The Secretary of State shows what the whole USA response is about-and how totally contradictory and not seriously thought out it is. Blinken says, “Israel has a right to defend itself” and listeners expecting a statement of equal rights since that is one of the core issues, then expect to hear him grant the same right to the Palestinians, to say they too have a right to defend themselves, but he does not say that at all. Rather, he says that they are granted “the right to safety.”
What is implied is that they have no right to defend themselves. Someone is playing it safe, with certain pro Israeli lobbyists watching over his shoulder to be sure. They probably wrote the statement. They often do.
Let us parse this- Do Palestinians then have a right to build air raid shelters perhaps, or gas masks, or first aid kits, or blood transfusions, or trauma counselling. We have to keep you safe, after all. A right to safety, and a right to defend yourself are two different things.
They do not measure up as granting equal rights. In fact, their reduction ad absurdum is easy. I can steal your land and your house in Sheik Jarrah and your right is not to defend yourself, but to be safe, so I respect that by making sure I do not hurt you, that you stand back so there is no chance of being hit by tear gas as the police enforce your eviction, and that I put padded cushions in the wagon I throw you in when I take you away for protesting. Just be safe.
Or when the F16s bomb and destroy your Gaza apartment, the IDF at least call and send warning rockets, because we exercise our right to defend ourselves, and respect some right for you to be safe. But you have no right to a home, and you have no right to fight back. Just to stay safe.
We can defend ourselves by destroying your life and your country, so long as you remain safe. This is the hollow rhetoric that the Biden administration is coming up with.
Trump’s Peace plan decided that Israelis had rights and Palestinians had needs and the Peace Plan was protecting the first and throwing cash at the second, but among what Palestinians did not need was rights. That is according to Bibi’s protege, Jared Kushner. This coming from a nation that founded itself on the belief that inalienable rights were given by the Creator to all. The Palestinians must have missed that day Jefferson was at work. Like women and slaves.
The irony is that not respecting and upholding the rights of Palestinians to defend themselves destroys any chance Israel has of the right to being safe. So that is self-evident. Yet not obvious to our smart Secretary of State who is living in the wake of the Trump betrayal of Palestine. The only difference from past USA administrations is that Trump was so blatant. Seems Biden’s might not be as blatant but it is starting out to sound equally as stupid.
Rights are intertwined. My right to move does not give me a right to put up checkpoints or build separate highways that stop your movement, or build security walls on your land to divide you from your olive grove.
My right to a home does not give me a right to seize your home. Let’s rework Blinken’s statement so it makes more sense:
1-Palestinians have a right to defend themselves and a right to be safe.
2-Israelis have a right to defend themselves and a right to be safe.
That is the package deal. We cannot take sides. If I enforce my rights by denying you the same right, I destroy my claim. I can steal your land and bomb you and put you under siege, and you expect me to believe I am not allowed to fight back, not allowed to defend myself, not allowed even to protest? That is the argument Israel and USA are making.
20% of Israeli citizens are Arabs and they will decide if they feel safe anymore in Israel, if that is their only right Blinken and Israel will grant them, given the Nation State Laws. Nothing will destroy a nation faster than one overcome with fear.
The safest people in the world arguably, are those people in maximum security prisons. If that is what the Secretary of State meant, then that is precisely what Israel is doing and has done to the Palestinians since 1948. Come to think of it. It is not about keeping Palestinians safe at all. That is a lie. This “Guardian of the Apartheid Walls,” which is what the IDF are calling their campaign, is about trying to keep Israelis safe while keeping Palestinians occupied and enclosed. Good luck with that. https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-israel-has-right-to…/1