Over 500 Democratic Party staff members and Joe Biden 2020 campaign alumni have signed an open letter calling on the President of the United States to do more to protect the Palestinians and hold Israel accountable for its actions in and on Gaza, where a ceasefire is currently in place.
The move comes amid a deepening divide in the Democratic ranks, between some vocal members of its progressive wing, such as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and more centrist figures, including Biden, who have consistently taken a pro-Israel stance. .
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 demolished in Gaza, while 12 Israelis were killed by rockets fired by Hamas.
The letter will add to that momentum and also reflects a more subtle turning point in American public opinion, which has become more critical of Israel.
The signatories to write that they “praise [Biden’s] efforts to negotiate a ceasefire. However, we also cannot fail to see the horrific violence that unfolded in recent weeks in Israel / Palestine, and we implore you to continue to use the power of your office to hold Israel accountable for its actions and lay the foundation for justice. and lasting peace. “
The letter adds: “The very values that motivated us to work countless hours to elect him demand that we speak out… We continue to be horrified by the images of Palestinian civilians in Gaza killed or homeless by Israeli airstrikes.. “
While condemning the violence on both sides, the letter singles out Israel as more guilty due to its increased military power and its ongoing occupation of Palestinian communities and blockade against Gaza.
“While the Israelis had to spend their nights hiding in bomb shelters, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip had nowhere to hide. It is critical to recognize this imbalance of power, that Israel’s highly advanced military occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem and blocks the Gaza Strip, creating an uninhabitable open-air prison, ”he said.
Biden has dispatched his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, to the Middle East this week, saying in a statement: “Continuing our silent and intensive diplomacy to achieve a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas … Blinken will meet with Israeli leaders. about our steadfast commitment to Israel’s security.
“It will continue our administration’s efforts to rebuild ties and support for the Palestinian people and leaders, after years of neglect.”
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 rules Gaza. Hamas is a US designated “foreign terrorist organization” and therefore contacts between US officials and the group are prohibited.
That means the United States must rely on third countries like Egypt and Qatar to convey messages to Hamas.
American Jews and Arabs were among the signatories to the open letter to Biden.
Among its demands, it says the Biden administration must “investigate whether Israel’s latest attack on Gaza violates the Leahy Act, which prohibits US military aid from financing foreign military units implicated in serious human rights violations.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism