Joe Biden calls for ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza and says Israel must protect civilians to keep US - Politics | PoFo

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Joe Biden has called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza, telling Benjamin Netanyahu that future US support for Israel will depend on it taking concrete action to protect civilians and aid workers.

As the two leaders held their first phone call since Israeli airstrikes killed seven employees of the international food charity World Central Kitchen (WCK), Biden issued the strongest US rebuke toward Israel since the start of the conflict.

In Thursday’s call, which lasted less than 30 minutes, the US president “made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering and the safety of aid workers”, the White House said in a statement.

“He made clear that US policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

Biden said that an “immediate ceasefire is essential” and urged Israel to reach a deal with Hamas “without delay”, the White House said.

The statement marked a sharp change in Biden’s rhetoric and suggested, for what appears to be the first time, that strings could be attached to continued US support.

The call came as WCK called on Australia, Canada, Poland, the US and the UK, whose citizens were killed in the attack, to join an independent investigation of the incident.

“This was a military attack that involved multiple strikes and targeted three WCK vehicles,” the charity said in a statement. “All three vehicles were carrying civilians; they were marked as WCK vehicles; and their movements were in full compliance with Israeli authorities, who were aware of their itinerary, route and humanitarian mission.

“An independent investigation is the only way to determine the truth of what happened, ensure transparency and accountability for those responsible, and prevent future attacks on humanitarian aid workers.”

Biden’s comments were echoed by his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, who said US support would be curtailed if Israel failed to adjust its conduct.
“If we don’t see the changes that we need to see, there will be changes in our policy,” he told reporters in Brussels.

“Right now, there is no higher priority in Gaza than protecting civilians, surging humanitarian assistance and ensuring the security of those who provide it. Israel must meet this moment,” he said.

The US has provided crucial military aid and diplomatic support for Israel’s nearly six-month offensive, which was launched in response to Hamas’s 7 October attack in southern Israel.
Support for Israel’s ability to defend itself has been a touchstone of US foreign policy for more than half a century and until now there has been no indication the US was ready to condition – let alone withhold – military aid.

The state department recently approved the transfer of 1,800 MK-84 2,000lb (907kg) bombs to Israel, with the decision reportedly coming on the day of the WCK strike.

The national security council spokesperson, John Kirby, on Thursday reiterated that US support for Israel’s defence remained “iron-clad”.

But earlier on Thursday a key Biden ally urged the US president to use the leverage afforded by the aid. “I think we’re at that point,” Chris Coons, a Democratic senator from the president’s home state of Delaware, told CNN.

Coons said that if Israel began a long-threatened offensive in the southern city of Rafah, without plans for the 1.5 million people sheltering there, “I would vote to condition aid to Israel”.

Biden’s comments were the latest in a chorus of international anger over the attack on the WCK team, which was distributing desperately needed food to a population facing famine.

The Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, said on Thursday that Israel’s explanation for the deaths was “not good enough”, while a diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel has erupted after Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Yacov Livne, pushed back at what he said were attempts by the “extreme right and left in Poland” to accuse Israel of “intentional murder”.

The Polish president, Andrzej Duda, on Thursday called the comment “outrageous” and described the ambassador as “the biggest problem for the state of Israel in relations with Poland”. The Polish foreign ministry said Livne was summoned to a meeting on Friday morning.

Israel said on Thursday that its military investigation into the killing of the seven aid workers could take weeks, while Shimon Freedman, a spokesperson for Cogat, the arm of the Israeli military responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, told the BBC they “hope for [the investigation to report] in the next few days”.

The IDF chief of staff, Herzi Halevi, attributed the strike to “misidentification”, adding that it “was not carried out with the intention of harming WCK aid workers”, and was a mistake that should not have happened.

The IDF said it had halted leave for all combat units on Thursday and heightened its air defence command to deal with a possible missile or drone attack from Iran. There is concern in Israel about Tehran’s response to the deaths of two Iranian generals and five military advisers in an Israeli airstrike on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus earlier this week.

Netanyahu has faced intense domestic pressure from the families and supporters of the hostages still being held in Gaza, and from a resurgent anti-government protest movement.

