Queen Rania of Jordan has launched a striking attack on the West, accusing countries supporting Israel’s war against Hamas of “supporting” the killing of Palestinians and denouncing a “blatant double standard” in response to the deaths.
Rania, who was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents and grew up in the West Bank, spoke with barely concealed anger about the Israeli shelling of Gaza, calling the Western world “complicit.”
Without directly condemning Hamas, she described Israel as “an apartheid regime” that “occupies, oppresses the Palestinians and commits daily documented crimes against them.”
Rania said that the Western world was “giving Israel cover: that it only wanted to defend itself” and that the 75-year conflict was “a fight for freedom and justice.”
She criticized Joe Biden for saying he had seen photos of babies beheaded by Hamas, only for the White House to then walk that back and say it was unverified. It has now been confirmed that such horrors occurred.
And she said there was a “shocking” difference in the global response to Hamas’ killing of Israelis and Israel’s killing of Gaza citizens.
“Are we told that it’s wrong to kill a family, an entire family, at gunpoint – but it’s OK to shoot them to death?” she asked CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“I mean, there’s a blatant double standard here.”
“And it’s just shocking for the Arab world.”
Queen Rania on Tuesday condemned the “blatant double standards” in the global response to the deaths of Israelis and Palestinians
The 53-year-old spoke to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and was asked how she reacted to October 7 “as an Arab, as a Palestinian, as a mother, as a human being.”
Amanpour first asked the 53-year-old how she had felt since the October 7 Hamas attack “as an Arab, as a Palestinian, as a mother, as a human being.”
Rania replied: “I cannot describe to you the depth of sadness, pain and shock that we feel here in Jordan.”
She said her country, home to the world’s largest Palestinian population, was “united in grief, regardless of our origins.”
Rania said she was horrified by images of mothers writing their children’s names on their limbs so they could be identified if they were killed in airstrikes.
“I just want to remind the world that Palestinian mothers love their children just as much as any other mother in the world,” she added.
The queen described the killings of Palestinians as “butchery.”
“Six thousand civilians killed so far, 2,400 children – how about self-defense?” she asked.
“We are witnessing mass slaughter with precision weapons.”
“In the last two weeks we have seen the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza: entire families wiped out, neighborhoods razed to the ground, hospitals, schools, churches, mosques, medical staff, journalists, UN aid workers – how is this self-defense?”
The queen, who worked at Citibank and in Apple’s marketing department before marrying Abdullah, now king, in 1993, said the Arab world was angered by the West’s hypocrisy.
Rania is pictured at school in Kuwait in 1987 at the age of 17. She became queen at the age of 28
Queen Rania and King Abdullah, who married in 1993 and have four children
The royal couple is pictured visiting the White House in June 2018
The United Nations, the World Health Organization and others have called for an end to attacks on Gaza, and President Joe Biden has called on Israel to respect the lives of civilians.
Rania said it was inadequate and lamented the “deafening silence” over the bombing of Gaza.
“Why is there no immediate call for a ceasefire?” We are witnessing shocking human suffering today. So why is the narrative always skewed towards the Israeli side? She asked.
“Western media and policymakers are quickly adopting the Israeli narrative.” When Israel attacks, Palestinians “die,” but when Israelis die, they are “killed,” “murdered in cold blood.”
She said the response to the Hamas attack was telling.
“When October 7 happened, the world immediately and unequivocally stood behind Israel and its right to defend itself and condemned the attacks that took place,” she said.
“But what we have been experiencing in the last few weeks is silence.”
“Countries have stopped simply expressing concern or acknowledging the victims.
“But always with a foreword of the declaration of support for Israel.”
She said the West had accepted the Israeli perspective too quickly and called out Biden for his response to claims that babies were being beheaded.
“When the President of the United States was told he had evidence, he saw evidence of child beheading, only to retract the statement because the IDF said there was no evidence of it.” “That’s confirmation bias,” he said Rania.
“Even on your channel Christiane, the CNN website, early in the conflict there was a headline about Israeli children found slaughtered in an Israeli kibbutz. And if you read through the story, you’ll see that this hasn’t been independently verified.
“My question to you now is: Would you publish such a damning but unconfirmed claim from a Palestinian?”
Amanpour told her: “Queen Rania, I just have to stop you here because the Israelis were showing pictures and our journalists were down there.” “I’m not talking about beheadings, I’m talking about bullet-riddled baby bodies.”
Rania continued that Jordan condemns the killing of any civilian, whether Israeli or Palestinian.
She said the Pact of Omar in Islam commands Muslims to respect human life.
“I just want to emphasize that this conflict did not start on October 7, despite how it is portrayed,” Rania continued.
Rescuers pulled a child from the rubble of a building after Israeli attacks in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday
People gather around a building destroyed by Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday to rescue injured civilians and recover bodies from the rubble
According to Gaza authorities, Tuesday was the bloodiest day in Gaza since the conflict began, with at least 704 people killed
“You know, most networks cover the story under the title “Israel at War.”
“But for many Palestinians on the other side of the separation barrier and on the other side of the barbed wire, the war has never stopped.”
“This is a 75-year-old story – a story of overwhelming death and displacement for the Palestinian people.”
“It is the story of an occupation under an apartheid regime that occupies land, destroys houses, confiscates land, military incursions and night raids.
“You know, the context of a nuclear-armed regional superpower occupying, oppressing and committing daily documented crimes against Palestinians is missing from the narrative.”
Amanpour told her that her words would likely be met with great anger by Israel.
“Let me just emphasize that this apartheid is a label given not by Arabs but by Israeli and international human rights organizations,” she replied.
Rania added: “It’s not about me.” It’s about standing up for humanity.
“You know, this is not about being pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian.
“This is about choosing the people – the everyday people on both sides.”
“And, you know, and re-states that the Palestinian people have lived under oppression and dehumanization for too long.”
The mother of four said Palestinians “suffer humiliation and human rights violations on a daily basis” – she said there was no freedom of movement and condemned the 500 checkpoints across the West Bank; the “aggressive expansion of settlements on Palestinian land”; and the “humiliation” of her people.
She said Israel had violated UN resolutions and ignored international law.
“Because of everything that has happened in the last few weeks, there is now an excessive fixation on Hamas,” she said.
“But this is a problem that far predates Hamas and will continue after Hamas.”
“This is a fight for freedom and justice and that needs to be heard.”