In an edgy sketch of Sasha Baron Cohen’s comedy series Borat (a parody of a backward Kazakh, Jew-hating goat herdsman), the protagonist attends an art class where the activity is to paint whatever you are feeling. Borat produces a scene of blood and guts spewing from bodies lying on the ground. The liberally-minded tutor asks him what he has drawn. ‘This is massacre of Uzbek village’. That must be so traumatic for you, the tutor sympathises. ‘No, no, this is beautiful scene – Uzkeks very bad people’.
The Western model of geopolitics is promoted as ‘the rules-based international order’. But as Furqan Farah argued in an article for Al Jazeera, this concept has been exposed as a fraud by the current conflict in Gaza.
Rather than rules or principles, the West (meaning the administrations of Washington, Whitehall and Brussels, in collaboration with Tel Aviv) is stamping a heavy boot of power. Like Borat’s Uzbek enemies, the carnage in Gaza is apparently what the poor Palestinian people deserve.
Farah, writing in response to the British government’s opposition to a massive march for Gaza in London (using the excuse of Armistice Day), believes that the UK is mired in moral crisis. Opposition to Armistice Day march for Gaza is a sign of UK’s moral crisis | Israel-Palestine conflict | Al Jazeera The effort to ban a peaceful protest, as urged by politicians and pundits, revealed the abandonment of Enlightenment values. A new dark age looms, with deadening censorship and control.
That demonstrating for peace on Armistice Day was deemed offensive shows how far British society has fallen from its respected status as a civic democracy, built on logic and liberty. The cause for concern is obvious: the sickening slaughter of innocent men, women and children. Israel refuses a ceasefire, while systematically bombing hospitals, mosques, churches, schools, UN-run facilities and other civilian infrastructure across the besieged Gaza Strip in direct violation of international humanitarian law.
The United States and United Kingdom are unequivocally supporting this bombardment not only with words but weapons too. The death toll of eleven thousand, half of the victims in childhood, rises relentlessly with the help of missiles and munitions supplied by the Western military-industrial complex. Israel’s supporters assert the right to defence, but this concept does not give licence to attack unarmed citizens within its own borders. Collective punishment for the action of some Hamas terrorists would be like the British government responding to the IRA terrors in the 1980s (including the attempted assassination of Margaret Thatcher at the Grand Hotel in Brighton) by carpet-bombing West Belfast and Derry. Of course, that would have caused international outcry, but Israel is somehow immune.
Read more: End of the Rules-Based International Order