On Wednesday Benny Gantz, a Netanyahu rival and member of the war cabinet, called for snap parliamentary elections in September. “We must set a consensual date for the month of September, or if you prefer for the first anniversary of the war,” Gantz said.

The prime minister’s Likud party rejected the call, but it was welcomed by the leader of the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, who last month urged new elections in a strident criticism of Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict. “When a leading member of Israel’s war cabinet calls for early elections and over 70% of the Israeli population agrees according to a major poll, you know it’s the right thing to do,” Schumer tweeted.

Early elections require the agreement of 61 elected officials, or the majority of deputies in the Knesset, where the Likud has the most seats but does not have a majority.

Likud said a national election while Israel was at war “would inevitably lead to paralysis” and harm the military’s fight in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Hamas official Osama Hamdan said there had been no progress in Gaza ceasefire talks despite the Palestinian group showing flexibility.

“Negotiations are stuck in a vicious circle,” Hamdan said.

More than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war, Gazan medical officials say. Hamas has said 6,000 of its fighters are among the fatalities. Israeli officials say the Palestinian combatant death toll is more than twice that number.

Israel is growing increasingly isolated. Its main sponsor is now even backing away from it.
This is a charade, IMHO.

Obviously Biden has to pretend that he disapproves given the complete savagery on display and the psychopathy with the deliberate killing of aids workers this week, as well as the attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

But, if the Americans were serious, they could pull the plug any day. They are not. It's good-cop bad-cop on display.

But at least there is so much pressure that the Yankees have to go along with this charade..
For more on this story , here are some articles I just read today .

World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés accused Israel on Wednesday of deliberately targeting the organization’s seven aid workers killed in an airstrike on Monday, “systematically, car by car,” rejecting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that they were unintentionally killed.

“This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place,” Andrés told Reuters in an exclusive interview.

At one point, the celebrity chef and humanitarian appeared emotional and holding back tears as he described the “friends” who were killed by Israeli missiles after delivering more than 100 tons of food to a warehouse in Gaza. Andrés said the Israel Defense Forces had been aware of the convoy’s activity before the attack and that the hit vehicles were clearly labeled with WCK’s logo.

According to Andrés, the vehicles had “very defined” and “colorful” logos indicating they were aid workers. “It’s very clear who we are and what we do,” said Andrés, adding that they were in a “deconflicting zone, in an area controlled by IDF.”

“They [knew] that it was our teams moving on that road…with three cars.”

Since the attack on Monday, Netanyahu has promised that “an independent, professional and expert body” would investigate the airstrikes. But speaking to Reuters, Andrés called for a separate investigation into the airstrike led by the United States and other home countries where the aid workers had come from.

In a phone call with Netanyahu on Thursday, Biden declared that continued support for Israel would be contingent on whether Israel takes further steps to protect the lives of civilians, stating that an “immediate ceasefire is essential.” Shortly before Monday’s attack, the Biden administration had signed off on more than 1,000 500-pound bombs and 1,000 small-diameter bombs to be transferred to Israel, according to CNN. Mother Jones

The Israeli military chief of staff fired two officers found to be responsible for the mistakes that led to the killing of seven aid workers with the World Central Kitchen, which deepened a crisis in U.S.-Israel relations.

The sackings Friday, and the Israel Defense Forces’ publication of details that led to the strikes earlier this week, came as Israel’s government scrambled to meet U.S. demands to increase the flow of humanitarian aid as Gaza faces a worsening humanitarian crisis. On Thursday, the Biden administration said it would reassess its support for Israel in its war against Hamas unless Israel made changes.

According to the IDF’s release, officials identified two gunmen entering an aid compound on trucks. They mistakenly presumed the gunmen were in the three vehicles leaving the compound and failed to identify markings that showed the trucks belonged to WCK, the group founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, and which has delivered relief in Israel and Gaza during the current war.

“Those who approved the strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees,” the release said. “The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake stemming from a serious failure due to a mistaken identification, errors in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the Standard Operating Procedures.”

Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the chief of staff, sacked the two senior officers supervising the operation and reprimanded three, including the commander of the Southern Command.

On Thursday, Biden said that he told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call that Israel needed to take “specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers,” and that “U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

Netanyahu, in a departure from the norm, did not publish his own readout of the call; the only statement from his office subsequent to the call was Netanyahu’s brief remarks opening a security cabinet meeting, in which he referred to the threat posed to Israel by Iran in the wake of the assassination in Damascus of a senior officer of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Biden and Netanyahu had discussed the threat, according to the White House.

