Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, and offered condolences on the “innocent Palestinians” killed by Israeli security forces or squatters on Palestinian land in the last year –though he did not specify a number and did not name a killer. I guess they just “were killed.” He also talked about US monetary aid to Palestinians through the UN Relief and Works Agency and US help with a 4G cellular network for smartphones in the West Bank.
- “It’s also important to continue to strive not only for reducing violence but ensuring that ultimately Israelis and Palestinians alike enjoy the same rights, the same opportunities. What we’re seeing now from Palestinians is a shrinking horizon of hope, not an expanding one; and that, too, we believe needs to change.”
Blinken did not, however, offer any practical steps for changing the shrinking horizon of Palestinian hope. Nothing any U.S. administration has done since 1967 has halted the Israeli colonization of Palestinian privately owned land for Israeli squatters who are illegally sent over the border and now are being heavily armed by the Netanyahu government.
The Secretary of State continued,
- “Meanwhile, we oppose any action by either side that makes that goal more difficult to achieve, more distant. And we’ve been clear that this includes things like settlement expansion, the legalization of outposts, demolitions and evictions, disruptions to the historic status quo of the holy sites, and of course incitement and acquiescence to violence.”
Blinken just described the official policies of the Netanyahu government, which has brought aboard the fascist Religious Zionism and Jewish Power blocs. The leader of the latter was personally convicted of instigating racial hatred. Not only the extremists but Netanyahu himself is deeply committed to “settlement expansion” (that is, Israeli squatters stealing more and more privately owned Palestinian property), legalization of squatter outposts, house demolitions and evictions (both of which Netanyahu’s cabinet just endorsed and encouraged more of). Religious Zionism and Jewish Power are all about deeply altering the Status Quo regarding holy sites.
So the Biden administration will punish Netanyahu and his government for these violations of law, right?
The Biden administration will support Palestinian efforts to get justice in international tribunals, since they can find none in Israeli courts, right?
What will the US do?
You just read it. That’s it. Blinken’s comforting words are all that the US will offer the Palestinians. There will be no pushback on Netanyahu’s vicious policies toward them. None. At all. In fact, Netanyahu will be rewarded with $4 billion a year, in addition to sweetheart deals and access to the US economy, worth billions more. Netanyahu and his ilk will use that American money to do all the things Blinken condemned, and will piss all over American diplomacy.
Orit Strock, Netanyahu’s Minister of National Missions, made this clear when he lashed out at Blinken’s reluctance to see Israel’s judiciary gutted, according to The Times of Israel.
- “Dear Mr. Blinken, I understand that you decided to give our prime minister a lesson in democracy. . . Well, democracy is first of all the duty of a country to determine its course according to the votes of its citizens, each of which is given equal weight, without foreign involvement.”
Yeah, that isn’t the definition of democracy. The votes of Italy’s citizens put in Benito Mussolini’s National List in 1924, giving it a two-thirds majority in parliament. That was the least democratic thing Italian voters have ever done. As for foreign interference, that was the way Italy got rid of the fascist regime and held fair elections for the first time in over 20 years, in the 1940s
I’ll tell Minister Strock what. He can have his fascism if we can have our $4 billion a year back, since he doesn’t want any foreign influences. Why would he want that filthy American lucre?
Strock, by the way, wants to pass a law allowing religious physicians to refuse to treat gay patients. Very democratic. He is also an illegal squatter on Palestinian land in al-Khalil, which he calls Hebron, in contravention of the Geneva Convention of 1949 on Occupied Territories and the Rome Statute of 2002, which is the charter of the International Criminal Court.
Speaking of the International Criminal Court, it has decided to look into Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian West Bank.
Guess what Blinken said about that? He opposes it.
Blinken also tried to persuade President Abbas not to encourage the UN General Assembly to seek a ruling on Israeli occupation and Apartheid practices toward the Palestinians from the International Court of Justice.
I guess actually, you know, doing something practical about the narrowing horizons of hope is just going too far.
The US is the anesthesiologist of the Palestinians, offering 4G cell signals and some charity to refugee camps while the most right-wing Israeli government in history runs roughshod over the most basic Palestinian rights.