A letter to President Joe Biden, dated October 24, 2023, on the Israel-Hamas war by international law specialist, Bruce Fein and me, prompted this form letter Biden response.
Apart from the usual saying one thing and doing the opposite (e.g., standing for the protection of civilians and a two-state solution while fully arming and backing Israel’s genocidal destruction of everything in Gaza—children make up nearly half the population of Gaza) — Biden’s letter completely ignores key issues in our letter.
We asked why he wants Congress to make U.S. taxpayers pay another $14.3 billion for a prosperous country’s colossal military and intelligence operations, especially since Israel’s leadership failed to protect its people on October 7th.
We cited David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, who said: “If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country.’ … Why would they accept that?”
In response to Biden’s repeated urging that Israel comply with the “laws of war” we described how Benjamin Netanyahu and his regime are doing just the opposite with its brutal terror campaign against defenseless Palestinian civilians and their critical public support structures.
Biden knows that the Israeli government is implementing what its ministers ordered on October 8th – a total siege with no food, no water, no electricity, no fuel, and no medicine which meets the definition of the crime of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Israeli videos provide the grisly evidence of over 20,000 bombs and missiles striking homes, apartment buildings, schools, markets, water mains, bread bakeries, hospitals, clinics, ambulances and places of worship. After many days, the terror-stricken civilians, fleeing from one place to another in Gaza while being attacked, are also dying of disease, hunger, thirst, and a lack of critical medicines, such as insulin, with the bodies of infants and children still under the rubble in numbers too many to be counted.
Israel’s extremist right-wing politicians use words such as “human animals,” “annihilation” and “extermination” as declared objectives of their mass terrorism. (See, Amy Goodman’s interview with Yuval Abraham this week on Democracy Now!).
Biden can get more humanitarian aid trucks into Gaza simply by enveloping them with the American flag and daring Israel to delay, obstruct or destroy these carriers of live-saving food, water, fuel and medicine. But he is too weak and too cowardly to put strong U.S. leverage behind his sugarcoating wishes for saving the civilian mothers, fathers and children of Gaza.
He has made the U.S. a co-belligerent by unconditionally supplying abundant weapons, military intelligence and political cover, including vetoes of United Nations resolutions.
Biden has another apprehension—the near total control of Congress by the “Israel’s government can do no wrong” lobby. The indentured rubber-stamping Senators and Representatives have no problem supporting Israel’s violent repression and land dispossession in what is left of the original Palestine and its five million encircled Palestinians. Would these politicians deploy such eagerness in helping poor American children and their families in our country?
These callous legislators know little of this history, and little of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s long support for funding of Hamas to break up any two-state solution with the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, they and their predecessors have blocked any Congressional public hearings featuring prominent Israeli and Palestinian peace advocates. Congress is importing censorship of those who wish to wage peace. (For the full list of our letters to Joe Biden, see nader.org).
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