The attempt to excuse Joe Biden

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

A special State Department panel recommended months ago [prior to the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023] that Secretary of State Antony Blinken disqualify multiple Israeli military and police units from receiving U.S. aid after reviewing allegations that they committed serious human rights abuses [mostly in the West Bank]. . . .

Multiple State Department officials who have worked on Israeli relations said that Blinken’s inaction has undermined [Joe] Biden’s public criticism, sending a message to the Israelis that the administration was not willing to take serious steps. . . .

“If we had been applying Leahy effectively in Israel like we do in other countries, maybe you wouldn’t have the [Israel Defense Forces] filming TikToks of their war crimes now because we have contributed to a culture of impunity,” said Josh Paul, a former director in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and a member of the vetting forum. Paul resigned in protest shortly after Israel began its bombing campaign of Gaza in October.[2]

The language here paints Joe Biden as somewhat innocent. His continued support of Israel’s genocide in all but rhetoric, we are told, is Anthony Blinken’s fault.[3] I’m not buying it.

First, Biden is in charge. He is responsible for what his administration does or does not do. He doesn’t get a pass because his secretary of state is misbehaving.

Second, Biden’s feelings for Israel are well known. He may not like Binyamin Netanyahu much[4] but he has been adamant that the U.S. will support Israel’s self-defense. And he interprets that “self-defense” to include the genocidal war on Gaza. He does for Israel what he won’t do for Ukraine.[5]

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Marianna Sotomayor, “Johnson gambles on plan separating Israel aid from Ukraine funds,” Washington Post, April 15, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/15/mike-johnson-israel-ukraine-aid-house-republicans/

Eugene Daniels, “White House opposes standalone Israel funding bill,” Politico, April 15, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/04/15/biden-iran-attack-israel-00152282

Julia Ioffe, “Bibi Stings,” Puck News, April 15, 2024, https://puck.news/will-bibi-netanyahu-escalate-with-iran/

Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Grim, “Leaked NYT Gaza Memo Tells Journalists to Avoid Words ‘Genocide,’ ‘Ethnic Cleansing,’ and ‘Occupied Territory,’” Intercept, April 15, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/04/15/nyt-israel-gaza-genocide-palestine-coverage/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Iran’s escalation with Israel shifts focus away from Gaza,” Washington Post, April 16, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/04/16/iran-escalation-israel-gaza-attention-focus/

Jason Burke, “Revealed: Israel has sped up settlement-building in East Jerusalem since Gaza war began,” Guardian, April 17, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/17/revealed-israel-has-sped-up-settlement-building-in-east-jerusalem-since-gaza-war-began

Brett Murphy, “Blinken Is Sitting on Staff Recommendations to Sanction Israeli Military Units Linked to Killings or Rapes,” ProPublica, April 17, 2024, https://www.propublica.org/article/israel-gaza-blinken-leahy-sanctions-human-rights-violations

Jennifer Scholtes and Connor O’Brien, “Johnson releases text on foreign aid plan as it hangs by thread,” Politico, April 17, 2024, https://www.politico.com/live-updates/2024/04/17/congress/johnson-outlines-foreign-aid-plan-00152767


