US President Joe Biden has voiced his support for a ceasefire after ten days of violence between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza.
The Middle East has always been one of the prominent attractions for the United States because of several reasons, ranging from safeguarding natural resources to countering Iranian influence. But when it comes to Israel’s illegal occupation in Palestine, U.S has strongly supported Israel. Mr. Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US was working with Egypt and other countries on halting hostilities, and achieve ceasefire. But the US again blocked a UN Security Council statement calling for a cessation of violence. The conflict is now in its second week, with little sign of ending.
The United States is regarded as first and foremost in terms of global leadership. The role of the United States in decision making or taking a stand regarding international issues and their recognition and interpretation tends to set an example for other countries to follow.
The U.S has persistently backed Israel over the years. Former US President Harry Truman was the first world leader to recognize Israel when it was created in 1948. A statement approved by President Truman released “this government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof”.
During the Six-Day War of 1967 between Arab and Israel, U.S supplied weapons to Israel. Followed by the 2014 Israeli voilence on Gaza, U.S. President Barack Obama pressed over Israel’s right to defend itself. Moreover, U.S passed legislation providing Israel with an additional $225 million in military aid. Again, on December 6, 2017, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and stated that the American embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This move was seen as pouring petrol on a raging fire and was condemned internationally.
As Israel aggression and Hamas retaliation enters the eleventh day, with very little hope of cessation, the U.S has yet again all blocked efforts at the United Nations Security Council to issue a statement calling on Israel to stop its military atrocity. There has been an overwhelming number of civilian martyrdom and casualties. According to Palestinian Health Ministry officials, at least 227, including 64 children, 38 women have been martyred and 950 more wounded so far in Gaza. On the other hand, as per Israeli authorities, over 12 people have died in Israel.
Last week, on Saturday, U.S President Joe Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reaffirmed his support for Israel, stating that “Israel has right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.” But he only condemned the ‘indiscriminate’ attacks against Israel, according to a statement made by the White House on Twitter. Biden did not however, make any remarks regarding Israeli onslaught on civilians in Gaza especially the disproportionate bombing of Palestinian children. Speaking to the Israeli counterpart, Palestinian President Abbas, Biden “stressed the need for Hamas to cease firing rocket into Israel.”
Meanwhile, in Washington, dozens of democrats and lawmakers have been raising their voices against Israeli barbarity. Last week U.S lawmaker, Bernie Sanders in a statement to New York Times said that “they can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior”. Rashida Tlaib, a U.S Representative argued for the end of apartheid. On other hand another U.S Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Corte asserted on “if Palestinians have the right to survive, then they have a responsibility to protect human rights.”
Amidst international pressure and persistent pressure from his fellow democrats for halting hostilities in Gaza, U.S President Joe Biden finally broke his silence. According to a White House statement, President Biden has expressed cease-fire support and to de-escalate the violence. Moreover, US President Biden publicly addressed the 11-day Palestinian-Israeli violence for the first time on Thursday, “I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy and mutual, unconditional cease-fire to begin in two hours”, Biden said.
However, there are still some grey areas, as in the month of March; Biden’s Secretary of State issued a statement which mentioned that “human rights will be the foundation of American’s foreign policy irrespective of wherever they occur”. But Biden’s foreign policy has failed to condemn the forced expulsions of Palestinians from their homes. Moreover, Biden has failed to reverse the decision made by Former President Trump, the U.S embassy still is situated in Jerusalem and the occupied Golan Heights is still under the control of Israel.