Queen Rania of Jordan criticised what she called a “glaring double standard” in the Western world’s reaction to the surprise attack launched by the Hamas militant group on Israel as opposed to the suffering of Palestinian civilians killed by Israel’s reprisal airstrikes.
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour broadcast on Tuesday, Rania said the people of Jordan and the Middle East were “shocked” to see that the world sharply condemned the brutal Hamas attack but is standing by amid a humanitarian crisis unfolding in real-time in Gaza.
“Are we being told that it is wrong to kill a family, an entire family, at gunpoint, but it’s OK to shell them to death?” Rania asked. “I mean, there is a glaring double standard here. It is just shocking to the Arab world.”
Over 5,700 Palestinians have so far been killed in the conflict, the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry said, according to The Associated Press. More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, most of whom were civilians attacked by Hamas on October 7.
Rania decried world leaders’ reluctance to call for an immediate ceasefire, saying the Western world is “complicit” through its support for Israel.
“We are seeing staggering human suffering happening today, so why is the narrative always skewed towards the Israeli side?” she asked. “The Western media and policymakers are quick to adopt the Israeli narratives. When Israel attacks, Palestinians ‘die,’ but when Israelis die, they are ‘killed,’ murdered in cold blood.”
The Biden administration had previously called on diplomats in the Middle East to refrain from using language suggesting the US was pushing for de-escalation, according to internal State Department emails reviewed by HuffPost.
While the US is still not backing a ceasefire, it has since stepped up its calls on Israel to take measures to protect Palestinian civilians and consider “humanitarian pauses.”
“Israel must take all possible precautions to avoid harm to civilians,” Blinken said. “It means food, water, medicine, and other essential humanitarian assistance must be able to flow into Gaza and to the people who need them. It means civilians must be able to get out of harm’s way. It means humanitarian pauses must be considered for these purposes.”
However, Israel has only allowed limited humanitarian aid to cross into the Gaza Strip. It is continuing to block the delivery of fuel, which the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said would soon require them to scale back their operations.
Since the October 7 attack that saw Hamas shooting at revellers at a music festival, killing civilians in towns and communities in Southern Israel while also taking hundreds of people hostage, Israel has vowed to impose a siege on Gaza and take out Hamas. The country is also allegedly preparing for a ground invasion in the territory, which the US has reportedly expressed concern about.
Rania said the conflict started way before October 7, calling out Israel’s occupation and the way the media are covering the news.
“Most networks are covering the story under the title of ‘Israel at war,’” she said. “But for many Palestinians on the other side of the separation wall, on the other side of the barbed wire, war has never left.”
Rania added: “This is a 75-year-old story, a story of overwhelming death and displacement to the Palestinian people.”