israel. Think before you buy anything. Think before you bank money. Are you supporting Israel or are you sanctioning Israel.

  11. bonbon
    December 8, 2023 at 13:19

    Here, Indian diplomat gets to the Irish issue :
    Hamas as Sinn Fein & the IRA
    M.K. Bhadrakumar compares the two wings of the Palestinian resistance group to Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland and its militant wing, the Irish Republican Army.
    Sinn Fein with major voting chances, looks to its roots in 1905. It was observed by a famous India journalist then. India has a good memory. Ireland too.
    Still, being buffeted by open genocide in Gaza, and the genocide of Slavs, they chose the blue-yellow over black-and-white neutrality of the Irish Constitution Article 19, did nothing (AFAIK!!!) in 2022 with a UNSC seat.

  12. Litchfield
    December 8, 2023 at 12:51

    Somehow I don’t think “settlement talks” are going to get anywhere—any more than they will do so in the Ukraine. Unless “settlement” means that Israel disarms and gives back all stolen land to Pals.

    Which I don’t see happening.

    This conflict will now be decided militarily—and may the best man, or the best empire, win.

  13. Eric Foor
    December 8, 2023 at 12:34

    Bravo Ambassador Moncada!

    If the People of the World were asked there would be a landslide of condemnation against Israel and massive support for the Palestinians. But at this time there is no mechanism for a worldwide popular vote. We need one. All we’ve got is the feckless UN which is weighted to promote the security of only the strongest nations….and of course there is no representation of the Palestinians at all.

    In this case the fundamental argument is so simple and clearly selfish it is worthy of World War. When one group of humans commit genocide against another for some selfish reason The People of the World need a force to stop it. This is exactly what the UN was charged with resolving…but so far it’s impotence is embarrassing. So far the the struggle is entirely one sided as all the nuclear armed nations have sided with Israel or abstained to vote.

    The People of the World need a new United Nation. Singular. One Nation with one set of rules for human behavior. One Nation where we respect each other as equals. This new Nation needs to supersede nationalism, corporate greed and religious bigotry. We need to stand up for our rights as individuals and shut down the political factions that serve and promote selfish interests of “special groups”. We are all Humans first….but if we don’t unit against the forces of factions we will all be Palestinians.

  14. December 8, 2023 at 12:02

    Is there any chance that we are witnessing the death of Zionism in real time? That, I believe, is the only thing that can save both Israel and America from this plunge into utter barbarism. I said “plunge”, but I have to acknowledge that both the U.S. and Israel have been genocidal from their foundations. I think some of us here, as well as in the world at large, are starting to see this. A new world order, based on peace and justice, is devoutly to be wished for!

  15. Gordon Hastie
    December 8, 2023 at 11:36

    A pity Varadkar, no doubt fearing any threat to his power and the neoliberal settlement in Ireland (with the chasm in society one would expect), denounces Sinn Fein as being inextricably linked to the IRA.

  16. Jim
    December 8, 2023 at 11:29

    Sounds like wishful thinking here. Talk is cheap. Where is the action? Palestinians are being slaughtered everyday and the world’s nations, for the most part, have turned their back on them.

  17. Lois Gagnon
    December 8, 2023 at 11:06

    Brilliant geopolitical observations as usual by Patrick Lawrence. This support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza, also spilling over into the West Bank where there is no Hamas, does appear to be the moment when the US and Israel push the world too far and lose whatever little credibility they may have had left. The momentum has shifted.

    • Dianne Foster
      December 9, 2023 at 00:58

      Exactly…. one hopes, and soon!

  18. Tedder
    December 8, 2023 at 10:55

    The esteemed Mr Lawrence says, “Hamas’ unjustifiable attacks on Israeli civilians…”
    I cannot count the ways that Hamas was justified in attacking Israel, and we see how evil Zionist Israel is in the current attacks on Palestinian civilians. We also know that many of the ‘unacceptable acts’ on October 7 were committed by Israel Defense Force (Israel Occupation Force) who killed their own people out of politics or incompetence. We know that the tales of rape and wanton murder are the usual Israeli Hasbara. But mostly, we know that since 1948, Palestinians have endured all and more of the atrocities claimed on October 7–the crime of ethnic cleansing and genocide have no comparison. If we want to blame someone, we can only blame karma–the irrefutable truth that actions have consequences.

      December 8, 2023 at 12:56

      In a strictly legal sense no one is permitted to attack any civilians no matter what the cause.

