WAR, and the Declaration of Human Rights
75 Year Anniversary
Matthew Hong / December 10, 2023

Since the events of October 7th, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has escalated once again. The resurgence of this struggle has divided many nations, and people – it’s polarization manifesting in new extremes, as well as a new axis of divide that is now also generational.

The biggest support of Israel in the western world outside of the Jewish population has historically been based on geopolitics, feigning empathy and at times even in mild denial of former atrocities. In less than magnanimous fashion, the deciding forces have somehow procured a land for a exiled people, by driving out another.

Today, in the current climate motivated more strongly by a distrust of the Arab or Muslim/Islamic world and the logic of supporting the enemy of the enemy, diplomacy is conducted as real estate dealings and support shown in sending arms. With a highly indiscriminate invocation of the principles of International Law on Self-Defense, the justification runs thin as the civilian population has become the shield for one, and target for the other.

Colonial nations fund the war of other colonial nations helping them keep it on the others’ soil with minor variations as pretext for a long and round-about way towards peace, if peace were indeed the real objective. So much suffering, even to sit at the table. The end of this conflict does not seem imminent with failed negotiations erupting in continued attacks.

After a brief cease fire where dealings of prisoner/hostage exchanges were conducted with the caveat which precludes visible joy or celebration, the morning after saw the doubling down of targets including areas of southern Gaza, the place to where everyone in the north were told to evacuate just prior. The world watches on.

Meanwhile the U.S., reentering the United Nations Human Rights Council only last year after having withdrawn from all of UNESCO during the prior administration, vetos the U.N. resolution for ceasefire in Gaza currently at the table and otherwise supported by the remaining members, apart from the abstention of the United Kingdom. On campuses of higher learning faced with these divisions, from the entering class to its tenured members along with the institutions’ presidents, all fumbling for position, a dance emerges, choreographed in a series of faux pas. Even AI has been incited to choose a side, when really the query simply returns what it has been fed. A spectacle worthy of the internet. And elsewhere, in parking lots all the way up to the floor of the Senate, self-proclaimed gatekeepers to morality demand unequivocal denouncements of one side or the other, the very demand birthed of the greatest conceit, unknowing that these positions, when given power, would be the cause the very conflict they claim to oppose. Dunning and Kruger meet Motte and Bailey. The world watches on.

Today is the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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