Jordan’s Queen Rania accused Western leaders of a “glaring double standard” for not condemning Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians in its bombardment of Gaza, in an interview aired Wednesday.
The royal, born to Palestinian parents in Kuwait, blasted Western nations for opposing a blanket ceasefire and said their silence gave the impression they were “complicit” in Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip.
“The people all around the Middle East, including in Jordan, we are just shocked and disappointed by the world’s reaction to this catastrophe that is unfolding. In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a glaring double standard in the world,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“When October 7 happened, the world immediately and unequivocally stood by Israel and its right to defend itself and condemned the attack,” she said of the day when Hamas militants began a rampage that killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped more than 220 others, Israeli officials say.
“But what we’re seeing in the last couple of weeks, we’re seeing silence in the world.”
Israel has responded with relentless air strikes on the tiny Palestinian territory which Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says have killed 6,546 people, mostly civilians and many of them children.
It has also imposed a total siege on Gaza’s 2.4 million residents who are facing a “catastrophic” humanitarian crisis, the United Nations says.
‘The silence is deafening’
“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?” Queen Rania asked.
Many Western governments have repeatedly and publicly voiced their support for Israel while also urging it to respect international law.
Queen Rania said of the West’s refusal to back a ceasefire that “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”.
Israel and its allies have so far rebuffed calls for a blanket ceasefire, which the White House has said would only benefit Hamas.
The United States last week vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for a “humanitarian pause” in the raging Israel-Hamas conflict, saying the text did not recognize Israel’s right to defend itself.
UN chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday spoke of “epic suffering” in Gaza, and said there had been “clear violations of international law”.
Guterres sparked a furious reaction from Israeli diplomats when he said that the Hamas attack “did not happen in a vacuum”.
That sentiment was shared by Queen Rania, who told CNN that it was wrong to say the conflict started on October 7.
“This is a 75-year-old story; a story of overwhelming death and displacement to the Palestinian people. It is a story of an occupation under an apartheid regime,” she said.
When pressed on that claim, Rania cited international human rights organizations, which have previously accused Israel of apartheid.
Israel responded to a 2022 Amnesty International report which said it was perpetrating apartheid by calling Amnesty a “radical organization”, and saying the country was “a democracy committed to international law”.