Much has been said by official government representatives from almost every nation around the world since the recent Gaza crisis began to take shape with the alleged kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers in June, followed by an IDF campaign against Palestinians throughout the occupied territories, and culminating in the aerial bombardment of Gaza by the IDF and finally by the IDF’s limited ground invasion of Gaza. The unrestrained Israeli assault on Gaza resulted in 2,127 Dead, including 554 children, almost 11,000 Injured, including 3,258 children and 2,089 women, 16,002 homes targeted with 2358 completely destroyed, 169 Mosques targeted with 61 completely destroyed, and vast swaths of essential public infrastructure destroyed displacing almost half a million people. The 51 day long unprovoked Israeli assault comprised 60,664 attacks, including 8,210 airstrikes from US supplied and armed fighter jets, 36,718 mostly US supplied tank and artillery shells and 15,736 naval strikes with mostly US supplied ordinance. This painstaking and continuing exercise in ranking the international response to Israel’s assault on Gaza from a pro-Palestine perspective is concerned primarily with how well the substance of each nation’s official statements about the crisis advance the Palestinian cause. Nothing in this exercise is intended to reflect in any way on the positions of ordinary people, the media, NGO’s or opposition political parties in the countries examined. The numerical scores ultimately arrived at should not be treated as the product of an exact mathematical process but rather should be seen only as an effort to introduce a degree of rigour and consideration into the process. Naturally, the process has its inherent limitations since it cannot take into account “back channel “ diplomacy and penalises those countries which adopted a tactic of neutrality, be it feigned or genuine. The criteria were deliberately weighted to penalize countries which, in the context of this crisis, criticised the “red-herring” of Hamas rocket fire or who expressly referred to Israel’s right to defend itself. Scores between minus 50 and plus 85 were awarded based on 7 criteria for the substance of official statements made about the Gaza crisis. A further scores from minus 15 to plus 50 was awarded for the force, timing and appropriateness of statements as well as the level at which they were made. Finally, a further score from a low of minus 15 to plus 80 was awarded based on 8 criteria for genuine calls for action. Unfortunately many countries which are generally supportive of Palestine made statements denouncing Israel with great rhetorical flourish but had nothing to say about steps to be taken against Israel. The positions expressed by countries diplomatically through the UN Security Council and the UNHRC had a significant outcome on the results, even though through no fault of their own, many countries did not have the opportunity to make such statements. In many instances, a country’s total score reflects what was said or not said more than its official policy on Palestine and Israel. In that regard, there were numerous countries which expressed bold and colourful denouncements of Israel but otherwise failed to call for specific action. Other countries, though the substance of their official statements about the crisis may have been weak, earned considerable extra points for making clear calls for action, especially those which called for the Gaza Blockade to be lifted, for Israel to be prosecuted at the ICC, for the international community to scale back diplomatic relations with Israel or for unqualified recognition of a sovereign, independent state of Palestine. This process of ranking has so far resulted in provisional scores being assigned to each of the 114 countries which had something to say about the crisis, based 19 assessment criteria. The range of possible scores was from minus 80 to plus 215. The average score was 42 and the median score was 79. The results ranged from a score of minus 80 at the lowest end earned by both Canada and Israel, to a score of 208 at the highest end earned by Iran, just 7 points short of the possible maximum. Forty-four Countries earned the equivalent of an unredeemable failing score and fell within the numerical range of minus 80 to zero. The most notable of these countries were Israel (-80), Canada (-80), Germany (-64), Italy (-63), the USA (-60), Australia (-56), Japan (-51), the UK (-42), France (-36), the Holy See or Vatican (-30), Sweden (-10) and Egypt (-2). These countries represent a loose, largely US led “bloc” and have demonstrated an unqualified commitment to championing the Zionist cause, even at the expense of their own domestic interests and regardless of Israel’s brutality or the dissenting opinions of their own constituents. These countries, it is reasonable to say, bear as much responsibility for Israel’s continued oppression of Palestinians as Israel itself and certainly represent an obstacle to reaching any kind of permanent solution to the almost century long conflict between Palestinians and their Zionist oppressors. In terms of this exercise, they all receive an “F” for failure. In fact many of these countries earned scores so low that they would be expelled if this was a school! It is also significant that the former English colonies of Canada and Australia, both of which I am embarrassed to admit that I hold citizenship in, actually performed roughly the same or worse than the USA whom they are so anxious to please. A further loose group of countries scored what by any reasonable measure also constitutes a woeful lack of support for Palestine if not unqualified support for Israel, although a few countries at the upper end of this group cannot be subjected to the same harsh criticism as the rest. Some of the more notable countries in this group comprising scores between zero and 72 are Colombia(8), Iceland(20), Brunei Darussalam(23), Spain(47) Russia(53) and Bahrain(63). The group includes a number of countries who by their often incoherent or muted positions demonstrate that they simply do not care about the issue except insofar as their own interest are affected, or who otherwise profess to value peace above all else. When it comes to the important issue of Palestine and Israel, a number of countries in this group are immature nations with a spotty record and hardly seem to matter. These countries all receive an ignoble “D”, although in some instances it is for “Dumbness”, while in other instances it is for “Deceit”, and in still other instances