Biden’s selective humanity

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris walk past a crowd

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attend a memorial event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia on 11 November 2023.

Bonnie Cash CNP

On 28 December, US President Joe Biden and his wife expressed their deep sorrow over the death of 70-year-old American Judith Weinstein Haggai on 7 October.

They also accused – without any evidence – the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas of killing her.

Vice President Kamala Harris followed suit, expressing similar sentiments. American presidential hopeful Nikki Haley also commented, concluding her statement with a call for the destruction of everyone in Gaza.

It is commendable that the president and other American politicians express their human emotions about the killing of a peaceful elderly woman, regardless of her color, gender, nationality or religion. This is the natural behavior of any civilized human being who respects human values and the systems and laws that humanity has developed after two devastating world wars in the last century.

However, are these sentiments genuine and humane, or are they opportunistic political statements exploiting a humanitarian situation in the midst of a heated election campaign?

And if these sentiments are genuinely humane, how can the president and his deputy express such refined human emotions for the death of an American woman, yet not utter a single word about the thousands of children and women deliberately killed by the extremist Zionist government?

To date, the Zionist war government has killed over 22,000 Palestinian citizens, more than 70 percent of whom are children and women.

It has deliberately killed displaced men, women and children. It has killed patients and health workers, left infants to die in incubators, and destroyed hospitals.

Every day, during the nearly three months of fascist aggression on our people, we can recall dozens of horrific stories of the killing of children, women and men.

These people are not just numbers; they had lives, loved ones, dreams and hopes.

Doesn’t the president have any information about the massacres, ethnic cleansing and genocide happening in Gaza?

Doesn’t Biden know about Reem, Alma, Hassan, Muhammad, Emad and other children of Gaza killed by Benjamin Netanyahu and his government with direct assistance and participation from the United States?

I am certain that the US president, with his position and the intelligence and media apparatus at his disposal, is fully aware of the detailed particulars of the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza.

But if the president possesses such detailed information, why is he silent? Why is he not expressing his humanity to show sympathy for these children and women in Gaza?

Neither isolated nor abnormal

In my view, there are two reasons for this behavior: one immediate and tactical, and the other distant, deep and strategic.

The first reason, I believe, is that these statements are part of his presidential election campaign, aimed at appeasing the Zionist lobby and supporters of Israel in the United States.

The second reason is an explicit expression of the deep-seated mindset of the president and his team regarding their criteria for valuing human life. It is clear that the mentality that led to the founding of the United States, which believes in the supremacy of the white race over other races, allowed them to annihilate the native populations and build the state on the backs of Black slaves brought from the African continent.

The buildings and institutions of the state are mixed with their race, blood and remains.

That same mentality dictates silence when an entire people is exterminated in Gaza, as they hold no electoral value, their skin is not white and their eyes are not green.

Thus, we are faced with a US position built on tactical opportunism and deep-seated racism, explaining the president’s and his team’s disregard for all those Palestinian child and women victims before and after 7 October. We cannot expect any change in this shameful human stance.

Regrettably, the position of the president and his deputy is neither isolated nor abnormal in the context of the West’s general handling of the Palestinian tragedy over the past 75 years, especially at the official political and mainstream media levels.

The West, in general, has committed many massacres against other peoples, including Jews during World War II, and the roots of all these massacres and war crimes lie fundamentally in the racist values the West holds towards others.

It is regrettable that today’s leaderships of major powers, with their political, legal and ethical responsibilities, still harbor such values, despite the horrific experiences of humanity caused by them.

It is time for the United States and the West to reevaluate their stance on these racist values, as they have implications both for humanity’s progress and the conflict between Palestinians and the Zionists. The blatantly biased US policies in favor of Zionist positions are the primary reason for all the tragedies, disturbances, and lack of security and stability in the region.

If the US administration had committed from the beginning to international law and humanitarian law in resolving the conflict, everyone would have enjoyed security and stability for decades, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians killed over the past decades would have been preserved.

Finally, I offer this Quranic verse to the US president and his administration, hoping they will reconsider their stance on the conflict specifically and relations between humans in general:

“O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another. Surely the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly all-Knowing, all-Aware.”

Dr. Basem Naim is a former Palestinian minister of health and a member of the political bureau of Hamas. He has previously appeared and published in several media outlets, including Australia’s ABC network, the UK’s Sky News, The Guardian, Middle East Eye, Al Jazeera and The Jewish Daily Forward.


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