The cycle of war and violence has been a constant feature of the international arena and human history for the past thousand years, and irrespective of the resultant atrocities, the significant efforts of individual states to delineate frameworks for the maintenance of peace are quite inevitable. The World War two events that led to massive human suffering had put a question mark on civilized societies and economically and technologically advanced states like the United States, the United Kingdom, etc.

Hence, those events acted as a trajectory for influential states to avoid future recurrence of it and proposed ways to curb the violent elements and maintain international relations through regulatory bodies.

The United Nations is quoted as one prime example that served as a symbol of global governance and peace by providing a platform for discussion among states.

However, the political makeup of the UN where veto powers overshadow the decision-making process permits the international anarchical structure to persist and allows the powerful states to shape global power politics.

The recent conflict re-escalation in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas has highlighted the toothlessness of international humanitarian law and the vested interests of veto powers that have prevented the UN Security Council from reaching any resolution and shattered the existence of global peace aspirations. The attacks by Israel on Gaza and parts of Palestine, which was under the administrative control of Hamas, have prompted threats for the region as well as the world, posing complex questions on global peace and stability.

To achieve its political objective, i.e., to eliminate Hamas and gain back hostages, Israel has been involved in an indiscriminate approach toward war which has majorly been against basic war ethics. Israel has committed massive crimes against humanity according to the visual content shared by Human Rights Watch and the journalists working within the conflict-ridden areas, and the reports provided by the International Committee of Red Cross.

Palestine has become a ‘graveyard for Children’ as has been quoted by the United Nations. The indiscriminate killing of civilians and the use of heavy bombings and shelling on hospitals have left Gaza in shambles, creating what the World Health Organization has labeled as a ‘death zone’. Israel has dropped tons of bombs on Gaza which is 1.5 times more than what the Hiroshima-Nagasaki event had witnessed.

Blackout in Gaza for day-long hours after cutting off low-orbit communication satellites had heightened uncertainty and fear among unarmed civilians, especially old people, patients, women, and children.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says: “Hostilities in Gaza and Israel have created appalling human suffering, physical destruction, and collective trauma across Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory. The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis.”

Despite this being said, violations have been committed against international humanitarian laws, and it is a grave concern for international bodies that have not been able to put a halt to the atrocities since the 7th of October.

An imbalance of power and capabilities has been found between the conflicting parties, and the global powers’ military support has aggravated the conditions of war. Major states, especially the allies of the United States and the United Kingdom, have stood by the occupier i.e., Israel, watching the atrocities taking place. The dilemma is such that the United States and its allies had previously lent support to the occupied in case of the Russian invasion of Ukraine while shifting its whole narrative by supporting the occupier in case of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Such a scenario unfolds the dual policies of states that shape international politics in pursuit of their vested interests despite their public showing solidarity through massive demonstrations and protests for the Palestinian civilians such as witnessed in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Austria to name a few. It acts as a reminder for the states who have been ignoring the root cause of the Israel-Hamas war which lies in the ‘illegal occupation of Palestine’. Unless states focus on the root cause, peace is inevitable.

Presently, the UN Security Council has attempted four times for the ceasefire which has been persistently vetoed by major veto powers due to the existing realpolitik. However, in the past, there had been instances of diplomatic interventions and successes such as peace agreements reached by the Camp David Accords of 1978 and the Oslo Accords of 1993.

In the current scenario, diplomatic efforts by the United States in the initial days served no interest of the parties and thus, led to the prolongation of the war. Peace is possible if global and regional actors put aside their realist agendas to mediate and bring parties to the table for talks and discussions. Saudi-Arabia’s offer to Iran for economic cooperation to avoid Iran’s direct involvement and thus, escalation of war can serve as an example for temporary interventions.

For a long-term solution, the two states must collaborate or compromise on their land issue, as has been proposed by Johan Galtung, pioneer of peace research, who was of the view that the solution lies in the 1948 map. Moreover, his view that security can be attained through peace but peace can never be attained through security serves as a message for Israel and those supporting its military advances.

For all the factors that are undermining global peace, it is high time to settle the issues peacefully. Martin Luther King, an icon of peaceful protests in America for Black people, was of the same view that reasoning, discussion, and talks can be the best tools to fight back, likewise, it must be followed by the states to resolve issues from grassroots levels before resorting to violent means.

Despite Israel’s offensive behavior that has glorified violence and made the Palestinian issue appear trivial and paradoxical, it has brought together global peace forces like humanitarian organizations, and global harmony among the international public showing solidarity for Palestine, and above all, for peace and justice. It has also prompted states to utilize their marginal diplomatic tactics to halt the aggravating conflict.

The United Nations agencies have not been politicized as of yet and remain in line with the needs of the world.

Phillippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees is relentlessly committed to peace and justice. In a recent discussion, he emphasized that: “In Gaza, we have to bring assistance at scale, it needs to be uninterrupted and meaningful-and until now it has not been.”

Such efforts at domestic, and international levels do not diminish the prospects of attaining global peace and accentuate that the world yearns for peace and justice above the realpolitik that dominates the international arena.

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