AS ISRAEL INTENSIFIED its attacks on Gaza last week, including strikes against multiple hospitals, and presided over a forced exodus of hundreds of thousands of civilians from their homes, President Joe Biden was asked about the chances of a Gaza ceasefire. “None,” Biden shot back. “No possibility.”
With a death toll that has now surpassed 11,000 Palestinians, including nearly 5,000 children, the extent of Biden’s public divergence from his “great, great friend” Benjamin Netanyahu’s scorched-earth war of annihilation amounts to meekly worded suggestions of “humanitarian pauses.”
On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked, “far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks, and we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them.” These disingenuous platitudes melt into a puddle of blood when juxtaposed with the administration’s actions.
The Biden administration has funneled weapons, intelligence support, and unwavering political backing for Israel’s public campaign to erase from the earth Gaza’s existence as a Palestinian territory. As Israeli settlers wage campaigns of terror against the Palestinians in the West Bank, the U.S. remained entrenched in its global isolation, voting last week against a U.N. resolution demanding an end to the illegal settlements. The resolution condemned illegal Israeli settlements, calling them “illegal and an obstacle to peace.” The resolution, which passed 145-7, called for “the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Only five countries joined the U.S. and Israel in voting “no”: Canada, Hungary, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Nauru.
As the capitals of major world cities have seen massive protests on a scale not registered since the 2003 Iraq invasion, Netanyahu has been on a U.S. media blitz, appearing on Sunday talk shows to cast the stakes of his war “to destroy Hamas” as akin to World War II. “Without it none of us have a future. And it’s not only our war, it’s your war too. It’s the battle of civilization against barbarism,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And if we don’t win here, this scourge will pass. The Middle East will pass to other places. The Middle East will fall. Europe is next. You will be next.”
Netanyahu has brazenly exploited the grief of Israeli citizens whose lives were torn apart on October 7 when Hamas launched a series of coordinated attacks inside Israel. Those raids resulted in the deaths of 846 civilians, 278 Israeli soldiers, and 44 police officers, according to the latest figures provided by Israel. Some family members of the victims, as well as relatives of the 240 hostages taken by Hamas and other militant groups — among them infants and the elderly — have emerged as some of the most vocal critics of Netanyahu’s government. A small number have spoken out against his attacks on Gaza, though their voices are largely drowned out by pro-war voices in Western media coverage.
“I beg you, I beg also my government, and the pilots and soldiers, who may be called to go into Gaza. Don’t agree. Protect the area around the Gaza Strip, but don’t agree to go in and kill innocent people,” said Noy Katsman, whose older brother Hayim was killed on October 7 at the kibbutz he had lived on for a decade. Maoz Inon’s parents were also killed that day. “Today, Israel is repeating an old mistake it made many times in the last century. We must stop it,” Inon wrote. “Revenge is not going to bring my parents back to life. It is not going to bring back other Israelis and Palestinians killed either. It is going to do the opposite. It is going to cause more casualties. It is going to bring more death.”