      • Susan Siens
        December 8, 2023 at 16:03

        I agree with this, but where are the consequences for the millions of civilians killed by the West? Let’s be liberal and only count them since 1945. We have behaved as the Nazis behaved, bombing civilians and terrorizing them. I see NO consequences except our own rottenness and barbarity.

      • Michael Emmons
        December 10, 2023 at 20:20

        I don’t think the number of Israelis killed in the aftermath of Hamas actions on October 7th has been calculated in terms of the number of civilian lives lost. Some unknown number Israelis were killed by the IDF. Of those remaining, how many were truly civilian? All young Israeli adults are required to serve in the military. Many Israelis are in the reserves. Are they “civilian?” How about illegal Israeli “settlers” on Palestinian land? They are often armed and supported by the IDF when they terrorize Palestinians. Are they truly “civilians?”

  19. Jams O'Donnell
    December 8, 2023 at 09:41

    “Hamas’ attacks on noncombatants on Oct. 7 have been more or less universally condemned, as they should be.”

    Not so. Hamas are legally entitled to attack an occupying power. Gaza has been under a punitive and immoral blockade since the Israelis withdrew from direct occupation of Gaza a number of years ago. Blockade and therefore occupation at a distance is on-going, and can and should be resisted by the Palestinians.

      December 8, 2023 at 11:37

      Yes, but in a strictly legal sense Hamas is not entitled to attack civilians. No one is, no matter the circumstance. It is a question of tactics, not the cause.

      • Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
        December 8, 2023 at 12:53

        Yes this is also the Islamic position but the struggle of the secular Palestinians is not an entirely Islamic struggle so that explains a brutish geopolitical resistence and pro-activism ! Rule of law is long dead as well examplified by Israel and the champions of the new allegedly “rules based order” too is a hypocritical broker !

  20. Sam F
    December 8, 2023 at 09:19

    Thanks for this excellent article. In conducting public discussions, I am daily troubled by the fanatical insistence of zionists upon preventing or disrupting all discussion of their Gaza genocide, and by their extreme propaganda scams to blame their violent thefts upon their victims. This includes their protestant zionist opportunists, and of course does not include non-tribalist Jewish people. The conduct of the zionists is utterly disgraceful, as well as that of the bought politicians comprising the majority of the US government. I should add the anti-Muslim Hindu majority of India, some of whom also shout-down or laugh-down any proposal of peaceful solutions as pointless, on the indefensible tribalist presumption that only military suppression works against the “other” tribe.

    The US certainly needs to redirect its surveillance and investigation agencies to find and prosecute the sources of bribes to US political parties and politicians. It needs constitutional amendments to criminalize economic influence upon elections and mass media, and to provide effective checks and balances within each government branch and agency. Those reforms are unlikely because the US institutions are already maximally corrupt, and will continue to celebrate and benefit from corruption until they are replaced as a whole.

  21. Paul Citro
    December 8, 2023 at 07:42

    All world trade with genocidal Israel should be stopped immediately.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      December 8, 2023 at 10:32

      SHUN them wherever possible…

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 8, 2023 at 11:07


    • firstpersoninfinite
      December 8, 2023 at 11:28

      All I can say is that it won’t happen here. At least 25 state governments in the US have passed laws making the agreement to trade with Israel a requirement for state contracts. You can’t get a state contract in most states without agreeing to this. And this was pushed by governors and legislators representing both parties. AIPAC has long fingers reaching into our domestic elections. Our government officials will have no choice soon but to require us all to sign on to this genocide we are funding already. Remember the mania across almost all our state governments to outlaw Sharia law within their borders? There is a method to this madness. Strangely enough, the spirit of Christianity was forged in its early centuries inside the world view of the prevailing Arabic culture. The two religions are impossible to separate from each other. Hopefully, that domestic mania once used to pass laws against the Muslim religion in our own country will one day be used to undo the Christian fascism seeking to pass its own laws in many states already.

      • AA from MD
        December 8, 2023 at 14:40

        Land of the free, huh?

      • Eric Foor
        December 8, 2023 at 16:47

        Isn’t amazing how well organized and legally prepared the Zionist are? They’ve been preparing for this war for a long time.

        If it’s illegal for a citizen to boycott Israel directly is it possible for that person or company to expand their trade to other countries that have no such restrictions? That’s why a worldwide trade embargo of Israel is called for. Is it illegal if you have no more product left on your shelf when an Israeli customer comes knocking? …no, you’re just out of stock.

        The Zionists are attempting to surround and break individual resistance. Their lawyers and spies are everywhere. We will need a united world to outflank them.

