Blinken will be meeting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and then heading to Cairo and Amman. He won’t be going to Gaza.
Blinken’s first stop, of course, was Jerusalem, to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu.
Standing next to the Israeli prime minister, Blinken reiterated the “commitment of the United States to Israel’s security” and affirmed “Israel’s right to defend itself.”
I spoke about Blinken’s visit in an interview with TRT World that you can watch in the video above, after a short clip of the secretary of state speaking.
Israel lobby lie
Blinken uttered not one word of criticism of Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilian homes, media and infrastructure, which caused massive death and destruction.
The secretary of state also claimed there has been a “shocking eruption of anti-Semitic attacks” in the United States in the wake of Israel’s massacre in Gaza – a lie promoted by the Israel lobby.
As journalist Max Blumenthal forensically demonstrates at The Grayzone, Israel lobbyists are using deceptively edited videos and dubious allegations to distract attention from the more than 60 Palestinian children killed in Gaza during the Israeli attack.
But there was also a new element: crocodile tears for the Palestinians killed with American weapons and the White House’s blessing.
“Casualties are often reduced to numbers but behind every number is an individual human being – a daughter, a son, a father, a mother, a grandparent, a best friend,” Blinken oozed. “And as the Talmud teaches, to lose a life is to lose the whole world, whether that life is Palestinian or Israeli.”
This fake even-handedness extended to Blinken’s assertion that “we believe that Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely, to enjoy equal measures of freedom, opportunity and democracy, to be treated with dignity.”
This feigned concern for Palestinians – as I told TRT World – is likely a response to the growing gulf between American leaders and a public that increasingly understands that Israel is the aggressor and that Palestinians are its victims.
Nowhere, however, did Blinken mention any of the reasons why Palestinians enjoy no freedom or safety: Israel’s decades of ethnic cleansing, occupation, apartheid and settler-colonialism.
Blinken displayed no sign that the Biden administration plans to address any of this. Instead the United States is reasserting failed ideas based on a false analysis that Hamas is the problem, and Israel is the victim.
Aid as a weapon
The secretary of state claimed that the US wants to “support urgent humanitarian and reconstruction assistance for Gaza, to benefit the Palestinian people.”
He also wants the US “to rebuild our relationship with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority.”
Pledging “significant contributions” from the United States, Blinken asserted that “we’ll work with our partners” to “ensure that Hamas does not benefit from the reconstruction assistance.”
As I told TRT, this is a revival of failed American policies that view Hamas and the rest of the Palestinian resistance as a separate entity that can be isolated from the Palestinian people.
Hamas, I explained, is a part of the Palestinian people, which broadly supports resistance.
Yet Blinken renewed the American commitment to shoring up the discredited and illegitimate PA led by Abbas, which is widely viewed by Palestinians as a collaborating force with their enemy.
That is one thing, at least, that Palestinians and Israelis broadly agree on.
Benny Gantz – the Israeli war minister who vowed that “Gaza will burn” – last week told reporters that he wanted to “strengthen the Palestinian Authority as much as possible and not to let Hamas be the one that sets the agenda, not in the area of the Gaza Strip or in Gaza itself.”
The US is fully on board with using reconstruction and humanitarian aid as weapons to win the victory against the Palestinian people that Israel failed to achieve with American bombs, missiles and warplanes.
I told TRT World that it has never worked before, and it won’t work this time either.