Left Voice - May 13, 2021
Israeli aggression against occupied Palestine has once again boiled over into open conflict this past week. What started as Israeli police repressing demonstrators who were protesting the forced expulsion of several families in East Jerusalem has escalated to full-scale bombings in Gaza and the violent storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. This is in addition to both the deadly vaccine imperialism that Israel has been practicing against Palestine and the constant occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people and their land. In the current crisis, at least 53 Palestinians have died, including 14 children, and over 300 have been injured. Amid this uncertainty, one thing is for sure: the bipartisan U.S. policy of ironclad support for Israeli aggression will continue unabated, led by Israel’s ally, President Joe Biden.
This latest aggression was triggered by protests in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah where six Palestinian families are facing imminent eviction to make room for Israeli settlers after years of legal proceedings. With Israeli police protection, these settlers have been brazenly terrorizing the Palestinian residents, who have lived in their homes since 1957. Protesters in East Jerusalem organized demonstrations and sit-ins in support of the families only to be met by brutal repression from Israeli forces who fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.
The repression escalated substantially last week, on the last Friday of Ramadan, when Israeli police violently repressed Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The worshippers and protesters valiantly faced off against the police to defend themselves against the repression. In the end, over 200 Palestinians were injured, sparking more protests in East Jerusalem and beyond. Residential buildings have been destroyed by bombs which were purchased directly with U.S. funds.
The current violence is far from an aberration: Israel is built on a policy of violent occupation, displacement, and dispossession of Palestinians. And it is no exaggeration to say that the Israeli state’s aggression and impunity would not be possible without long-standing, bipartisan U.S. support, including from President Biden.
Cumulatively, Israel has received over $100 billion from U.S. administrations since 1962, more military aid than any other country in the world has received from the United States. Israel currently receives $3.8 billion in military funding annually as part of a ten-year deal brokered by the Obama administration, with Biden playing a leading role in negotiations. The Israeli government can also count on the United States’ backing in the international arena: the U.S. has used its veto power at the UN Security Council at least 43 times on Israel-related resolutions since 1970. U.S. support and funding thus touches nearly all aspects of Israeli aggression, and the blood of dead Palestinians is on the United States’ hands.
Biden has been a pillar of U.S. support of the Zionist Israeli state. He has called U.S. backing for Israel “unshakable,” claims that “the United States will constantly and forever have Israel’s back,” and touts an extensive record of support for the Zionist State since the 1970s. In 2006, Biden acted as an international observer of the Gaza elections and denounced the results after Hamas won a resounding victory, saying that Palestine could not be trusted to hold fair elections; he subsequently signed onto a bill that called on the Bush administration to prohibit all international aid — not just from the United States — to the Palestinian Authority.
When Israel began its all-out bombing onslaught against Palestine and Lebanon later that year, Biden was an ardent champion of the military offensive, likening it to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. This support persisted when he was vice president during the major bloody Israeli attacks on Gaza in 2009, 2012, and 2014. In the infamous 2014 Operation Protective Edge, which caused the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, Biden and the Obama administration defended Israel’s actions. ...
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