“The expulsion of Israel from the UN is long overdue. The Zionist State continues to sit in the UN with impunity while Benjamin Netanyahu perpetuates the genocidal nature of the ongoing, uninterrupted military assault in Gaza.“

THE time is ripe for the United Nations (UN) to expel the Zionist State of Israel, even if only temporarily until the genocide and aggression in Gaza comes to a definitive and permanent end.

Expulsion – conditional on agreement and compliance with a new permanent ceasefire deal coming under the oversight and supervision of the UN – would represent a form of diplomatic sanction and isolation.

By extension and inclusion, it would confirm the pariah status of the Zionist entity. Otherwise, permanent expulsion, if need be, can represent what would be the first step towards economic, military and full-orbed sanctions against Israel.

The expulsion of Israel from the UN is long overdue. As it is, the situation is downright surreal. The Zionist State continues to sit in the UN with impunity while Benjamin Netanyahu perpetuates the genocidal nature of the ongoing, uninterrupted military assault in Gaza. As of June 24, the death toll in Gaza is at least 37,598 with 86,032 wounded.

According to the Middle East Eye, eight Palestinians were killed on June 23 in an Israeli air strike at a training college near Gaza City being used to distribute aid, even as Israeli tanks pushed further into the southern city of Rafah.

Palestine’s Wafa news agency reported that an Israeli strike “on the eastern gate” of UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East)’s headquarters in Gaza City killed five people.

Just less than two weeks ago, the UN Secretary-General’s Report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) released on June 13 noted that, “children were killed and maimed in unprecedented numbers in ... the Occupied Palestinian Territory, notably in the Gaza Strip. This constitutes the highest numbers of grave violations”.

According to the Unicef (UN International Children’s Emergency Fund), more than 14,000 children have been killed in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). This has resulted in the UN secretary-general adding the IDF to the Annexes – under “state actors” – in the same CAAC report.

With the death toll continuing to mount unabated, Netanyahu is hell-bent on pursuing the genocide to its “logical” end. The now-confirmed war criminal – as the International Criminal Court has finally issued an arrest warrant for Netanyahu – continues to be obdurate in rejecting any permanent ceasefire deal with Hamas (“Netanyahu says war will continue even if ceasefire deal agreed with Hamas”, Al Jazeera, June 23).

Netanyahu, under the pretext of wanting to “finish the job” by destroying Hamas, is determined to use the “opportunity” afforded by the Oct 7 surprise attack to transform the situation in Gaza.

The first step is collective punishment, even if an unstated policy measure. If “depopulation” on a massive scale by pushing Gazans out into the Sinai Peninsula is virtually impossible, then the “next strategic option” would be to make Gaza into what amounts to and in effect the world’s largest internally displaced or refugee settlement.

This represents a shift from Gaza being the world’s largest open-air prison in terms of its external borders – air, land and sea – but critically yet with a fully-functioning and efficient administration under Hamas and a running economy with a typically modern infrastructure.

Imagine an environment or eco-system that is perhaps near-apocalyptic – where much of the bombed out and destroyed infrastructure are not rebuilt. This means, therefore, that reconstruction would be nearly non-existent.

Potable and clean running water could become a luxury for many, who may then have to depend on wells and groundwater that my need to be detoxified/decontaminated due to the incessant aerial bombardments, including the dropping of 2000-pound bombs and ground barrages (e.g. artillery shells and other munitions – exploded and unexploded). Such water pollution is documented in The Guardian article, “Ecocide in Gaza’: does scale of environmental destruction amount to a war crime?”, March 29).

Electricity supply generated by the sole power plant in Gaza, which is dependent on diesel as fuel), is already inoperative, which means that distribution by power grids and transformers will not only not even be intermittent on a rolling blackout schedule as has been the case “pre-Oct 7” but now non-existent.

All forms and structures of modern life are already reduced to a less/under-developed and “primitive” levels of existence and subsistence due to the unrelenting aerial bombardment and intense ground assaults as it is unfolding before our eyes.

Perhaps, this is what Netanyahu and his Cabinet are envisaging for a future Gaza that is free of Hamas? At least, reports have suggested that this is what the IDF and Shin Bet (the domestic spying and counter-intelligence agency) are proposing.

