Biden Plays Netanyahu’s Lapdog– but Many in U.S. are Critical of Jenin Onslaught – Philip Weiss 7/4/23


The Biden administration supports the Israeli invasion of Jenin wholeheartedly and is echoing the Netanyahu government’s claim that the city is a “nest of terrorists.” But many voices in the West, including the media, are skeptical.

Not surprisingly, the White House issued blanket approval yesterday of Israel decision to launch a devastating attack on Jenin, a Palestinian refugee camp in occupied territory:

“We support Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups.”

The language reflects Netanyahu’s claim that Israel is attacking a “nest of terrorists.”

“Another green light from the Biden admin for Israel’s military offensive,” Khaled Elgindy of Georgetown University slammed the statement. “This admin seems utterly incapable of nuance or anything other than unqualified, uncritical & reflexive support for Israel’s actions.”

Journalists in Palestine take incredible risks to bring you the facts.

Journalists and photographers from Gaza continue to expose ourselves to danger because we believe that Gazans’ stories must be shared with the world in their voice, not distorted by journalists from foreign press.

“I think we will continue to see – as has happened in the past – the U.S. administration run cover for the Israelis and let them get away with doing whatever they want,” Daniel Levy of the Middle East Project told Al Jazeera. The Biden administration “won’t risk its relationship with Israel,” Al Jazeera paraphrased Levy.

Indeed, in a sign of the Biden administration’s obeisance to the Israel lobby, Biden appointed warhorse Elliott Abrams to a U.S. advisory commission on public diplomacy yesterday. This is purely a sop to neoconservatives to indicate that Biden won’t go off the reservation on Middle East policy as he runs for reelection.

Others are critical of the U.S. policy. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, retweeting Al Jazeera footage of bulldozers destroying roads in the camp, called on the U.S. to stop funding apartheid:

Israeli forces are now blocking ambulances from reaching the dozens of wounded Palestinians after at least eight people were killed in Jenin. Congress must stop funding this violent Israeli apartheid regime.

The media is not as credulous as it usually is of Israeli claims. News outlets have been airing critical or highly skeptical views of the onslaught. PBS News Hour led with the invasion last night, and host Amna Nawaz set a tone of concern and skepticism, if not outright criticism.

Today the BBC news service, airing on public radio in the U.S., featured the report of an anonymous Palestinians whose extended family of 35 “humans” fled the camp as the Israelis destroyed all cars and infrastructure in sight. And no media were in the camp, he said, to shine a light on the brutality.

“It’s unimaginable how frightened you all must have been,” the BBC’s Razia Iqbal said. “Were the Israelis willing to let you leave the camp? The mosque that was bombed– is it still standing?”

CNN gave a platform to Nour Odeh, a Palestinian analyst, who offered a forceful condemnation of Israeli occupation and violence:

There is nothing surprising about the fact that Palestinians don’t want to be ruled by foreigners, who use unnecessary force, who use extreme force against civilians…

This Israeli government, which Israelis are protesting against, is the most violent, is the most violent, the most extreme, the most anti-Palestinian that we have seen since Israel’s establishment perhaps. At its core and its declared agenda… [is] to annex the West Bank… but also to crush the very notion of Palestinian freedom and statehood… They feel that their very existence is under attack.

Being ruled by a foreign military against your will is violent and it’s violent every day, even when it doesn’t make the news…

On MSNBC yesterday, Andrea Mitchell was surprisingly sympathetic to Palestinians. She highlighted allegations that Israel has committed “war crimes and target[ed] civilian infrastructure.” She noted that the Netanyahu government faced “serious domestic pressure” by the right-wing to launch a “full-scale invasion of the West Bank,” that the government earlier OK’d the storming of the Al Aqsa mosque, “and the settler incursion into occupied areas has been extraordinary.”…

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