Connect with us

Subscribe

Over 500 Democratic staffers urge Joe Biden to ‘hold Israel accountable’

United States of America

Over 500 Democratic staffers urge Joe Biden to ‘hold Israel accountable’

Democratic staffers open letter comes amid a deepening split in Democratic ranks between progressives and more centrist figures |

Democratic Staffers Letter to President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden has come under increasing pressure to take a firmer stance against Israel after the recent attacks in which more than 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis were killed. | Democratic Staffers Letter to US President | Pic Credit: Drew Angerer Getty Images
President Joe Biden has come under increasing pressure to take a firmer stance against Israel after the recent attacks in which more than 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis were killed. | Democratic Staffers Letter to US President | Pic Credit: Drew Angerer Getty Images

More than 500 Democratic party staffers and alumni of Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign have signed an open letter calling for the US president to do more to protect Palestinians and hold Israel accountable for its actions in and over Gaza, where a ceasefire currently holds.

The move comes amid a deepening split in Democratic ranks, between some vocal members of its progressive wing – such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – and more centrist figures including Biden who have taken a consistently pro-Israel stance.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), speaks to reporters, after U.S. President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images | Democratic Staffers Open Letter to President Biden
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), speaks to reporters, after U.S. President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images | Democratic Staffers Open Letter to President Biden

Biden has come under increasing pressure to take a firmer stance against Israel after the recent conflict in which more than 230 Palestinians were killed and dozens of buildings levelled in Gaza, while 12 Israelis died from rockets fired by Hamas.

The letter will add to that push and also reflects a more subtle turning point in broader US public opinion, which has become more critical of Israel.

The signatories write that they “commend [Biden’s] efforts to broker a ceasefire. Yet, we also cannot unsee the horrific violence that unfolded in recent weeks in Israel/Palestine, and we implore you to continue using the power of your office to hold Israel accountable for its actions and lay the groundwork for justice and lasting peace.”

The letter adds: “The very same values that motivated us to work countless hours to elect you demand that we speak out … we remain horrified by the images of Palestinian civilians in Gaza killed or made homeless by Israeli airstrikes.”

While condemning violence on both sides, the letter singles out Israel for more blame due to its greater military power and its ongoing occupation of Palestinian communities and blockade against Gaza.

“While Israelis had to spend nights hiding in bomb shelters, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip had nowhere to hide. It is critical to acknowledge this power imbalance – that Israel’s highly advanced military occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem and blockades the Gaza Strip, creating an uninhabitable open-air prison,” it said.

Biden has sent his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, to the Middle East this week, saying in a statement: “Following up on our quiet, intensive diplomacy to bring about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas … Blinken will meet with Israeli leaders about our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.

“He will continue our administration’s efforts to rebuild ties to, and support for, the Palestinian people and leaders, after years of neglect.”

Antony J. Blinken began his career at the State Department during the Clinton administration. Credit...Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Antony J. Blinken began his career at the State Department during the Clinton administration. Credit…Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

While Blinken will meet with the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan, he will not see anyone from the Hamas movement that runs Gaza. Hamas is a US-designated “foreign terrorist organization” and contacts between US officials and the group are therefore banned.

That means the US must rely on third countries such as Egypt and Qatar to pass messages to Hamas.

Jewish and Arab Americans were among signatories to the open letter to Biden.

Among its demands, it says the Biden administration must “investigate whether Israel’s most recent assault on Gaza violates the Leahy Law, prohibiting US military aid from funding foreign military units implicated in the commission of gross violations of human rights”.

Source: The Guardian

Newsletter Signup

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

How the watermelon 🍉 became a symbol of Palestinian protest 🇵🇸 How the watermelon 🍉 became a symbol of Palestinian protest 🇵🇸

How the watermelon 🍉 became a symbol of Palestinian protest 🇵🇸

Palestine

🇮🇪 Ireland becomes first 🇪🇺 EU country to declare Israel is involved in ‘de facto annexation’ 🇮🇪 Ireland becomes first 🇪🇺 EU country to declare Israel is involved in ‘de facto annexation’

🇮🇪 Ireland becomes first 🇪🇺 EU country to declare Israel is involved in ‘de facto annexation’

World

🇵🇸 Palestinian Christians ⛪ under Israeli occupation speak out 🇵🇸 Palestinian Christians ⛪ under Israeli occupation speak out

🇵🇸 Palestinian Christians ⛪ under Israeli occupation speak out

Palestine

Eman Askar Sings 🎵 Story of Palestine 🇵🇸 Eman Askar Sings 🎵 Story of Palestine 🇵🇸

Eman Askar Sings 🎵 Story of Palestine 🇵🇸

Entertainment

Newsletter Signup

Copyright © 2020 The Muslimah ORG

Connect
Newsletter Signup