Shireen Abu Akleh was executed to send a message to Palestinians
Jonathan Cook | 12 May 2022 21:12 UTC | Middle East Eye
(...) But in fact, even in Hook’s case, the UN investigation was quietly shelved. Accusing Israel of executing a UN official would have forced the international body into a dangerous confrontation both with Israel and with the United States. Hook’s killing was hushed up, and no one was brought to book.
Nothing better can be expected for Abu Akleh. There will be noises about an investigation. Israel will blame the Palestinian Authority for not cooperating, as it is already doing. Washington will express tepid concern but do nothing. Behind the scenes, the US will help Israel block any meaningful investigation.
For the US and Europe, routine statements of “sadness” and calls for investigation are not intended to ensure light is shed on what happened. That could only embarrass a strategic ally needed to project western power into the oil-rich Middle East.
No, these half-hearted declarations from western capitals are meant to defuse and confuse. They are intended to take the wind out any backlash; indicate western impartiality, and save the blushes of complicit Arab regimes; suggest there is a legal process that Israel adheres to; and subvert efforts by Palestinians and the human rights community to refer these war crimes to international bodies, such as the Hague court.
The truth is that a decades-long occupation can only survive through wanton - sometimes random, sometimes carefully calibrated - acts of terror to keep the subject population fearful and subdued. When the occupation is sponsored by the main global superpower, there is absolute impunity for those who oversee that reign of terror.
Abu Akleh is the latest victim. But these executions will continue so long as Israel and its soldiers are shielded from accountability.