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Israel Is Becoming Increasingly Isolated

12/04/24

A few weeks ago, the UN Security Council took a historic step by voting for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, signaling a dramatic shift in the global stance towards the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict [1]. 

With the United States abstaining, the vote garnered unanimous support from the other 14 council members [1].  This decision represents a critical moment of isolation for Israel on the international stage and marks a significant public discord between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has expressed dismay at the US’s abstention, viewing it as a departure from its usual stance at the UN, potentially giving hope to Hamas for a ceasefire without conceding its hostages. In response, Netanyahu’s office called off a planned trip to Washington intended for discussions, including a potential Israeli offensive in Rafah, which the US opposes [1].

Even Donald Trump, a notable ally of Netanyahu and the most pro-Israel president in history, called on Israel to ‘finish up’ the war in Gaza because it is ‘losing a lot of the world’ [2].

“You have to finish up your war … You gotta get it done. And I am sure you will do that. And we gotta get to peace, we can’t have this going on. And I will say, Israel has to be very careful, because you’re losing a lot of the world, you’re losing a lot of support,” he told the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom [2].

A forthcoming UN human rights expert report is set to recommend placing Israel under an arms embargo for acts defined as “genocide” in Gaza. Last month, many European countries have already stopped supplying arms to Israel [3]. 

In February, Canada joined the Netherlands, Japan, Spain and Belgium in suspending arms sales in the wake of Israel’s brutal military offensive in Gaza. Many other nations have said they will no longer purchase Israeli weapons [3]. 

In addition, Turkey’s recent imposition of export restrictions on key construction materials to Israel is expected to severely impact Israel’s already struggling construction sector, exacerbating issues arising from the ongoing war with Hamas [4]. 

The new policy marks a significant shift as Turkey historically maintained economic ties with Israel despite political tensions, but the trade sanctions amid wider international criticism could lead to increased costs and economic instability within Israel.

Israel’s relationship with their colonial father is also getting strained. The UK government is under increasing pressure to halt arms exports to Israel following an airstrike in Gaza that killed seven aid workers, including three British nationals [5]. 

This incident has prompted international demands for accountability, with Spain’s Prime Minister calling Israel’s explanation inadequate, and it highlights a broader issue as the ongoing genocide has resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 aid workers [5].

Despite being almost completely isolated, Israel remains steadfast in its position, with Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant affirming the continuation of military actions until the hostages are released.

 

[1] Borger, J. and Tondo, L. (2024). Israel isolated as UN security council demands immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The Guardian. [online] 25 Mar. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/25/un-gaza-ceasefire-vote.

[2] The Independent. (2024). Trump calls on Israel to ‘finish up’ war in Gaza as it’s ‘losing a lot of the world’. [online] Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-gaza-war-biden-israel-b2518243.html.

[3] UN News (2024). Gaza: Human Rights Council resolution urges arms embargo on Israel | UN News. [online] Available at: https://news.un.org/en/story/2024/04/1148261.

‌‌[4] Times of Israel (2024.) . Turkey’s ban on exports to Israel deals fresh blow to war-battered building industry. [online] Available at: https://www.timesofisrael.com/turkeys-ban-on-exports-to-israel-deals-fresh-blow-to-war-battered-building-industry/

[5] France 24. (2024). UK govt under pressure to suspend arms export licenses to Israel. [online] Available at: https://www.france24.com/en/middle-east/20240403-%F0%9F%94%B4live-biden-outraged-over-israel-s-deadly-airstrike-on-aid-workers-in-gaza.