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Brett Murphy, “Blinken Is Sitting on Staff Recommendations to Sanction Israeli Military Units Linked to Killings or Rapes,” ProPublica, April 17, 2024, https://www.propublica.org/article/israel-gaza-blinken-leahy-sanctions-human-rights-violations
  3. [3]Brett Murphy, “Blinken Is Sitting on Staff Recommendations to Sanction Israeli Military Units Linked to Killings or Rapes,” ProPublica, April 17, 2024, https://www.propublica.org/article/israel-gaza-blinken-leahy-sanctions-human-rights-violations
  4. [4]Kelsey Ables and Andrew Jeong, “Over 100,000 Michigan primary votes were ‘uncommitted.’ What does that mean?” Washington Post, February 28, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/02/28/uncommitted-votes-meaning-michigan/; Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says Israel’s military conduct in Gaza has been ‘over the top,’” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/08/biden-israel-gaza-speech-netanyahu/; Yasmeen Abutaleb and Matt Viser, “Biden rebukes Israel over aid workers, but his Gaza policy is unchanged,” Washington Post, April 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/03/biden-world-central-kitchen-tough-statement-israel-policy/; Yasmeen Abutaleb and Matt Viser, “Biden warns Netanyahu the situation in Gaza is ‘unacceptable,’” Washington Post, April 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/04/biden-warns-netanyahu-situation-gaza-is-unacceptable/; Lazar Berman, “Israel cannot use Oct. 7 as ‘license to dehumanize others,’ Blinken warns in Tel Aviv,” Times of Israel, February 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-cannot-use-oct-7-as-a-license-to-dehumanize-others-fumes-blinken-in-tel-aviv/; Aaron Blake, “Four takeaways from the Michigan primary,” Washington Post, February 28, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/27/4-takeaways-michigan-primary/; Charles M. Blow, “Arab American Fury Toward Biden,” Washington Post, February 28, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/28/opinion/voters-michigan-biden-gaza.html; Eric Bradner, “Biden and Trump will easily win Michigan primaries, CNN projects,” Cable News Network, February 28, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/27/politics/biden-trump-michigan-primaries/index.html; John Cassidy, “Michigan’s “Uncommitted” Democrats Send a Message to Biden,” New Yorker, February 28, 2024, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/michigans-uncommitted-democrats-send-a-message-to-biden; Karen DeYoung, “Six months into Gaza war, Biden confronts the limits of U.S. leverage,” Washington Post, April 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/04/06/gaza-israel-biden-war/; Karen DeYoung, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Toluse Olorunnipa, “Biden-Netanyahu rift grows, as Israel cancels delegation visit,” Washington Post, March 26, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/03/25/biden-netanyahu-un-delegation-rift/; Tony Diver, “Michigan primary results: Joe Biden wins but young and Arab Democrats rebel over Israel,” Telegraph, February 28, 2024, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/us/politics/2024/02/28/michigan-primary-results-polls-vote-republicans-trump-haley/; Caleb Ecarma, “Why Michigan’s Protest Vote Could Change Joe Biden’s Calculus: ‘There Will Be Political Consequences,’” Vanity Fair, February 28, 2024, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/michigan-vote-change-joe-biden-calculus; Lauren Fedor and James Politi, “Joe Biden faces dissent over Gaza as he wins Michigan Democratic primary,” Financial Times, February 28, 2024, https://www.ft.com/content/4dbd9253-5147-4bbd-9e09-276e48e3f799; Jonathan Freedland, “In defying Joe Biden, Benjamin Netanyahu is exposing the limits of US power,” Guardian, March 22, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/mar/22/joe-biden-benjamin-netanyahu-israel-gaza-donald-trump; Michael R. Gordon and Nancy A. Youssef, “Biden Ties Support for Israel to Civilian Protection in Gaza, ” Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2024, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/biden-netanyahu-set-to-talk-as-gaza-aid-worker-deaths-add-to-pressure-on-israel-9dee3793; Guardian, “Netanyahu making a ‘mistake’ on Gaza, says Biden, as he urges Israel to push for ceasefire,” April 9, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/10/benjamin-netanyahu-joe-biden-gaza-mistake-ceasefire-israel-war-palestine; Ron Kampeas, “‘Uncommitted’ campaign protesting Biden’s Israel support nets 100,000+ votes in Michigan primary,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 28, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/02/27/politics/campaign-protesting-bidens-support-for-israel-celebrates-as-tens-of-thousands-vote-uncommitted-in-michigan-primary; Ron Kampeas, “‘Uncommitted’ campaign opposing Biden’s support for Israel makes a mark in 5 more states,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 6, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/03/06/politics/uncommitted-campaign-opposing-bidens-support-for-israel-makes-a-mark-in-5-more-states; Shia Kapos and Adam Cancryn, “Arab, Muslim and Palestinian leaders refuse to meet with White House aides in Chicago,” Politico, March 14, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/03/14/arab-muslim-and-palestinian-leaders-refuse-to-meet-with-white-house-aides-in-chicago-00147109; M. J. Lee, “Inside President Biden’s pointed phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu,” Cable News Network, April 7, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/06/politics/biden-netanyahu-israel-gaza-war-phone-call-details/index.html; Rachel Leingang, “How the uncommitted movement rocked Biden over Gaza,” Guardian, March 17, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/mar/17/us-uncommitted-voters-biden-gaza; Jacob Magid, “Biden urges Israel ‘to just call for’ 6-8 week ceasefire, slams PM’s handling of Gaza war,” Times of Israel, April 10, 2024,

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.