By John Wight
John Wight is an author and political commentator based in Scotland.
The most profound hypocrisy that prevails in our world is the legitimization of Israel as a Western-style liberal democracy.
Beyond serious debate, regardless, is that in truth Israel is a racist apartheid state which exists in clear violation of international law and has done arguably since its inception in 1948, and unarguably since the 1967 Six Day War. The occupation of the West Bank since 1967 is illegal; the siege of Gaza since 2007, tantamount to collective punishment, is illegal; the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land is illegal; the targeted killing of Palestinian civilians is illegal; and the imprisonment without due process of thousands of Palestinian minors and adults is illegal.
The normalization of the aforementioned crimes by governments throughout the West stands as an indictment of the bald assertion that those same governments are indispensable pillars of democracy and human rights in our world. Instead they are accessories to the slaughter of civilians, illegal occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid vis-a-vis the indigenous people of Palestine, and have been for decades.
This is the wider context with regard to the news of Israel foreign minister Yair Lapid’s recent visit to the UK and France in an attempt to lobby both governments to oppose the resumption of the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) in advance of the latest round of talks in Vienna with this very resumption in mind. The very fact that the government of the apartheid government of Israel feels able to influence the French and UK governments in such a flagrant breach of international protocol and norms is revelatory in itself. It reflects the shameful complicity of both governments in Israel’s crimes and its ability to function as a rogue state in the region, and is compelling evidence that Iran is being set up to fail in Vienna.
From its inception in 2015, the JCPOA was rooted in the recognition of Iran’s sovereign right to develop nuclear energy for domestic use, while also tacit acknowledgement of the failure by the West to force the country to its knees in obeisance to the diktats of Washington and its Israeli and Saudi regional allies.
Iran originally entered the JCPOA in the good faith and with the integrity of a state that expects nothing less than the same from the other parties involved. Instead, Tehran and the Iranian people were given a hard lesson in the organized hypocrisy that passes for democracy in Washington and other Western capitals. That London and Paris would countenance for a second the attempt by the government of Israel to beguile them from upholding a previously negotiated and agreed treaty - one unceremoniously sabotaged by a fascistic Trump administration in an open act of international brigandage - speaks to the flagrant disregard and disdain of each for the ‘rules-based’ international order both never tire of boasting they represent.
In reality, regardless of whatever administration assumes power in Washington or government in London or Paris, engagement with Iran and the rest of the world has and continues to take place according to the malign values of might-is-right. Such values have upheld neither peace nor stability over the past four decades; instead they have sown the dragon’s teeth of wars of aggression, occupation, and terrorism. In this regard it cannot be said enough: Israel is the product of colonialism and injustice, with the exceptionalism afforded it redolent of a world crying out for change.
Putting it even more bluntly, the idea that the West represents human progress while Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela, Cuba - states that refuse to bow at the feet of imperialism - represent regress, is an inversion of reality. No man can serve two masters, the biblical injunction reminds us, with the attempt by the British government and its French counterpart to serve the ends of justice and injustice at the same time the very reason why on current trajectory both are headed for perdition.
The fact Iran and its people are being subjected to the depredations of sanctions for the ‘crime’ of asserting its sovereign right to develop nuclear energy, while Israel is embraced with open arms and lavished with aid and trade deals despite amassing nuclear weapons beyond international purview or stricture, this is proof positive of the double standards and hypocrisy that underpins Western foreign policy in our time.
In the interests of sanity, not to mention justice, sooner or later the proverbial penny has to drop: you can either follow the path of diplomacy or the path of hypocrisy. What you cannot do - at least certainly not for long - is speak the language of the former and practice the deeds of the latter.
The failure to agree in Vienna to resume the JCPOA on previously negotiated and agreed conditions up to now leaves no doubt of it.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)