A downgraded Gaza

Where the strategy shifts from degradation and dismantlement of so-called “terrorist infrastructure” to the degradation and dismantlement of all infrastructure. Will this be a continuation in another form of “slow” genocide by the Zionist entity?

Recall that one of the stated provisions of Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is: (c) “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; as well (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group”.

Under such conditions, the new “administration” will be fragmented and left to clan leaders, and there will be little to no development so that Gazans will be left to depend on aid distribution (“Can local Gaza clans fill vacuum of Hamas after the war is over? – analysis”, Jerusalem Post, March 4). This means Gaza, like the West Bank, would in effect be subject to de facto and later on de jure annexation by the Zionist entity, with the only element lacking being Zionist settler colonialism – at least for “now”.

What is clear, notwithstanding, is that Netanyahu wants to establish a fully-fledged civilian administration in Gaza, which would entail handpicked and selected appointees, failing which, Arab countries would be invited and under conditions of de-militarisation. This would imply the continuing presence of Zionist occupying forces within Gaza, perhaps supported by collaborators or local auxiliaries.

It would also imply Israel setting up a buffer zone in the northern part of Gaza, with the concomitant of a permanent military presence (“Netanyahu unveils plan for Gaza’s future post-Hamas” CNN, Feb 23). From the buffer zone, Zionist occupying forces would keep a watchful eye and readily and easily move in and out of the rump Gaza.

The other “bookend” would be total Israeli control of the southern Gaza border whereby access is primarily through the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Should Israel with its callous and sadistic pursuit of genocide in Gaza, even if “disguised” as a military operation against Hamas, combined with a nefarious “post-war” plan continue with its standing/membership in the UN?

The UN is the one and only world body that represents and embodies the august gathering and assembly of the international community coming together on the universal values of the human race – peace, dignity and justice.

How much longer can a so-called country, which claims to be the survivor of the Holocaust but then perpetrates the same against the indigenous people of the land, continue the charade of playing victim before the UN?

What more when genocide epitomises in all its horror and hellish degree the highest manifestation of crimes against humanity and, by extension, the international community?

Should the UN, in embodying the will of the international community, continue to sit by while the aggressor doggedly treats the UNSC and UN General Assembly (GA) resolutions on the present situation in Gaza with utter contempt?

Not to mention the long catalogue of previous UNSC and UNGA resolutions condemning the Zionist entity for fundamental breaches and violations of international law with regards to the whole situation of Palestine (East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza).

The UNGA should now convene a special and emergency session to formulate and draft, with pre-existing inputs from the prior parties – US, Israel, and Hamas together with the Arab countries concerned such as Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates/UAE and Saudi Arabia, a fresh ceasefire deal that is permanent with preparations also to conduct Israel’s interim expulsion at a later stage. This UN-sponsored ceasefire deal will essentially be based and built on the UN Security Council Resolution 2735 as adopted on June 10.

The maximum time-frame for Israel’s agreement and compliance with the UN-sponsored and supervised ceasefire deal should be two weeks. And readmission/reinstatement will only take place if the US for once exerts pressure on the Zionist entity to cease and desist from genocide and aggression. Cessation is to take place within seven days of the expulsion. Otherwise, the interim expulsion would become a permanent, although not irrevocable/irreversible arrangement.

Israel’s reversion to the two-state solution would serve as one critical condition for readmission. Perhaps, the UN could further justify its purported expulsion of Israel by calling for a supplementary UNGA vote on the warrant issued by the ICC for the arrest of Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

It is predicted that the majority of UNGA members will second the motion that the nature and gravity of the criminal charges instituted against Netanyahu and Gallant do serve in their own right as a justification for Israel’s expulsion.

Expulsion should be accompanied by a call for an arms embargo as having double legal force – both reinforcing and interlocking with the other) – set within the same session (“Arms embargo is only proportionate response to Israel’s contempt for UNSC resolution”, Howard Lee, Malay Mail, June 22).

Expelling Israel from the UN in defiance of the US and UK as members of the UNSC’s Permanent Five/P5 only serves to reflect and express the shifting global order towards multi-polarity.

It is hoped that Malaysia and partner countries such as South Africa or Turkey will urgently make the necessary move at the UN.

Jason Loh Seong Wei is Head of Social, Law and Human Rights at Emir Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research. Comments: letters@thesundaily.com