There is a great deal of “deep concern” running through the minds of White House officials these days: First, they are “deeply concerned” about human rights violations committed by the Venezuelan government, now they are “deeply concerned” with the rhetoric of the newly-(re)elected Prime Minister of Israel, “Bibi” Netanyahu.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest expressed his feelings in an interview aboard Air Force One yesterday, amid questions that were mostly centered around why President Obama has not called Netanyahu to “congratulate” him on his victory.
Specifically, there has been a lot of coverage in the media about some of the rhetoric that emerged yesterday that was propagated by the Likud Party to encourage turnout of their supporters that sought to, frankly, marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens. The United States and this administration is deeply concerned by divisive rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens.
It undermines the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together. We’ve talked a lot about how our shared values are an important part of what binds our two countries together, and rhetoric that seeks to marginalize one segment of their population is deeply concerning and it is divisive. And I can tell you that these are views that the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis.
“Rhetoric” is the last aspect of Netanyahu’s act that they should be worried about.
The White House claims that they are deeply concerned about human rights, right? One would think that this concern would skyrocket if the rights violations were made possible with our help, monetarily, ideologically, and militarily, which is precisely what is taking place in Israel.
But there was no mention of this pesky fact. Just concern about “divisive rhetoric,” not divisive, inhumane actions and policies made possible by U.S. support.
Although Earnest did say that the White House would “reevaluate” their approach to the Middle East peace process, this typically amounts to maintenance of the status quo, and support for whatever actions Israel carries out.
Earnest also feigned support for a two-state solution, one which is supported by virtually the entire international community, but he later went on to say,
[T]he unprecedented security cooperation between the United States and Israel, including our strong military and intelligence relationships, will continue. And that relationship will continue because those relationships are essential to the security of the Israeli people, and the President is committed to continuing that important security cooperation.
“Security cooperation” is of course code for “sending Israel the vast array of arms, which they need to further oppress the Palestinian people.”
Are there legitimate security concerns for Israel? Yes. But what is ignored is the cause of these security concerns: namely, Israel’s commitment to expansion over peace.
Expressing concern about Netanyahu’s “divisive rhetoric” does nothing to relieve the oppression of the Palestinians, who, predictably, did not seem to be high on Earnest’s list of talking points. It also does nothing to combat Netanyahu’s frenzied attempts to subvert a diplomatic settlement with Iran.
“Deep concern” seems to be the flavor of the week for the White House, but it can safely be interpreted as, “Sure, we care, we’re just not going to do anything about it.”
That is indeed a “longstanding” U.S. policy toward Israel’s actions, particularly those which are illegal and inhuman.
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