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Her Majesty Queen Rania on Tuesday relayed the Arab World’s shock and disappointment at the world’s “glaring double standard” and “deafening silence” in the face of Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, emphasizing that, despite the prevalent Western media narrative, “this conflict did not begin on October 7th.”
“Most networks are covering the story under the title of ‘Israel at War.’ But for many Palestinians on the other side of the separation wall and the barbed wire, war has never left. This is a 75-year-old story; a story of overwhelming death and displacement to the Palestinian people,” Her Majesty said. “The context of a nuclear-armed regional superpower that occupies, oppresses, and commits daily documented crimes against Palestinians is missing from the narrative.”
In a live interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, conducted remotely from Queen Rania’s offices in Amman, Her Majesty explained that the people of Jordan are united in “grief, pain, and shock” in response to the staggering civilian casualties of the past 18 days of war, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s office.
“We’ve seen Palestinian mothers who have had to write the names of their children on their hands, because the chances of them being shelled to death – of their bodies turning into corpses – are so high,” Queen Rania said. “I just want to remind the world that Palestinian mothers love their children just as much as any other mother in the world. And for them to have to go through this, it’s just unbelievable.”
Conveying Jordan’s position, Her Majesty stated that the country has been very clear that it condemns the killing of any civilian, whether Palestinian or Israeli.
“That is Jordan’s ethical, moral position. And it’s also the position of Islam,” she said, explaining that the religion prohibits Muslims to kill a woman, child, or elderly person, to destroy a tree, or hurt a priest.
The Queen stressed that these rules of engagement should apply to all sides, arguing that Israel is committing atrocities under the guise of self-defense.
“6,000 civilians killed so far, 2,400 children – how is that self-defense? We are seeing butchery at a mass scale using precision weapons,” she said, “For the past two weeks, we have seen the indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza: entire families wiped out, residential neighborhoods flattened to the ground, the targeting of hospitals, schools, churches, mosques, medical workers, journalists, UN aid workers – how is that self defense?”
The Queen went on to state that many in the region view the Western world as complicit in this war through the support and cover that it provides Israel.
“This is the first time in modern history that there is such human suffering and the world is not even calling for a ceasefire,” Her Majesty said. “Many in the Arab world are looking at the Western world as not just tolerating this, but as aiding and abetting it.”
Elaborating on the plight of Palestinian people, Her Majesty explained,
“There are over 500 checkpoints scattered all over the West Bank. You have a separation wall, which is deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, that has separated the territories into 200 disconnected enclaves. And you’ve seen the aggressive expansion of settlements on Palestinian land, and those have interrupted the territorial contiguity of the territories and has deemed an autonomous, independent Palestinian state not viable.”
The Queen also mentioned that Israel is in violation of no less than 30 UN Security Council resolutions, which “require it, and it alone, to act to withdraw from territories occupied in 1967, and to stop the settlements, the separation wall, and the human rights violations.” She also underscored that Israel has been designated as an “apartheid regime” by Israeli and international human rights organizations.
Commenting on military solutions to conflict, Her Majesty said:
“Victory is a myth that politicians make in order to justify immense loss of life… There can never be a resolution except around the negotiating table. And there’s only one path to this: a free, sovereign, and independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the state of Israel.”
The Queen also indicated that allies to Israel are doing it a disservice by giving it blind support.
“Expediting and expanding the provision of lethal weapons to Israel is only going to expand this conflict. It’s only going to prolong and deepen the suffering,” she said.
Criticizing the role of the media in covering the current conflict, Queen Rania noted the double standard presented when Western interviewers demand that people representing the Palestinian side immediately issue condemnations, requiring them to “have their humanity cross-examined and present their moral credentials.”
“We don’t see Israeli officials being asked to condemn, and when they are, people are readily accepted by [claiming] ‘our right to defend ourselves,’” she said. “I have never seen a Western official say the sentence: Palestinians have the right to defend themselves.”
The Queen also discussed the oppression of Palestinian expressions of solidarity in Western democracies, commenting that when people gather to support Israel, they are exercising their right to assembly, but when they gather for Palestine, they are deemed terrorist sympathizers or anti-Semitic.
“Freedom of speech is apparently a universal value, except when you mention Palestine,” Her Majesty said.
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Featured image: Photo courtesy of Her Majesty’s office