      • Steve
        December 8, 2023 at 18:48

        It’s worth pointing out that Jews are not Christians and consider them blasphemous and inferior like all other gentiles. Anyone who thinks Christianity and Judaism are the same or complementary are sadly deluded.

  22. Altruist
    December 8, 2023 at 07:03

    Clearly the Irish understand the plight of the Palestinians, having been on the receiving end of imperialism since the time of Oliver Cromwell and before.

    But I don’t think the Russians and Chinese have an especially strong brief for the Palestinians. Putin is close to Netanyahu, and was even closer to Avigdor Lieberman, with whom he could speak in his native Russian (over 15% of Israelis being Russian speakers). And the Chinese – despite their brush with Communism last century – are hard-headed capitalists who will deal with anyone in power. At least the Chinese and Russians don’t have a “horse in the race” so could be more neutral peacemakers. As shown by the recent Chinese brokering of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    By the way, I read Lawrence’s new memoirs Journalists and Their Shadows a few weeks ago – an excellent book which I would highly recommend (especially for those looking for holiday gifts). More philosophical and deeper than Seymour Hersh’s Reporter, an equally fine book, which is more autobiographical and reads like an adventure story. The third journalist memoirs from the last couple of years I’d recommend is Diana Johnstone’s Circle in the Darkness, which I found especially interesting, as I’m personally familiar with the “terrain” she describes.

    • Tedder
      December 8, 2023 at 10:48

      Take another look at Chinese communism. The idea of Chinese being “hard headed capitalists” is a trope offered up by the capitalist West and has no relation to reality. For one, the Chinese successful effort to bring millions out of poverty and raise the living standard of all China’s people is not something done by any capitalists in history.

      • Altruist
        December 8, 2023 at 13:25

        The very successful Chinese effort to bring millions out of property and raise millions out of poverty was the achievement of the so-called “capitalist roaders” led by Vice Chairman Deng Xiaoping.

        Perhaps “capitalist” is too strong a term – the Chinese system does indeed have its social aspects – but China is indeed commercially oriented. Which is good! China builds bridges, port and infrastructure – doesn’t bomb, unlike some other countries.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 8, 2023 at 11:08

      I, too, have read Journalists and Their Shadows and also found it excellent. That is why I disagree with Patrick Lawrence in his condemnation of the Hamas attack. The Palestinians have a right to defend themselves just as any occupied population has. Full stop.

      • Altruist
        December 8, 2023 at 13:36

        I still haven’t quite understood what exactly happened in the Hamas attack. Yes, Hamas operatives crossed the border, took hostages, both military and civilian, and people died. But there has been so much fake and dubious atrocity reporting circulating about the event, beginning with beheaded babies and continuing to rapes first reported weeks later, as well as reports confirmed by the likes of HaAretz that some of the dead were killed by Israeli military. Would be interesting to piece together what really happened. Over to the journalists among us.

    • Joy
      December 8, 2023 at 13:37

      I’ve made a list and I’m going to read those books! Thanks for the recommendations

    • AA from MD
      December 8, 2023 at 14:42

      Irish also remembers who helped them during the potato famine (Ottoman empire), while the British crown scoffed at them

  23. Steve
    December 8, 2023 at 05:57

    An excellent article.

    To a large extent also, the UK is responsible for the birth of Israel and since 1967, and earlier, has bent over backwards to do Israels bidding. The UK government is highly infiltrated by zionists and acts as an outpost of Washington and Tel Aviv when it comes to policy, particularly defence and finance. The UK bases on Cyprus are the primary hubs for supplies and intelligence to support the Israeli genocide. Without this hub on Cyprus, Israeli actions would be severely hampered.
    So, if there is an axis of evil the UK is certainly a prime player.

    • Litchfield
      December 8, 2023 at 13:04

      I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I’m somewhat surprised that this has to be pointed out!

      This whole mess was created by Britain.
      The Zionism early dreamy mystical British fundamentalists fostered is a golem that became modern-day political Zionism.

      Please see the film “Britain in Palestine, 1917 to 1948” at the Balfour Project:

      Also here, embedded on the home page:


    • Susan Siens
      December 8, 2023 at 16:08

      A commenter on Informationclearinghouse (if I remember correctly) said that the Rothschilds pushed the UK government (probably not a very hard push) into supporting Zionism. And, yes, the UK is a prime evil player in league with the US and the other Five Eyes countries, all settled by colonizers.

    • Templar
      December 8, 2023 at 16:53

      It’s reported that the RAF is using UK bases in Cyprus to fly intelligence missions over Gaza to assist Israel.

    • Valerie
      December 9, 2023 at 04:49

      Axis of evil in perpetuation:


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