In the Western narrative of the Gaza war, there is a notable focus on Hamas, which, according to Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah, distracts from Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law, which she sees as the central issue.
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, Queen Rania stressed the lack of a unified call for a ceasefire and accused Western leaders of applying a “glaring double standard”.
When Hamas launched a series of attacks that resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 people in southern Israel, the international community immediately and unequivocally supported Israel’s right to self-defence, as Queen Rania of Jordan noted. However, during the past few weeks of continuous Israeli air strikes on Gaza, which have resulted in the deaths of over 6,000 Palestinians, including 2,500 children, the response from other countries has been limited to an acknowledgement of casualties, often preceded by expressions of support for Israel.
“So the silence is deafening. And to many in our region, it makes the Western world complicit through their support and through the cover that they give Israel that it is just its right to defend itself,” the Queen said.
Queen Rania, born to Palestinian parents in Kuwait, also highlighted the longstanding nature of the conflict, dating back 75 years, with a history of death, displacement, and what she described as an “occupation under an apartheid regime”. According to her, this broader context of a powerful regional player oppressing and committing documented crimes against Palestinians often goes missing from the narrative.
“This is a problem that far precedes Hamas and will continue after Hamas,” she said.
The Jordan Queen further raised questions about the inconsistency in the use of terminology, where Israeli violence is often labelled as self-defence, while Palestinian violence is quickly labelled as terrorism.
She openly questioned whether Palestinian lives are valued less by the West and why individuals representing the Palestinian issue in media are subject to scrutiny of their humanity and moral stance, while Israeli officials are not similarly questioned. She pointed out the absence of Western officials acknowledging Palestinians’ right to self-defence, in contrast to the readily accepting Israeli right.