Biden Will Do Nothing about Israeli Apartheid and Mass Murder against Palestinians
July 16, 2022 (EIRNS)—Following his visit to Israel and before travelling on to Saudi Arabia, President Biden made an obligatory stop in Bethlehem to pay his respects to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It were better he had skipped it, given that he had nothing to offer. As a lifelong Palestinian political leader Hanan Ashrawi said July 12 on the PBS NewsHour before Biden left for the Mideast, “He is coming as an extension of Trump’s policies, rather than as an antidote.”
While the powerless Abbas retailed the horror of Palestinian existence under Israeli occupation, Biden listened and expressed his “pain” and “deep feelings” for the plight of the Palestinian people, and made clear he would do nothing about it. His purpose was to solidify the Israel collaboration with the Saudis and other Gulf states for a confrontation with Iran, while stating over and over that he would do anything to keep Russia and China out of the region.
Abbas asked Biden,
“is it not the time for this occupation to end and for our steadfast people, again, to gain their freedom and independence, and for the hopes of our young men and women, whom we cherish and trust their creativity, to achieve a promising future without occupation? In this regard, we say that the key to peace and security in our region begins with recognizing the State of Palestine.... And the way to that begins with ending the Israeli occupation of our land, the land of State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders.” He pled with Biden for the U.S. to reopen the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem and remove the PLO from the U.S. terrorist list. “We are not terrorists. And also, we look forward to reopening PLO office in Washington.”
“We look forward to these efforts to stop settlement and settler violence ... and stopping the expulsion of Palestinians, demolishing houses, homes, and storming the cities, villages, and camps; and stopping the daily killing, and arrests on daily basis; and holding the killers of the martyr journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh—they need to be held accountable.”
Biden repeated his “position” that there should be a two-state solution, but demurred that “mutually agreed-to swaps remain the best way to achieve equal measure of security, prosperity, freedom, and democracy for the Palestinians as well as Israelis.”
After some expressions of professed pain (“the Palestinian people are hurting now. You feel—you can just feel it, your grief and frustration. In the United States, we can feel it”) he went on to say: “the ground is not ripe at this moment to restart negotiations.” He then failed twice to correctly pronounce Abu Akleh, the name of the Palestinian-American journalist murdered by the Israeli military.
Hanan Ashrawi told PBS Newshour said Biden was “acting on the basis that you can ignore the Palestinians, you can weaken the Palestinians, you can bash them into submission, you can give them a few handouts and symbolic gestures, and they will lie down and die quietly.” Asked about Biden’s support for the two-state solution, she laughed out loud, and said: “There is a real disconnect between the verbal level and reality on the ground. It’s not enough to say, we believe in the two-state solution. Israel has systematically destroyed the two-state solution by attempting to destroy the Palestinian state. We want not these empty words, not hollow promises. We want to see action that says we are serious.”