More pressure from US allies could see change to ‘untenable policy’ on Gaza, says analyst

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The Ngāmotu (Al Quds Day) rally in New Plymouth
The Ngāmotu (Al-Quds Day) rally in New Plymouth, New Zealand, on Friday . . . featured on Al Jazeera Arabic world news. Image: Palestinian Solidarity Taranaki

Asia Pacific Report

Nour Odeh, a Palestinian political analyst, says that the US is more likely to move in the “right direction” when it comes to Israel if it feels pressure from its allies, reports Al Jazeera.

“The more Washington feels pressure from its friends, that its policy on Israel is becoming a liability, the more likely I think that we’re going to see a movement in the right direction,” Odeh, who is also the former spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority, told Al Jazeera’s Inside Story.

Odeh noted a recent letter calling for the US to halt weapons sales to Israel, which showed more Democratic politicians, including Nancy Pelosi, are finding US policies “untenable” after a recent Israeli strike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza.

Palestinian analyst Nour Odeh
Palestinian analyst Nour Odeh . . . “What the Americans are doing now seems like a big deal because they’ve been complicit in this war since the beginning.” Image: APR File

“What the Americans are doing now seems like a big deal because they’ve been complicit in this war since the beginning”, she said.

Odeh, who spoke to Al Jazeera from Ramallah, described the last six months as “soul-crushing”, but said that a lot of “solace if not hope is found in the global solidarity movement”.

“This is not a destiny anybody can accept,” she said.

Ngāmotu protest
Meanwhile, a Ngāmotu (New Pymouth) rally on al-Quds Day was featured on Al Jazeera Arabic world news as thousands of people took to the streets of New Zealand over the weekend to protest against the war and the failure of Israel to abide by the US Security Council resolution last month ordering an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

International Quds Day is an annual pro-Palestinian event held on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to express support for Palestinians and oppose Israel and Zionism.

It takes its name from the Arabic name for Jerusalem — al-Quds.


The Ngāmotu rally on Quds Day as featured on Al Jazeera Arabic.  Video: Al Jazeera

On RNZ’s Saturday Morning programme yesterday, the author of a new book featuring the hardships and repression facing Palestinians in their daily lives living under occupation in Jerusalem gave some insights into this human story.

Jerusalem-based American journalist and author Nathan Thrall’s book is named on 10 best books of the year lists, including The New Yorker, The Economist and The Financial Times.

A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: A Palestine Story is a portrait of life in Israel and Palestine, giving an understanding of what it is like to live there and the oppression and complexities of the pass system, based on the real events of one tragic day, where Jewish and Palestinian characters’ lives and pasts unexpectedly converge.

Thrall has spent a decade with the International Crisis Group, where he was director of the Arab-Israeli Project. His first book, published in 2017 is The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine.

The late Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa wrote about Thrall’s original article that led to the book:

I pray that Thrall’s article will remind President Joe Biden of the courageous stance he took against apartheid in South Africa as a senator.

I hope that it will provide a mirror which shows that the very same type of laws that he opposed in South Africa are now instrumental in oppressing Palestinians, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

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