According to analysts, the United States’ consistent backing of Israel has empowered the right-wing Israeli government to increase its violent actions against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. On Monday, Israeli forces launched air attacks and ground raids involving hundreds of troops on the heavily populated Jenin refugee camp.
The White House reiterated its support for Israel’s “right to defend” itself amidst these events. The White House National Security Council recently released a statement expressing support for Israel’s right to defend its interests against terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
However, some experts believe that this response shows US President Joe Biden’s reluctance to hold his country’s top ally in the Middle East accountable for potential human rights violations. As concerns rise about the extent of the Israeli attack in Jenin, Daniel Levy, president of the US/Middle East Project think tank, predicted in a TV interview that the US government would continue to provide cover for Israel and allow them to act without consequences.
Levy further says the American government doesn’t want the problematic situation in the West Bank, but at the same time, it wouldn’t deteriorate its relations with Israel. And this is the thing making things worst. On Monday, Israel carried out an attack on Jenin, which is one of many recent assaults on the refugee camp. The Israeli government has stated that the attack targets armed Palestinian groups. Unfortunately, the attack has resulted in at least nine Palestinian fatalities and dozens of injuries.
Following the killing of four Israeli settlers by two Palestinian gunmen in the northern West Bank last month, the attack that followed included some of the most severe Israeli air assaults in the occupied territory in decades.
US is Silent on Innocent Palestinian Lives
The White House released a brief statement that did not address Palestinian civilians or demand a de-escalation. However, a State Department spokesperson later reiterated that Israel has the “right to defend its people” and stressed the crucial need to take all possible precautions to avoid the loss of innocent lives.
Furthermore, according to Tariq Kenney-Shawa, a US policy fellow at the Palestinian think tank Al-Shabaka, the US policy towards the conflict is deteriorating. Kenney-Shawa stated that the Biden administration has become involved in enabling the Israeli occupation and has even stopped using symbolic phrases like “supporting a two-state solution” or calling for calm. This statement was communicated in an email to a news agency. The United States has made it, directly and indirectly, clear that it supports Israel’s actions regardless of the outcomes. This support places Israel above the same human rights regulations and international standards that the US expects from other countries.
The director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Ahmad Abuznaid, criticized the position of Washington regarding Israel. This is not surprising since the US provides Israel with at least $3.8bn in military aid annually, despite being accused of committing the crime of apartheid by leading human rights organizations like Amnesty International.
“The Biden administration’s response, while Israel is killing Palestinian people in Jenin refugee camp as the largest attack since 2002, shows a cruel apathy for Palestinian life,” Abuznaid told a news agency in an email. “The Israeli apartheid state is the assailant, colonizing Palestinian land and massacring Palestinian people, and to distinguish its massive colonial violence as anything else is silly.”