What role did the US play in the Israeli aggression against Gaza during the battle of Seif Al-Quds, and how can its relentless support for the occupation continue despite dissenting voices within its own government?
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): The battle of Seif Al-Quds in Gaza was a turning point in the Palestinian-Israeli equation, with severe consequences for the occupation, even if it was touted as a victory for “Israel” by the west.
"Israel" unleashed its aggression against the Palestinian people, killing 313 Palestinians, including 71 minors.
Like the latest Israeli occupation forces (IOF)'s assaults on worshippers in Al-Aqsa during the holy month of Ramadan, last year’s events were preceded by the main catalyst - the assaults on the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in East Al-Quds by settlers under the protection of the IOF.
Whereas in the past, the Israelis had a monopoly over the narrative concerning their actions within the occupied territories, in 2021 they suffered an unexpected blow on social media they did not expect. Pro-Palestinian content was being circulated and shared on social media platforms like never before.
#SaveSheikhJarrah became a trending hashtag and prominent Palestinian voices and pro-Palestinian supporters amplified their voices on platforms in a way that just could no longer be ignored or repressed by “Israel".
Social media sites did attempt to limit pro-Palestinian content repeatedly but could not face off against the Chinese platform TikTok where live images and videos were shared, depicting the very ugly reality that Western media outlets were deliberately clouding.
How does the US contribute to the aggression? In the same way, it currently contributes to Ukraine's war due to its vested interest against Russia... with billions of dollars in arms.
As with Ukrainian troops, the US participates in funding and training initiatives with Israeli troops in order to continue its brutal aggression against the people of Palestine.
In January, a US-based Breaking Defense military news outlet reported that the Israeli occupation has a list of weapons it planned to urge the US to add to its possible emergency stockpile to use against Iran and Lebanon.
In May of 2021, US President Joe Biden approved a deal to sell $735 million worth of precision-guided weapons to “Israel".
Months after the battle of Seif Al-Quds, the US approved a bill that limits the security assistance of "Israel" to $3.3 billion annually, while it ensures a “series of programs aimed at furthering peace in the region.”
What part of giving an occupying force $3 billion annually for use against an oppressed and blockaded people is part of furthering peace?
Not only does the US fund "Israel’s" largest-ever "defense" program, the Iron Dome, but it continuously pours billions into the Israeli security fund.
No better friend: The USA
When the US approved the Iron Dome funding, Yair Lapid, the Israeli Foreign Minister, declared that "Israel" has no better friend than the US.
How can he be wrong, when during the Seif Al-Quds battle, Biden’s statements only mirrored those of Presidents before him, touting “Israel’s” right to "defend" itself, without a word of criticism directed at "Israel"?
Not only that, but the US blocked a UN Security Council motion that would have ended the Israeli violence.
In December, the US inked a deal with “Israel” worth $2 billion to purchase 12 CH-53K aircraft and two KC-46 refueling aircraft.
In February, in a speech to the Israeli Knesset, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed "ironclad" US support. She specifically voiced her hope that the US Senate will soon adopt legislation to support the replenishment of “Israel's” Iron Dome.
The US has obsessively included funds for the program in its overall federal spending on several occasions despite the opposition of members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, who consider “Israel” an apartheid state guilty of war crimes.
She went on to promise “Israel” assistance in various security areas, including the fight against Iran. Furthermore, Pelosi called Iran's nuclear program a "global threat", despite Tehran's repeated assurances to world leaders that it has no plans to produce nuclear weapons.
A shift in attitudes
In September 2021, the US signed a new deal to grant "Israel" a further $1 billion in funding. Biden, furthermore, "affirmed his unwavering support for 'Israel' and its defense needs, and welcomed the historic $1 billion allocations to replenish 'Israel’s' Iron Dome system."
However, the allocation did not go through Congress as seamlessly as the Israelis are used to. The reason behind that is growing America-first, anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian sentiment in the US.
The number of supporters of "Israel" within US politics is numerous, however, a new wave of dissenting voices is emerging. The most notorious is Ilhan Omar. Omar accused "Israel" of abusing human rights, saying, "We sold $175 billion in weapons last year—more than anyone in the world—to some of the worst human rights abusers in the world," on Twitter.
"Here’s an idea: don’t sell arms to anyone who violates human rights," she added.
In agreement with Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib called "Israel" an “apartheid state” guilty of war crimes.
At the time, Israeli media reported that the approval of US military aid to "Israel" was postponed in the wake of the opposition of a group of Democratic members of Congress. Democratic members announced that they will not vote in favor of the budget if it includes interceptor missiles for the Iron Dome.
This is a massive shift in US politics considering the amount of pro-"Israel" media coverage that US news outlets bombard viewers with.
Not only did the US allocate the funds to "Israel" in 2021, but Biden also pledged an additional $1 billion to Bennett for the failures of the Iron Dome.
Only 8.1% of Democrats pinned the blame for the Gaza war on Palestinians, while an astounding 34.8% blamed "Israel". Overall, Americans aged 18-34 blamed "Israel"; 30.1%, more than those who blamed Palestinians; 20.2%, and 45% of Democrats aged 18-34 blamed "Israel", more than those who blamed Palestinians; 6.1%.
Furthermore, 43.7% of Democrats and a quarter of Americans overall, want the US to “apply more pressure on “Israel," including holding out on the funding.
On July 29, 2021, the University of Maryland Critical Issues poll from June 22 to July 21 shows that the polarization within the US concerning the "Israel/Palestine debate" is only growing.
Ukraine good, Palestine bad
Finally, what many pro-Palestinian activists have noticed is the stark difference in the support the US has been touting for Ukraine and how it massively differs from the media's attitude toward the Palestinian struggle.
Not only was the US the main contributor and constant enabler of Israeli aggression against Palestine for years, but it also has the audacity to claim it views Palestinians and Israelis in the same light. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June tweeted that "Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of security, freedom, opportunity, and dignity."
To want equal measures of security for an oppressor and his victim is an oxymoron. The US knows that "Israel" is the settler and aggressor and knows very well that its constant financial and moral support is the reason "Israel" has become as emboldened as it is.
The US loves playing the sanctions game, as we saw with Russia, Iran, and China.
When it has a reason to declare a war on a nation, it usually does everything in its power to interfere. Why then does it enable "Israel" to continue its crimes? Because "Israel", like Ukraine, is a pawn for US interest in the region.
As the military operation in Ukraine continues, millions of refugees flee to neighboring countries, and as massive encouragement is given to Ukrainians' "popular resistance", Palestinians around the world wonder why their cause has not been backed even remotely as close to Ukraine's?
Could it be because they have been resisting for more than 70 years and not only a couple of weeks?
The reality is that the West and the US in particular only encourage resistance when it is in their favor.
Soon after the military operation was initiated, the West circulated gut-wrenching images of Ukrainian civilians with Molotov cocktails in an attempt to "resist" Russia. Meanwhile, Palestinians, who are internationally recognized as occupied people, are called "terrorists" by Western media, are accused of using human shields, are attacked in Western media for being "anti-semitic" due to BDS policies, and are widely told to give up their cause and agree to a two-state solution to "end the violence."
According to Nour Odeh, a political analyst, what this crisis has done is reveal and expose the fact that powerful countries treat international law as a tool to serve their political goals and interests, and they are willing to bend the law − and to even undermine it − in order to protect an ally like "Israel".
This is exactly what the US has done for decades. However, with the Resistance in Palestine achieving a remarkable victory, the US and "Israel" remain wary and have come to realize that a confrontation with Palestine now is nowhere close to previous confrontations.