Letters to the Editor

Letter: Biden's views harm Palestinians

We have now entered the new year and are rapidly approaching three months of Israel’s horrific attacks on Gaza’s Palestinian civilians, with no end in sight as I write these words. This unconscionable assault has been condemned by most of the world’s nations but continues to be sanctioned — and enabled — by the United States, despite clear and convincing evidence that Israel has committed numerous war crimes. Many who’ve closely witnessed the carnage describe Israel’s actions as genocidal. And yet President Joe Biden continues to embrace Israel’s war effort and its reprehensible prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, both literally and figuratively.

I have been appalled and perplexed by Biden’s unconditional support for Israel these many weeks. Yes, he has tempered his comments as the atrocities have grown and he has stated that Israel must do a better job of minimizing harm to civilians. But he has taken no decisive actions to change Israel’s strategy, which seems to be the destruction of Gaza and the killing and maiming of tens of thousands of innocent people, many of them children, all in the name of eliminating Hamas. Instead, Biden has so far opposed a cease-fire, while insisting that Israel is simply defending itself against Hamas, when the evidence clearly shows that Israel’s political and military leaders have gone far beyond any reasonable notion of defensive actions.

There’s a simple action the United States could take — and already should have taken — to get Israel to change its approach: Make it clear that our nation will stop sending Israel money and weaponry if it continues along this track. But that seems unlikely to ever happen with Biden running the country.

American trade union activist Bill Fletcher, also a member of “The Nation” magazine’s editorial board, explained why, during a recent interview on the progressive news program “Democracy Now.” Biden is a Zionist, Fletcher argued, who will support Israel at any cost, even if that leads to a moral and humanitarian catastrophe in Palestine.

I can’t say for certain that’s true, but it helps to explain Biden’s unequivocal support for Israel despite that nation’s unrelenting slaughter of innocents and its destruction of Gaza. The result, besides the immense suffering of Palestinian innocents, has been a huge loss in America’s stature in much of the world, as our nation’s supposed leadership in protecting human rights has — again — been shown to be deeply hypocritical. And within our own country, support for Biden by some of his chief allies has also dropped precipitously, which doesn’t bode well for the Democratic party in the 2024 election. What’s happening in Gaza could also become a catastrophe of sorts here in the United States.

— Bill Sherwonit


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Bill Sherwonit

Anchorage nature writer Bill Sherwonit is the author of more than a dozen books, including "Alaska's Bears" and "Animal Stories: Encounters with Alaska's Wildlife."