Nevertheless, late Thursday, word leaked that the security cabinet had approved opening the Erez Crossing, into Gaza’s north, where threats of famine are especially acute. Additionally, the cabinet approved the opening of the nearby Israeli port of Ashdod to the delivery of relief, a key American demand, and to accelerate the delivery of relief from Jordan.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council welcomed the actions, but indicated that the U.S. assessment was not concluded.

“U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these and other steps, including steps to protect innocent civilians and the safety of aid workers,” Adrienne Watson said in her statement released Thursday evening. Jewish Telegraphic Agency
paeng wrote:From the 1980s:

What he says is utter nonsense. Israel was not a reliable ally. I'd be hard pressed to think of a more unreliable ally (OK maybe Saudi Arabia or Pakistan). Israel would have switched sides in the Cold War in an instant if they had calculated that it was in their interest to do so, as the Zionists switched sides during World War I.

Those treacherous allies wrecked the F22 project. The US couldn't sell F22's to Israel because it couldn't trust them not to sell on the technology. Because of that they couldn't sell F22s to their honorable reliable allies, because we have to keep up to the fiction of Gentile moral inferiority.
KurtFF8 wrote:Oh of course. The fact that this isn't coupled with a full arms embargo on Israel shows how shallow it really is. But it's still a significant political development

Its another increment in the development that has been going on for months, but honestly I think its just more playing for time, just like all statements of the Biden government before.

Even if we get a creasefire the question will be how stable it is. The soldiers who killed defenseless civilians for no reason have neither been arrested nor received any penalty, they havent even been identified. So these psychopaths are still armed and in the area. How is it under these circumstances likely that any such peace would last ?

The core issue of the conflict between Israel and Palestine is that Israel has a modern army and Palestine doesnt even have a proper leadership and thus only a guerillia-like force, Hamas, that they dont in any way control.
KurtFF8 wrote:
Israel is essentially a satellite state of the USA. So the idea that it's an "unreliable ally" is a bit strange.

It is strange, but it's also true.

LBJ asked Israel "What do you want". A half century later, we're still waiting for an answer. There are limits to what you do to an ally. Israel has repeatedly done things to us that friends simply do not do.

We are in an unstable period, and the last thing we need is an Israel cranking up a regional war. But they have attacked Lebanon dozens of times, they are picking a fight with Iran (which was trying to stay out of it) and more. Netanyahu knows peace could send him to jail, shunned in disgrace at the least...

This has been a long time coming.
KurtFF8 wrote:Israel is essentially a satellite state of the USA. So the idea that it's an "unreliable ally" is a bit strange. Just because there are sometimes tensions over specific arms sales or specific diplomatic disagreements doesn't make Israel any less essentially an arm of US power in the region.

The US has several bases in the Middle East and Turkey. I don't see what it needs Israel for. The Israel-Palestine conflict is nothing but a huge pain in the ass for the US, and the West in general. For historical and cultural reasons, it cannot simply act in a rational, self-interested manner, which is exploited propagandistically by other powers.
wat0n wrote:Hamas just rejected an US-brokered ceasefire, as anyone with half a brain could predict.

Of course not. They want a permanent ceasefire. While the US has just merely emitted another empty political statement that, if read carefully, as you have to do for these statements, guarantees exactly NOTHING.

The USA wants a general war in the area, to assert its domination over the region.
Negotiator wrote:Of course not. They want a permanent ceasefire. While the US has just merely emitted another empty political statement that, if read carefully, as you have to do for these statements, guarantees exactly NOTHING.

The USA wants a general war in the area, to assert its domination over the region.

Why a permanent ceasefire and not a final peace treaty?
wat0n wrote:Why a permanent ceasefire and not a final peace treaty?

Hamas should demand a peace treaty. Perhaps a truth commission like in South-Africa would work better then war crimes tribunals...

A Gentlemen agreement like Turkey and Greece had about population exchange Settlers to Israel, Arab Israel8s to palestine
Last edited by Skynet on 07 Apr 2024 16:23, edited 1 time in total.
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