Yesterday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke at the J Street National Conference. His speech failed to address the central factor driving “conflict” and violence in Palestine and Israel, namely U.S. complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid.
Blinken boasted of the unprecedented levels of U.S. military funding for Israel under President Biden, ignoring the fact that this military funding is used to kill and maim Palestinian civilians, as well as Americans, as we saw with the Israeli military’s killing of U.S. citizens Omar Assad and Shireen Abu Akleh.
Blinken also reasserted the U.S. commitment to the two-state solution, ignoring the fact that the Israeli government the U.S. funds with American tax-payer money is opposed to the two-state solution and has made implementing it impossible through the ceaseless building of illegal settlements. The building of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land is a war crime under international law.
Blinken also said the U.S. respected the Israeli people’s choice to elect Netanyahu and the band of fanatics who openly advocate racism and terrorism toward Palestinians. This stands in sharp contrast to the U.S. reaction to the 2006 Palestinian elections, justifying Israel’s collective punishment against Palestinian civilians because the U.S. and Israel did not approve of their outcome.
If Blinken and the Biden administration were interested in peace and justice, there is an extremely simple and straightforward course they can take: Ending U.S. military funding and diplomatic protection for Israeli apartheid, or at the very least, holding Israel accountable to our own laws and conditions, as we do other countries. The fact that they refuse to fulfill this legal and moral obligation proves their words hollow and calls on all Americans of conscience to pressure them into ending U.S. complicity in Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Blinken’s speech reaffirming unconditional U.S. support and enablement of Israeli apartheid is a quintessential example of everything wrong with American foreign policy and highlights precisely why Israel feels emboldened to defy both international law and U.S. policy. Ending Israel’s impunity and introducing accountability is how we begin to correct our foreign policy course.