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Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

Gaza is teetering on the brink of famine. At least twenty-seven children, including many newborns, have perished due to the severe shortage of essential nourishment, particularly baby milk. Additionally, hundreds of adults and elderly individuals have lost their lives as a result of Israeli attacks while waiting for aid trucks at various drop-off locations throughout Gaza. The most recent incident occurred on March 19 in central Gaza, where Israel fired at hungry people rushing at food trucks at a food distribution (death trap) site.

Yet, the international community is impotent to pass a UN Security resolution to compel Israel to allow entry for food trucks. And yet, the Biden Administration had pleaded on November 3, 2023 for Israel to allow “immediate increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza.” In the same press conference U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Israel “to do more to protect Palestinian civilians.”

As of November 3, there was no starvation in Gaza, and the death toll was less than 8,000. Here we are in the fifth month, the number of killed has surged by 400 percent, with 20,700 are women and children, and 2.4 million human facing famine. Since Blinken urged Israel to protect civilians, the number of Palestinian children killed in Gaza has surpassed the total from all world conflicts in four years.

Was Blinken sincere on November 03 when he called on Israel to (kill less) civilians and increase humanitarian aid to Gaza? Or was he trying to subdue regional and international outrage against Israeli atrocities?

The result is self-evident. The Biden Administration was buying time for Israel on two fronts: firstly, leveraging the genocide to pressure Arab counties, notably Saudi Arabia, into rewarding Israel with normalization in exchange for halting the slaughter. Biden, as well as Blinken, are obsessed with outdoing Donald Trump by orchestrating the largest prize in normalization between the Zionist state and a major Arab country.

For the Biden Administration, the lives of Palestinians were deemed expendable in his pursuit of delivering Saudi Arabia to Israel. The U.S. wielded its veto power at the UN Security Council as a bargaining chip in its negotiations with Saudi officials. Consequently, Saudi Arabia featured prominently in Blinken’s numerous visits to the region during the final three months of 2023. However, once Saudi Arabia decided to shelve the normalization file, Saudi Arabia was almost missing from the itineraries of high-level American officials. This week Blinken is reviving his attempts visiting Saudi Arabia, again, to find ways to appease Netanyahu for a temporary pause in his genocide. While the world watches famine creeping in on Gaza, the Biden Administration is pulling out all the stops to exploit Palestinian suffering and reward Israel for its crimes.

In response to earlier failures in American efforts to placate Netanyahu with the Saudi normalization, (spoiled) Israel grew even more obstinate and bolstered the arrogance of its racist government coalition by rebuffing U.S. calls for ceasefire or to permit adequate number of aid trucks into Gaza. In this context, Biden’s decision to dispatch the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) to construct a floating pier in Gaza could be interpreted as essentially waving a white flag to Benjamin Netanyahu and his lobby in Washington.

The U.S. troops departed from their port in Virginia on March 12 and are anticipated to reach the shores of Gaza in approximately four weeks. It will then take an additional four weeks to construct the 550-meter floating pier before it can receive shipments. This means it will be roughly 60 days before starving Gaza is in a position to receive aid via the sea, while land access is blocked by Israel.

It’s worth noting that Gaza previously had a small port that could have received shipments of food if Israel had not destroyed it over again. Similarly, over two decades ago, Israel also demolished a newly built Gaza airport. In fact, these—unnoticed—Israeli destroyed facilities, which meant to free Gaza from Israeli control, along with the 18-year-old total blockade, are the main impetus that led to the hyperbolized “unprovoked” October 7 revolt against the guard posts of the world’s largest populated open-air prison.

Delivering food in 60 days to someone who is experiencing famish now, is nothing short of shedding crocodile tears over a starvation, aided and abetted by the Biden Administration. This Administration not only vetoed a humanitarian UN resolution to allow more food aid, but also provided the means for Israel to destroy Gaza’s farmland and manufacturing facilities, which could have significantly mitigated the famine crisis.

More significantly, why would Biden need to dispatch American troops 5000 miles to construct a floating pier in 8 weeks when the U.S. has already delivered to an Israeli port, 20 miles north of Gaza border, enough flour to feed 1.5 million people for five months? This shipment of American flour is being held in the port of Ashdod, because Israel has denied the U.S. permission to deliver it to Gaza.

Given the Israeli-held U.S. aid shipment, the building of the floating pier appears to be a wasteful expenditure of U.S. taxpayers’ money, not much different from the air drops. These symbolic actions are only intended to divert attention from the scale of suffering in Gaza. And such hollow gestures are designed for public relations, aimed at desensitizing the human conscience with false promises, all the while empowering Israel to perpetuate its genocide both directly and indirectly.

Constructing a pier from scratch, particularly when U.S. aid has been sitting for over a month in an Israeli port just 25 minutes away, raises significant logistical and security concerns. Given the Biden Administration’s reluctance to coordinate with Palestinian officials, it begs the question as to who will ultimately control the pier, and thus the distribution of aid after completion. Palestinians are apprehensive that it may be handed over to the Israeli occupation forces, thereby granting Israel complete control over all access routes to Gaza, by land, and now by sea.

