Israel's crimes are America's crimes
Bradley Blankenship
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a White House press conference. /VCG

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a White House press conference. /VCG

Editor's note: Bradley Blankenship is a Prague-based American journalist, political analyst and freelance reporter. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

We've heard one consistent slogan from U.S. President Joe Biden in the course of his young presidency: "America is back." This short quip refers to the Biden administration's desire to put American leadership back to the fore, yet recent developments in the Israeli-Palestinian issue are leaving many wondering where, at the most crucial time, this so-called American leadership is.

In fact, this issue is quickly becoming the defining foreign policy subject of the Biden presidency. This is mainly because, for the first time ever, criticisms of Israel's ongoing attacks against Palestinians were heard in the United States Congress – and exclusively from Biden's own party. Criticism from representatives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who is a Palestinian-American, would have been unthinkable just years ago.

Biden's team has since adopted a narrative that he hesitantly and dispassionately sided with Israel after careful consideration, which is an obvious lie. Biden's first foreign trip when he was elected to the Senate in the 1970s was to Israel to visit Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, which he frequently describes as "one of the most consequential meetings I've ever had in my life" and was the beginning of lifelong support for Israeli government policy. 

The explosion after an Israeli strike targeted a building in Gaza City, May 14, 2021. /AFP

The explosion after an Israeli strike targeted a building in Gaza City, May 14, 2021. /AFP

But the main thing that the current iteration of Israel's aggression against the Palestinians reveals is the utter dishonesty at the core of America's talking points, the ones that apparently qualify it for any kind of global leadership in the first place, like the Biden team's consistent calls for the promotion of "democracy" and "human rights" which are clearly exposed as cynical political posturing.

For example, on May 3, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day that "the United States continues to advocate for press freedom, the safety of journalists worldwide, and access to information on and offline. A free and independent press ensures the public has access to information. Knowledge is power."

Just days later, Israel leveled a media tower in Gaza hosting foreign press agencies, which, according to a statement by the Associated Press, means the world will now know less about what's happening in Gaza.

According to Julian Assange, a journalist who is right now being arbitrarily imprisoned in the UK for exposing U.S. war crimes, this is so Israel can avoid its ensuing crimes in what looks to be a coming ground invasion from being documented and used as evidence in a potential International Criminal Court case. There's been no serious objection from the State Department on this development.

At the pinnacle of its signature hypocrisy, the U.S. always talks about the need for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, yet just blocked a United Nations Security Council statement that would have called for a ceasefire. This alone makes it clear beyond words that the United States does not want there to be peace in the region. 

Now, let's not delude ourselves with a tired narrative that Israel controls American politics and is forcing the U.S. to act against its own interest to further its own. 

Yes, it's true that Israel has a very special place in U.S. foreign policy considering the fact that the U.S. gives billions of dollars of zero-strings-attached "aid" to Israel every year. And yes, it's also true that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is basically an Israeli government cut-out, consistently ranks as one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the country.

But this only underscores the fact that supporting Israel's policies, thus supporting the destabilization of the region, advances U.S. interests.

To quote then-senator Joe Biden speaking in 1986, "There's no apology to be made [for supporting Israel]. None. It is the best $3 billion investment we make. If there weren't an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region."

The U.S. provides diplomatic cover for Israel to continue its aggression and expand illegal settlements with no legal or diplomatic recourse and provides the weapons used against Palestinians. Because of this, Israel's crimes are America's crimes – plain and simple. 

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