The US political establishment has remained complicit in Israel’s crimes every step of the way
Since October 7, US Congress has passed numerous resolutions condemning Hamas, reiterating its support for Israel, and approving multi-million dollar “emergency military aid” packages for IsraelDecember 04, 2023 by Natalia Marques.
Demonstrators hold up a banner with images of Palestinian martyrs at a vigil in New York City on November 29 (Photo: Wyatt Souers)
Last week, almost every single member of the United States House of Representatives voted in favor of a resolution, introduced by Representative Michael Lawler, equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Even as so-called progressive Jamaal Bowman voted in favor of this resolution, which also reaffirmed Israel’s “right to exist,” he lamented that there are no resolutions being proposed affirming the Palestinian right to exist.
Indeed, since October 7, the entirety of the US Congress has moved almost in lockstep in its support of Israel. On November 3, the House of Representatives passed a USD 14.5 billion military aid package for Israel, which has been stalled in the Senate. The House has passed numerous resolutions condemning Hamas, condemning the support of Hamas on college campuses (an accusation levied often against students who support Palestine), calling on Hamas to release its hostages, etc. And while Lawler’s resolution was approved almost unanimously a few days after it was introduced, Representative Cori Bush’s resolution calling for a ceasefire seems unlikely to be passed, although it was introduced over a month ago and has racked up 17 co-sponsors. The White House went as far to condemn the progressive congress members calling for a ceasefire, calling the pressure for peace “repugnant” and “disgraceful.”
“There can be no equivocation about that,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in October. “There are not two sides here. There are not two sides.”
The House of Representatives voted to censure (effectively a public shaming and a step below expulsion) the only Palestinian in Congress, Representative Rashida Tlaib, for stating a fact, that “the apartheid system” is what “creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance.”
Meanwhile, there has not been a single resolution introduced in the US Congress to condemn Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, although over 15,500 Gazans have been killed in Israel’s so-called war against Hamas, including at least 6,600 children. Israeli attacks resumed last week after a seven-day pause, seemingly with the blessing of the United States following Secretary of State Antony’ Blinken’s visit to Israel. Within the US itself, a young Palestinian boy was stabbed to death by his landlord in a shocking hate crime in Illinois in October, and on November 25, three Palestinian college students were shot by a man in Vermont. One of those boys will be paralyzed for life from the chest down.
“This hideous crime did not happen in a vacuum,” said Hisham Awartani, whose injuries have left him paralyzed. “As much as I appreciate the love of every single one of you here today, I am but one casualty in a much wider conflict. Had I been shot in the West Bank, where I grew up, the medical services which saved my life here would have likely been withheld by the Israeli army. The soldier who would have shot me would go home and never be convicted.”
Few in the US political establishment have been willing to speak out against such crimes. Congressional staffers themselves have organized demonstrations to attempt to put pressure on their bosses to act, such as the over 100 staffers who staged a walkout earlier this month. Many have expressed disappointment at leading progressive Bernie Sanders, one of the only politicians willing to openly identify as a socialist and demand better policies for working people, but who has refused to call for a ceasefire. Hundreds of his former staffers have called on him to take a stand on this issue. Bernie supporters have resorted to leaving hundreds of comments on his social media posts demanding he call for a ceasefire.
President Biden himself made headlines when, in October, he said he has “no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using” to count their dead. The White House has refused to call the Israeli slaughter of thousands of Palestinians and the mass displacement of Gazans a “genocide”. “What Hamas wants, make no mistake about it, is genocide. They want to wipe Israel off the map,” said National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby at a recent White House press briefing.
“Yes, there are too many civilian casualties in Gaza…And yes, we continue to urge the Israelis to be as careful and cautious as possible. But Israel is not trying to wipe the Palestinian people off the map. Israel’s not trying to wipe Gaza off the map. Israel is trying to defend itself against a genocidal terrorist threat,” Kirby said.
Two socialist candidates running for President and Vice President in the 2024 elections, Claudia De La Cruz and Karina Garcia, have openly called for the liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation and an end to the US funding of Israel. De La Cruz took part in an occupation of the lobby of the BlackRock headquarters, an investment giant which has large investments in weapons companies responsible fort the genocide in Gaza.
“We must demystify any notion that the US imperialists care about promoting peace or establishing democracy,” De La Cruz said in a video in November. “They are in many ways taking off their mask and blatantly carrying out genocide.”