Israel under attack: Will Biden and Blinken stand behind our ally in the Middle East?
ALASKA: Israel is under attack both militarily and politically. Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Tel Aviv, Eshkol, Lod, Ashdod, and many other towns in Israel have been hit with missiles, rockets, mortar fire, even less sophisticated weapons. A total of 850 rockets from Gaza hit Israel in the past two days, 250 from Tuesday night until Wednesday morning, May 12. Killing 5 people and injuring 50.
These assaults started during Ramadan, a holy month of fasting and prayer in the Muslim religion. The strikes surprised Israeli citizens and caught them unaware.
“Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and opposes Israel‘s existence, has called for a new intifada, or uprising.”
Hamas said it launched a total of 130 rockets in response to Israel’s destruction of an empty high-rise building in Gaza. As their rockets rose into the skies, mosques across Gaza broadcast chants of “God is great,” “victory to Islam” and “resistance.”
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh declared
“Today’s battles with Israel — including an unprecedented barrage of rockets on the country’s center — have rewritten the rules of the game. What is taking place right now is an honor for our people, our nation,” Haniyeh says. “There is a new balance of power right now.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel appeals for calm on all sides but after continued attacks he warns:
“The terrorist organizations in Gaza crossed a red line and attacked us with missiles at the entrances to Jerusalem. Israel will respond with great force,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned. “We did not want to escalate, but those who chose to escalate will be hit forcefully.”
Lod Mayor Yair Revivo of Israel says he’s asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to declare a state of emergency in the city. He cautions that 70 years of coexistence could be destroyed by what is happening.
“Every minute, a car or a synagogue or a school is going up in flames. Our new city hall was broken into and set alight. You don’t understand what’s happening here. This is worse than the missiles from Gaza. Gangs of Arab youths are going street to street, burning stores, smashing windows…Jewish families are huddled at home, terrified of going out… Their cars are being set alight outside… Police are nowhere to be seen.”
Mayor Revivo needs the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) military protection for his city.
A map of every rocket fired by Hamas in the last day or so
If Israel didn’t have the Iron Dome defence system, thousands of Israelis would be dead
Hamas has one intention, and that is to murder innocent civilians. Never forget that pic.twitter.com/aVaznXbAJY
— Joseph Gellman (@joseph_gellman) May 11, 2021
There have been fatalities and injuries on all sides
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) responded to Hamas attacks by countering with hits on infrastructure. However, the IDF warned residents in areas they intended to attack. The IDF announcing their intentions, urging residents in targeted areas to evacuate immediately. A warning is never given to the Israeli population and seldom mentioned in mainstream media news reports.
One strike demolished a 12-story building, the Hanadi Tower in Gaza, which houses offices and apartments for the political leadership of Hamas. Israeli drones fired a series of warning shots at the roof to give people time to leave the building before it was destroyed. There were no reports of casualties.
“…deaths in Gaza were members of a single-family, including three children, who died in an explosion in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. It was not clear if the blast was caused by an Israeli airstrike or errant rocket from Gaza. The Hamas terror organization deliberately places military targets in the heart of densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli Defence Forces take precautions to avoid harming civilians as much as possible during its operational activities.
Five Israeli civilian women and one child have died by the last count, and there are scores of reported injuries from the attacks over the past five days One Thai national working as a contractor has also been seriously injured.
Each side disputes the exact number of death and injury, while violence continues.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi informed the press that Israeli military units conducted strikes on over 500 targets in the past few days
Those strikes killing dozens of terrorist operatives including Hamas Commander Iyad Fathi Faik Sharir, and Hassan Kauji head of security in Hamas’ counterintelligence branch. Also killed are his deputy Wail Issa, who was also the brother of Marwan Issa, deputy chief of Hamas’ military.
“We are determined to strike terror groups in the most serious way possible,” says Chief of Staff Kohavi.
A tweet from the Israeli Defense Forces informs us:
“IDF & Israel Security Agency carried out a targeted strike against Islamic Jihad commander, Samah Abed al-Mamluk & other senior members of his unit. They were among those responsible for hundreds of rockets fired at Israelis.”
Raw Aerial Footage:
This is the moment that the IDF & Israel Security Agency carried out a targeted strike against Islamic Jihad commander, Samah Abed al-Mamluk & other senior members of his unit.
They were among those responsible for hundreds of rockets fired at Israelis. pic.twitter.com/3DLj2UVdCm
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 11, 2021
Since its inception, Israel has had to contend with adversaries on all sides but until the Biden administration, the United States strongly supported a strategic foreign policy alliance with the only successful democratically run government in the region, Israel.
