Biden: Israel cannot stop violence solely through physical force

Ma’an News Agency | – –

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — United States Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Israel could not stop violent acts carried out by Palestinians solely through physical force, the Associated Press reported.

Biden landed in Tel Aviv Tuesday as multiple attacks were carried out by Palestinian individuals in Israel and occupied Palestinian territory. The day’s incidents left four Palestinians and one American tourist dead.

The vice president condemned the attacks — as well as the failure by Palestinian leadership to condemn the attacks — during a joint press conference, according to AP.

“The kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop,” Biden said, specifically targeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party, which he said “glorified” Tuesday’s attacks.

Slamming Palestinian leadership and its alleged incitement of Palestinian violence, Biden said while such violence must be stopped, doing so “cannot and will not be done just by physical force.”

The slight criticism echoed condemnations by international leaders and rights groups of Israel’s harsh reaction against Palestinian communities for attacks carried out by individuals, termed by many as collective punishment.

Biden’s visit came days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned trip to the US.

Israeli media reported the PM canceled the trip after the White House was unable to arrange a meeting between him and Obama, allegations the White House denied.

White House Press Secretary Jon Earnest in a press briefing on Tuesday denied Netanyahu’s move was “a snub” to the US, referring to the incident as “simply a matter of scheduling.”

Earnest added that Biden’s visit was viewed as an opportunity for the vice president to strengthen relations between the US and Israel.

Earnest clarified that Biden did not intend to engage in negotiations over US military aid to Israel, a topic that has spurred controversy among the two parties in recent months.

Despite Earnest’s comments, Israeli officials told Israeli daily Haaretz that Biden on Wednesday encouraged Netanyahu to sign a new deal for military aid while Obama was still in office.

After the terms of the aid agreement became unclear in February, Netanyahu said he would wait for the next US president to sign a deal, if the current administration was “unable to meet Israel’s security needs.”

Israel reportedly requested at least $5 billion in annual military aid from the US that would be fixed for the ten years to follow, far surpassing the $3 billion per year currently received by Israel through a military aid agreement set to end by 2018.

While US-Israel relations have seen a series of diplomatic disputes over the past year, Israel remains the number one long-time recipient of US military aid, and Biden made clear during his visit that the US would continue to contribute to Israel’s “defense” needs.

Biden’s visit is his first to Israel since 2010, when Israel announced the construction of 1,600 homes for illegal Jewish-only settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

Via Ma’an News Agency

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

AP: “Biden And Netanyahu: Meeting Of Old Friends”

3 Responses

  1. Libertarians are opposed to every State. But the State of Israel is uniquely pernicious, because its entire existence rests and continues to rest on a massive expropriation of property and expulsion from the land. Libertarians in the United States often complain about the radical libertarian adherence to “land reform,” i.e. the giving back of stolen land to the victims. In the case of expropriations centuries ago, who gets what is often fuzzy, and conservative libertarians can raise an important point. But in the case of Palestine, the victims and their children—the true owners of the land—are right there, beyond the borders, in refugee camps, in hovels, dreaming about a return to their own. There is nothing fuzzy here. Justice will only be served, and true peace in the devastated area will only come, when a miracle happens and Israel allows the Palestinians to stream back in and repossess their rightful property. Until then, so long as the Palestinians continue to live and no matter how far back they are pushed, they will always be there, and they will continue to press for their dream of justice. No matter how many square miles and how many cities Israel conquers (shall it be Damascus next?), the Palestinians will be there, in addition to all the other Arab refugees newly created by the Israeli policy of blood and iron. But allowing justice, allowing the return of the expropriated, would mean that Israel would have to give up its exclusivist Zionist ideal. For recognizing Palestinians as human beings with full human rights is the negation of Zionism; it is the recognition that the land was never “empty.”

    A just Israeli state (insofar as any state can be just), then, would necessarily be a De-Zionized state, and this no Israeli political party in the foreseeable future would have the slightest desire to do. And so the slaughter and the horror will go on.

  2. Lillian Rosengarten
    It is deeply troubling that Biden makes such ignorant and truly unconscionable comments. The US(and Germany’s) continued support of Zionist Israel makes them complicit to a brutally oppressive, nationalistic, racist regime as well as for the rise once more of anti-Semitism in the world today.

    • I was totally disappointed in what Biden said too. He said Israel has a right to defend itself, and that the US will support it to the end (or something like that). Strange he forgot there is a military occupation going on, and that Israel keeps building illegal settlements even though the nation that is going to give them billions of dollars, condemns the building of those settlements. Perhaps if he remembered that, he may realize the Palestinians have a valid reason to keep attacking those who occupy, and this is only the result of such an occupation. It is only human oppressed people will resort to desperate measures, to resist an occupation. Is that too hard to fathom, or is it simply pretense to not understand that?

      The US made this monster, aids it, and arms it.

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