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US 'performance' politics fuels crisis: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2024-03-12 20:34
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Michael Fakhri, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, has hit the nail on the head. Speaking of the United States' recent food aid measures for the Palestinians in Gaza at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last week, he said they were a "performance" for a domestic audience in the US with the presidential election coming up.

That's the only rational coherent interpretation for these aid announcements, he said, because "from a humanitarian perspective, from an international perspective, from a human rights perspective", the aid is "absurd in a dark, cynical way", given the US' military aid to Israel continues.

No wonder Fakhri tried to remind the world in the Geneva meeting that Israel is destroying Gaza's food system as part of a broader "starvation campaign", as Tel Aviv is weaponizing its control of the food aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.

At least 30,800 Palestinians have been killed and over 72,298 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities, according to Palestinian sources. Meanwhile, the Israeli military has pushed 85 percent of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

The hypocrisy of the Joe Biden administration when it comes to food aid to the Gaza refugees is also evidenced by it wearing the same pants with Tel Aviv in obstructing the functioning of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in Gaza, and it insisting that Israel be in charge of inspecting and controlling all aid to the refugees, which actually takes the form of Israeli trickle irrigation, leaving the majority of Gaza's 2 million residents in a state of quasi famine.

The absurdity of the US providing humanitarian aid to one side while providing weapons to the other exposes the self-serving callousness at the heart of US politics, in which human suffering, whether at home or overseas, is simply collateral damage for the partisan struggle.

The two parties' divergent attitudes toward the ongoing Ukraine crisis, another instance of US-orchestrated geopolitical carnage, is a further telling illustration of the "performance" politics that now prevails in the US, with the two parties vying to make it an issue for their electioneering.

With the Republicans holding a military aid package hostage to immigration action on the country's southern border, the Biden administration is packaging support for Israel's "self-defense campaign" as a means to advance the US' geopolitical interests in the Middle East against the backdrop of its broader agenda targeting Iran and Russia.

The protraction of the Gaza and Ukraine crises would be regarded as spillover effects of the US' incorrigible partisan struggle.

Both parties in the US should show they retain some humanity by opposing and condemning Israel's acts against civilians and international law. They should set aside their one-upmanship and call on Israel to stop its military operations as soon as possible and do everything possible to prevent a more devastating humanitarian disaster unfolding.

Likewise, the two parties should stop trying to gain political advantage from the bloodshed in Ukraine and instead try to play a constructive role in securing a political settlement to the crisis, which has already caused immense direct and indirect suffering.

There is a lot of talk in Washington about morality. Those in Congress would do well to act on Schopenhauer's observation that compassion is the basis of morality.

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