Biden’s indifference toward the five months old genocide was starkly apparent in his calculated anti-Palestinian bias during his recent interview with MSNBC. When he urged Netanyahu to “pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost,” he implicitly suggested that Netanyahu was already paying some attention while murdering Palestinians, but he needed to be more cautious.

Despite Israel’s 75-year history of Palestinian dispossession, Biden doubled down on his attempts to whitewash current Israeli crimes, effectively telling his interviewer that what’s happening in Gaza wasn’t “what Israel stands for.”

One might question whether such a statement stems from pure ignorance of history or a case of in denial. Either way, I suspect it’s more indicative of Biden’s ingrained anti-Palestinian racism, wherein he fails to hear or see the pain of the “lesser humans.”

As someone who did not grow up in the privilege of Delaware, I witnessed firsthand “what Israel stands for.” I was born and raised in a refugee camp for no reason other than my parents not being Jewish. They were deemed “lesser humans” whose well-being was dispensable to make way for European Jewish immigrants to take their homes. My parents embarked on their journey into a life of refuge just weeks after one of the many Zionist massacres that paved the way for the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

Few of the Zionist massacres were as documented as the massacre of the village of Deir Yassin, where Jewish terrorists, predecessors of today’s Israeli army, systematically murdered 15% of the village’s men, women, and children. In his memoir, the former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin openly applauded the massacre stating that “Deir Yassin massacre was not only necessary, but without it the state of Israel could not have emerged.”

Israel was founded on murdering and maiming the natives and on the ruins of Palestinian homes in 1948. This legacy persists in 2024, exemplified by starving 2.4 million Palestinians in Gaza, and perpetuated further by murdering one out of every 75 people, including 12,500 children, and 73,124 wounded. Moreover, more than half of Gaza’s homes destroyed or damaged, 392 educational facilities obliterated, only one-third of hospitals partially operational, 83% of groundwater wells out of service, and 267 mosques and churches destroyed.

Mr. President, Israeli crimes in Gaza are consistent with what Israel stood for in the last 75 years.

Absent of ending the genocide and lifting the 18-year-old Israeli blockade on Gaza, Biden’s floating pier, like the airdrop, is a waste of time and money. This is especially true as long as the U.S. continues to provide Israel the means to starve and kill the very people we purportedly trying to save.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell put it best in addressing the apparent hypocrisy in the Biden Administration on February 12, when he said “If you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people having been killed.”

Will Biden and Blinken heed Borrell’s layman advice?

The post Gaza’s Floating Pier and Biden’s Fake Empathy appeared first on CounterPunch.org.


This content originally appeared on CounterPunch.org and was authored by Jamal Kanj.

Citations

[1] Gaza’s Floating Pier and Biden’s Fake Empathy - CounterPunch.org ➤ https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/03/21/gazas-floating-pier-and-bidens-fake-empathy/[2]https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/03/world/middleeast/gaza-famine-hunger-un.html[3] In Gaza, starving children fill hospital wards as famine looms ➤ https://www.aol.com/gaza-starving-children-fill-hospital-142452774.html[4] Chicago ER Doctor Just Back from Gaza Says Patients, Medical Staff Face Catastrophic Conditions - YouTube ➤ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJlp0TpmuW4[5] play ➤ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/2/19/israeli-soldiers-fire-at-palestinians-approaching-aid-trucks-in-gaza[6] play ➤ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/14/death-trap-israeli-forces-kill-six-aid-seekers-in-gaza-city[7] U.S. urges Israel to allow more aid in, better protect Palestinian civilians amid its siege on Gaza | PBS NewsHour ➤ https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/blinken-urges-israel-to-protect-civilians-amid-its-siege-on-gaza[8] play ➤ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/longform/2023/10/9/israel-hamas-war-in-maps-and-charts-live-tracker[9] Photos: Gaza on the Brink of Famine - The Atlantic ➤ https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2024/03/photos-gaza-brink-famine/677741/[10] More children killed in Gaza in 4 months than in 4 years of war globally: report ➤ https://www.msnbc.com/top-stories/latest/death-toll-children-gaza-israel-rcna143269[11] US could take 2 months and 1,000 troops to construct floating pier to deliver aid to Gaza, Pentagon says | CNN Politics ➤ https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/08/politics/floating-pier-troops-aid-gaza/index.html[12] Israel-Hamas war: US vetoes UN resolution for immediate Gaza cease-fire | AP News ➤ https://apnews.com/article/un-israel-palestinians-gaza-ceasefire-resolution-vote-350c86ef261bf1a00a2515cf22764de5[13]https://www.state.gov/briefings/department-press-briefing-february-13-2024/#ISPALREGION[14]https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-makes-contradictory-comments-gaza-red-line-msnbc-interview-2024-03-09/[15] Deir Yassin Remembered ➤ https://www.deiryassin.org/[16] MENACHEM BEGIN quotes and sayings ➤ https://www.inspiringquotes.us/author/7111-menachem-begin[17] play ➤ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/longform/2023/10/9/israel-hamas-war-in-maps-and-charts-live-tracker[18]https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20230511-israel-75-years-of-massacres-abuse-and-displacement/[19] Gaza’s Floating Pier and Biden’s Fake Empathy - CounterPunch.org ➤ https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/03/21/gazas-floating-pier-and-bidens-fake-empathy/[20] Home - CounterPunch.org ➤ https://www.counterpunch.org/