Political Analysis: The Security Council Resolution and Israel’s Growing Isolation

Prof. Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh.

The UN Security Council resolution 2728, adopted on 25/3/2024, did not fulfill the minimum aspirations of the Palestinian people or the demands of the resistance. However, it provided positive indications attributed to the resilience of the resistance on the ground, as well as the steadfastness of popular support rallying around the resistance.

The resolution, passed with 14 votes in favor and one abstention by the United States, demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostage, including those held by Hamas and the Israeli occupation, and not solely Hamas. It also demands the entry of humanitarian aid and the provision of civilian needs in the Gaza Strip (GS), along with reinforcing their protection. Notably, the resolution does not link the ceasefire to the release of Hamas’s captives, nor does it condemn Hamas as sought by the US and Israeli sides. It directly confronts the Israeli policy of starvation and demands its cessation, and it places Israel in an internationally “embarrassing” position, albeit superficially (though Israel is audacious enough not to feel any embarrassment), as it employs the term “immediate” ceasefire, a notion rejected by the Israeli side.

This resolution aligns with the broader trend since October 7, depicting Israel’s increasing international isolation, the collapse of its historical narrative, the debunking of its claims regarding Operation al-Aqsa flood, and its so-called “right to self-defense.” It exposes the ugly and brutal reality of its occupation and colonization of Palestine, which will likely take decades to mend its tarnished image.

This isolation, this grim reality, has been further solidified in recent months by reports from international and human rights institutions, including the report of Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, which found “finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating the commission of the following acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza has been met.” This was underscored by the progression of votes in the UN General Assembly, increasing from 121 votes on 27/10/2023, to 153 votes on 12/12/ 2023, urging an end to the war on GS. Similarly, the shift in the Security Council’s stance, from five countries initially leaning towards the Palestinian position to 14 countries, illustrates growing international concern. The US found itself compelled to stand alone in support of Israel, resorting to its veto three times before ultimately being obliged to abstain from voting. Furthermore, nearly unanimous consensus among European Union member states (26 out of 27) called for “immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire.” They also urged “the Israeli government not to undertake a ground operation in Rafah, which would worsen the already catastrophic humanitarian situation.”

Furthermore, South Africa’s legal action against Israel at the International Court of Justice, coupled with the court’s response to several urgent demands from South Africa, underscores significant international support. Notably, numerous countries, including Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Nicaragua from South America, along with Belgium and Ireland from Europe, have joined South Africa in this case. Additionally, Mexico and Chile have opted to seek justice through the International Criminal Court, aiming to hold Israel accountable for its violations against the Palestinian people. These collective actions serve to tighten the noose around Israel, further isolating it as a “pariah state” on the global stage.

On the other hand, the decision underscores the widening gap between the US administration and Netanyahu’s government regarding the management of the conflict in GS. Despite the US treating Israel as a cornerstone of its regional policy and seeking to bolster its role, and despite the agreement between the US and Israel that aggression should not cease until ensuring that GS poses no security threat to Israel, and that the rule of Hamas and the resistance movement in the Strip must come to an end, the burden of Israeli brutality and assertiveness has significantly influenced US foreign policy, casting confusion over President Biden’s electoral calculations. As internal popular pressure mounts, particularly among American youth and within the grassroots of the Democratic Party, there are increasing calls to halt the aggression and show solidarity with the Palestinians. The US abstention could be interpreted as a diplomatic move to pressure Netanyahu to be more adaptive to US goals.

Despite international criticism, the Israeli government has maintained its arrogant stance towards the UN and the global arena, dismissing the resolution as a “disgrace.” Considering their history of disregarding hundreds of resolutions, it seems improbable that Israelis will comply with this one.

Hamas responded positively to the resolution, highlighting the urgent necessity for an immediate cessation of aggression, an Israeli withdrawal from GS, the repatriation of displaced individuals, and the execution of a substantial prisoner exchange agreement.

Overall, the resolution can be interpreted as a favorable step towards the resistance, signaling that its actions on the ground have asserted themselves. The steadfastness shown thus far (approximately 175 days) and the failure of all stated Israeli objectives have contributed to this outcome.

While several international parties and legal scholars deemed the resolution as binding, the US and Israel perceived it as non-binding. They argued that it used the term “demands” instead of “decides” and did not fall under the remit of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which typically denotes a binding nature. Additionally, the resolution was confined to the month of Ramadan, lacked a mandate for Israeli withdrawal from GS, and lacked effective executive tools for on-the-ground implementation.

Hence, the resolution signifies a global trend that further isolates Israel. Nevertheless, there’s a likelihood that the war will persist, possibly in the ensuing weeks and months, until the Israeli side is compelled to deescalate. This necessitates bolstering the resistance and its effectiveness, supporting it through all military, political, economic and media channels, as well as utilizing all available official and grassroots methods of pressure.

(Source: Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations)