Thursday, April 7, 2016

Reflection 6: Dr. Leahy's Lecture

In her lecture, Dr. Leahy focused on covering the reasons that there is anti-American sentiment in the Arab World and how this came about, particularly in relation to the US’s unconditional support of Israel even in light of their numerous Human Rights violations. The negative view of the United States stems from this support of the Israelis as well as other dictatorships even though they engage in tactics that are illegal by International Humanitarian Law and result in many deaths particularly those of civilians.

                The United States claim to stand for democracy, globalization and human rights for all, however their hypocrisy between their statements and their policies lead to resentment in the Arab World and understandably so.  The globalization that is so acclaimed in the western and developed world is very limited and restricted in developing nations and is reserved only for very few at the very top leading to relative deprivation for the rest of the population as they are able to see the opulent live led but are unable to have even a small portion of the benefits their leaders enjoy. Democracy is also a huge point of contention in the Arab World because even though the US and UN say they support free and fair democratic elections, if someone wins who they do not like- like in the case of Hamas winning in the first open democratic election in Palestine. Although they claimed to support these elections, as soon as Hamas won, the UN leveled Sanctions against Palestine and cut their funding. Human Right violations are also rampant in the Arab World particularly by the Israeli government. The US supports the Israeli government and vetoes any potential action that could be taken against them in the UN like in the case of Battle of Jenin where the IDF went into a refugee camp and destroyed homes and killed many. The UN wanted to take action against them; however the US vetoed the motion so it did not pass.

                Dr. Leahy’s explanations behind the resentment directed toward the US as well as her characterization of the US was accurate when looked at in relationship to what was happening in The Arab World particularly with their relationship to Israel. The unconditional support and backing of Israel in all of their actions is causing resentment toward the US in the Arab World and is serving to only increase the tension in the region without helping anything. The presence of the United States could be a beneficial one in the region; however, the US needs to genuinely align their policy with what they claim to stand for. 

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