While the Obama administration’s support for Israel cooled significantly while funding for Palestinian, Iranian, Syrian, and Lebanese groups increased; the Trump administration made important achievements in the region. These include the “Abraham Accords”, promoting business deals with the Gulf states and Israel, opening transport and tourist trade in the region, increasing religious freedom and tolerance, defunding groups with known terrorist ties (specifically Hamas, Al Nusra, Daesh/ISIS, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and their offshoots) and encouraging other countries in the region to cut ties and funding to these aforementioned violent terrorist organizations.
Biden/Blinken shift in policy
However, in the first months of the Biden/Harris administration with the newly installed Secretary of State Antony Blinken, there has been a noticeable shift away from the support of Israel. This is seen as an effort to “distance and disregard” former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and all of President Trump’s achievements, especially in the Middle East.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Antony John Blinken was born to Jewish parents in New York, USA. He has been promoted through the ranks as a staunch Democrat. He was a speechwriter for Bill Clinton, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serving in the Obama/Biden administration as the Deputy National Security Adviser who advocated the “Iran deal.”
Blinken, also one of the architects of the disastrous Ukraine policy and was Obama’s Deputy Secretary of State from 2015-2017.
Blinken stated that “even if a Biden administration would suspend nuclear-related sanctions, “we will continue non-nuclear sanctions as a strong hedge against Iranian misbehavior in other areas.”
Biden has pledged to re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Tehran returns to compliance.
Biden says he hopes to work with U.S. allies to “make it longer and stronger.”
Iran is a staunch advocate of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihadi groups in the region. They provide funding, training, and safe haven for known terrorist groups as well as not recognizing the existence of Israel as a nation.
Iran recognizes Palestine and does not recognize the state of Israel. Nor does Iran allow either Israel or the United States consulates or embassies. Iran does not have any official diplomatic or trade relations with either the USA or Israel. At every opportunity, Iran denigrates and accuses Israel of aggression.
Tony Blinken says the US position is for a “two-state solution” to recognize both Israel and Palestine. In an interview in February on CNN Blinken tells us:
“…the two-state solution: The President (Biden) strongly supports it. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, and the only way to give the Palestinians a state to which they’re entitled.”
Entitled is a curious choice of words for Secretary of State Blinken to use here.
Biden hasn’t picked an ambassador to Israel. What does that say of U.S.-Israeli relations?
A US State Department spokesman, Ned Price says:
“Senior US officials have been in contact with their Israeli counterparts in recent days” regarding the ongoing escalation in Jerusalem and Gaza.
Price avoids responding to a question regarding whether the US will appoint a special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as previous administrations did.
In 2018, President Trump cut $360 million after evidence of fraud and misappropriation since the time of Yasser Arafat
Trump determined that funding only incentivized violence and derailed substantive negotiation and the “peace process”. Funds sent to Palestinian groups in the past have been diverted to Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
The funding of Palestinian groups and projects has already increased in the first three months of the Biden Administration. USAID, the DOS, NGOs have all posted new, fully funded projects as of April 2021. Biden’s administration plans to provide $235m of aid to Palestinians with US taxpayers money.
Neither Blinken nor Biden have indicated when the US will appoint an ambassador to Israel. There is currently no official ambassador to Israel from the United States under the Biden/Harris/Blinken administration.
President Donald Trump comments on the violence in Israel:
“Under Biden, the world is getting more violent and more unstable because Biden’s weakness and lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies.”
President Trump’s strong statement stands in contrast to Biden’s anemic response. If the U.S. is to call itself a “friend and ally to Israel”, the U.S. needs to step up with action and strong condemnation of violent terrorist groups.
At present Biden and Blinken are currying favor and acting friendlier to Iran, Palestinians and surrounding Arab states, than they are to Israel. It is once again…Israel who is under attack.
About the Author:
Joanne Patti Munisteri lives a ‘different’ life that has taken her around the world. She has lived and worked in Armenia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Russia, Turkey, Qatar, Malaysia, Ascension Island, Italy, Northern Ireland, England, New Zealand, Egypt, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iraq, China, and is now working in remote Alaska. She works in the fields of education, health, monitoring and evaluation, research, and training. Joanne is a certified Combat Analyst and Social Scientist. Joanne was also part of the Human Terrain System (HTS) with the US Army, training at Ft. Leavenworth.
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