PI Briefing | No. 13 | The pendulum swings

Led by Mozambique, the ten non-permanent members of the UN Security Council pass a ceasefire resolution.
In the Progressive International's 13th Briefing of 2024 we bring you news of the leading role the Global South is taking in defending Palestine and reshaping the world. If you would like to receive our Briefing in your inbox, you can sign up using the form at the bottom of this page.

This week, Mozambique led the other nine non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to pass the first Security Council resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. It is only temporary, covering only the remaining two weeks of Ramadan. The US, facing domestic and foreign pressure, abstained. It then quickly moved to undermine the resolution, falsely claiming it was “non-binding”.

Here we see the continuing influence and impotence of Empire. Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza has not only turned it into a global pariah. It has deeply cracked the fresco of hegemony that sits on top of naked US power.

When hegemony is operating effectively, a narrow interest — of a state or a class — is substituted for the general interest. Think of references to the “international community” in the 1990s and 2000s, which typically referred only to the US and its subordinates, or how stock market performance is taken as a proxy for national wellbeing in much of the media.

But that narrow “international community” now stands isolated and is shrinking further. The pendulum of moral leadership has swung from the Global North to the South.

This world-historical shift in the international system is now well underway. Its impacts will be felt in Palestine and stretch to all corners of our planet. Countries of the South have led the opposition to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians: Brazil, Indonesia, China, Colombia, Yemen and South Africa all contributing.

In the North, this process is having a radicalising effect on sections of the population. The US American, British and German elites that back Israel to the hilt increasingly find themselves out of step with the public at large — and respond with repressive measures that only accelerate the people’s radicalisation. Most want an end to the violence — and an end to the arms sales that facilitate it.

Millions have joined protests for Palestine, joining the mutiny against violent domination that is well underway in the South. This political pressure is shrinking the roster of subordinate states that the US can rely on. The UK, usually the reliable little brother of Empire, voted for Mozambique’s UNSC ceasefire resolution this week. Fresh from criticising US President — and proud Irish-American — Joe Biden to his face for his role in the genocide, the Irish government has announced it is joining South Africa’s case under the Genocide Convention at the International Court of Justice.

Nevertheless, the genocide continues. Weapons from across the Global North continue to destroy Palestinian lives. Famine stalks the land — a deliberate weapon of war. The damage — to health, infrastructure, psyches — is mounting and will last a very long time.

We must speed up the process of isolating the US empire and its support for Israel to bring the devastation to an end as quickly as possible. That means more political pressure, more marches, more blockades, more arms embargoes, more direct action, more coordination, the full panoply of tactics but all moving in the same direction: squeeze the US-Israeli war machine so Palestine can breathe.

But once the Palestinians have a space to breathe, we will have the opportunity to go much further, both in Palestine — for full national liberation, at last — and in the world system.

US empire and multinational capital cannot be allowed to claim they act in the interest of humanity. They are our oppressor, not our worthy leaders.

Today, the pendulum swings. Our task is to push it further.

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Art: The Future is Collective Liberation is a limited edition artwork created especially for the Progressive International by esteemed creative and podcast host Kamea Chayne.

The old-growth olive tree represents the Palestinian people’s rootedness to their land through 100’s of years of cultivation despite an ongoing Nakba. The tree has regenerated in full following previous severing of branches. It extends past the borders of a red sunrise, reminding us that each day brings new possibilities for transgressing oppression.

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