it is for a “Delusional” attachment to “peace at all costs. ” No doubt many will recoil at the fact that Iceland appears in this group. All I can say is that its ranking reflects the price to be paid for remaining obsessively neutral while aspiring to be a mediator for peace when in fact, geopolitically speaking, it is essentially powerless. With all due respect to our otherwise wondiferous Icelander friends, all I can say is cut back on the “Brennivin” and, more to the point, “D”umb move! The next loose grouping of nations comprises those whose scores reflect the fact that their responses to the Gaza crisis certainly were not entirely pro - Israel and indeed, in many respects were pro - Palestine. In many instances, countries ended up in this group due to criticism of Palestinian rocket fire or less than robust calls for action against Israel, even though their official statements may otherwise have been highly critical of Israel. The scores of these 43 nations ranged from a low of 73 earned by El Salvador to a high of 119 earned by South Africa. Some of the more notable inclusions in this group include Saudi Arabia(73), Qatar(81), Yemen(81), Jordan(84), Zimbabwe(84), Sudan(84), Norway(87), Chad(89), Oman(92) and India(94), Syria(96), North Korea(97), Mexico(97), Congo(98), Somalia(103), Uruguay(105), the Palestine Authority(107), Lebanon(109), Ecuador(109), Kenya(110), Ethiopia(113), Niger(114), Kazakhstan(114), Morocco(115) and South Africa(119). A number of countries seem to have ended up in this group out of their loyalty to the KSA led Arab league and the sectarian or tribal politics of the league which seems all too often to prevent the Islamic world from speaking with a unified voice based on a position derived from principle rather than politics. Others are in this group simply because once again their official statements, though supportive, fell short of including strident condemnations of Israel’s conduct and clear call for action. The countries in this group which earned scores of 72 to 94 receive a “C” for “Could have been so much better. ” Those which earned scores from 96 to 119 receive a “B” for “Bold. ” At last we get to the star performers. The final group comprising 17 nations with scores from 121 to 208, were by any measure very supportive of Palestine and highly critical of Israel, even if some countries at the lower end of this group also expressed inappropriate though less than zealous criticism of Palestinian rockets. This group of countries which were most supportive to Palestine includes Malaysia(121), Turkey(121), the Maldives(124), China(126), United Arab Emirates(127), Cuba(131), Kuwait(132), Indonesia(133), Algeria(133), Chile(134), Argentina(136), Brazil(138), Tunisia(145), Pakistan(151), Bolivia(154), Venezuela(178) and Iran(208). This group dominated by countries in the Iran Chaired Non - Aligned movement, though it certainly includes several countries which are generally considered to be submissive to the KSA. It appears that the Non - Aligned Movement countries as well as several other countries are now firmly committed to advancing a uniform Palestine policy based on principle, without letting self - interest or tribal / sectarian / regional loyalties get in the way. Particularly notable are the stellar performances of Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba, whose scores should leave many Middle East, African and Asian countries feeling deeply ashamed. That is not to say, however, that all South and Latin American countries share their honours. For example, Columbia which appears near the bottom of the “D” scores, chose to denounce Hamas rocket fire and expressly recognise Israel’s right to defend itself, as if the assault on Gaza had anything whatsoever to do with rockets! That brings me to Iran which stands out “head & shoulders” above all other nations as this year’s cumme lauda with a massive score of 208 which I do not feel any compulsion to explain for the benefit of Iran haters who would never get it any way. Certainly no other country has expressed its unqualified support for Palestine and, equally important, for the Palestinian resistance, with more force, timeliness or repetition than Iran. There simply is no room for argument about this. Iran receives an A + for its unqualified support of Palestine while the rest all receive grades in the A - to A range. As for the Islamic world as a whole, it is interesting to observe that at least as far as countries like Jordan, Egypt and the Kingdome of Saudi Arabia are concerned, much of their political leadership seems to be so overwhelming concerned with self - interest and their regional political rivalry with Iran, that they are almost blindly submissive to US dictates when it comes to Palestine. Once their rhetoric is peeled away, they are all but indistinguishable from the US dominated first camp of decidedly pro - Israel nations. Despite a great deal of diplomatic support for their position the international community, there are clear indications that the influence among Muslims enjoyed by the KSA led group of nations is in decline. Certainly their diluted version of the US position on Palestine which is prescribed through the agency of the KSA - both directly and through the Arab League - has been largely exposed for being based on little more than a secular political agenda which is anything but Islamic. It is also interesting to single out for special mention those countries which played a significant role in carrying out the Nazi Holocaust against European Jews. Germany apparently remains moribund by its own continuing guilt as the primary though far from only actor in the European Holocaust. All I can say is that one can only wish that other nations whose people showed every bit as much relish for the disgusting task of massacring Jews and other victims during the Holocaust would demonstrate as much contrition, albeit not at Palestine’s expense. Some of the countries I have in mind are the Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, all of which now seem entirely willing to submit to Israel’s bidding but without the pathos and genuine regret over their treatment of Jews during WW2 which Germany now apparently feels. As for the apparent anomalies in each group, clearly the many and varied criteria used in this exercise introduce unforeseen skewing and some degree of credit for past “good deeds” undone by more recent overwhelmingly “bad deeds, ” while also not reflecting quiet diplomatic moves and back channel machinations, be they helpful or decidedly nefarious.By Barry K. Grossman