By Abayomi Azikiwe
President Joe Biden of the United States has emphasized daily that the principal foreign policy objective for Washington in West Asia and North Africa is to defend and bolster the State of Israel.
This is being articulated by Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken along with all administration officials and the overwhelming number of Congressional leaders as the United Nations and other international humanitarian agencies are advocating for the opening of a corridor to allow water, food, medical services and electricity to reduce the consistent injuring and deaths among the Palestinians in Gaza.
Democratic Party Senate leader Chuck Schumer visited Israel as well for the same purpose of “legitimizing” the U.S. funding, arming and coordination of the national oppression of the Palestinian people and the destabilization and domination of the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. While Schumer was in Tel Aviv, hundreds of his fellow Jewish Americans were holding a vigil outside his Brooklyn home saying that they did not want to be a party to the systematic genocide against the Palestinian people. Dozens of these demonstrators against Schumer were arrested by police for their refusal to move away from his residence.
Judging from these official delegations and the statements of unconditional support for Israel by Democratic and Republican politicians, it portends much for the status and future of imperialism in this geopolitical region as well as the entire international community. Biden has ordered the deployment of two aircraft carrier battle groups to the region and 2,000 Pentagon troops.
On October 16, the White House announced that Biden would travel to Tel Aviv on the 18th to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is heading a self-proclaimed unity “war cabinet”. The Biden trip is an effort to project a false legitimacy for a politico-military posture aimed at justifying the elimination of as many Palestinians as possible. Biden, by disregarding the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, cannot be considered an honest broker concerned about the plight of the Palestinians.
Biden was also scheduled to visit the Kingdom of Jordan for a meeting with the leader of Amman, King Abdallah II, and the President of Egypt, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. The subject of this meeting, it is claimed by the State Department, was to urge the opening of a humanitarian corridor to address the worsening situation in Gaza among the Palestinians. Nonetheless, if Biden was really concerned about the displaced, wounded and killed Palestinians in Gaza, his administration would have condemned the role of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the carpet bombing of residential neighborhoods, convoys of fleeing civilians and medical personnel. Being the largest recipient of U.S. aid, Tel Aviv would have had its assistance suspended as opposed to being increased.
After 11 days of the IDF bombing of Gaza, Biden and his administration has expressed absolutely no sympathy for the Palestinians and is more concerned with maintaining imperialist dominance than saving the lives of the Palestinians and their neighbors. The culpability for the mass carnage inflicted upon the people of Gaza can only be viewed as the by-product of the Biden administration failed foreign policy in Palestine.
IDF Bombs Hospital in Gaza
One of the worst massacres since the IDF bombing began against Gaza, was the air strikes on the al-Ahli Hospital administered by the Anglican Diocese, which reportedly killed at least 500 people on October 17. An IDF spokesman said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) earlier in the day that Tel Aviv did not have to explain to anyone the character of the military tactics they have used in the killing of over 3,000 Palestinians in the previous 11 days.
The bombing of the hospital was preceded by IDF strikes against a school which resulted in the deaths of many children. Al-Ahli Hospital was not only the scene of treating infirm and injured people, it was serving as a safe zone away from the relentless bombing by the IDF on residential population centers. An estimated 4,000 displaced persons had been sheltering there away from the IDF aerial bombardments taking place around the clock. This same hospital had been struck in an Israeli air strike on October 14.
A report published by the Associated Press stated:
“A senior Palestinian official says President Mahmoud Abbas has canceled his participation in a meeting scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 18) with President Joe Biden and other Mideast leaders.
“Abbas was scheduled to join Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at Wednesday’s summit in Amman, Jordan, where they are to discuss the latest Israel-Hamas war with Biden. But the senior official said Abbas was withdrawing to protest an alleged Israeli airstrike on a hospital in Gaza that Hamas health officials say has killed over 500 people. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the cancellation has not been formally announced. The Health Ministry run by Hamas said an Israeli airstrike on Tuesday (Oct. 17) hit a Gaza City hospital packed with wounded and other Palestinians seeking shelter, killing hundreds. If confirmed, the attack would be by far the deadliest Israeli airstrike in five wars fought since 2008. The health ministry, which is run by Hamas, said at least 500 people had been killed. Photos purportedly from al-Ahli Hospital shared widely on social video showed fire engulfing the building, widespread damage and bodies scattered in the wreckage. The photos could not be independently verified.”
Another report from the Al Jazeera news network further confirms the horrors of the al-Ahli Hospital bombing. Any attack on a health facility cannot be justified by the United Nations or any other international humanitarian agency.
Al Jazeera said in the immediate aftermath of the air strike that:
“Hundreds of people have been killed in an Israeli air raid on a hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian authorities. The health ministry in Gaza said on Tuesday that at least 500 people were killed in the air raid on Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in central Gaza. The Hamas group, which governs the Palestinian territory, said the attack was a ‘war crime’. Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said there were no details on the hospital deaths. ‘We will get the details and update the public. I don’t know whether to say whether it was an Israeli air strike,’ he said. Images shared on social media appeared to show fire engulfing the building, widespread damage and bodies scattered in the wreckage. Since Israel began pounding Gaza from the air on October 7, tens of thousands of people seeking refuge from the bombardment have fled to hospitals throughout Gaza. The World Health Organization condemned the attack and demanded the immediate protection of civilians and health care in the Palestinian enclave.”
The Israeli government and military rapidly changed its narrative surrounding the air strikes at the healthcare facility and shelter in Gaza City. Initially, the assertion by Israel was that they were warning Palestinians to leave the northern areas of Gaza and to head to cities in the South.
Even after people were evacuating large swaths of the Gaza Strip, convoys were bombed while en route. At the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, the Israelis denied the transport of essential food, water, medicines and other supplies to be provided to the Palestinians.
Palestine Chronicle deconstructed the shifting story by Tel Aviv regarding the deadly bombing of the al-Ahli Hospital, noting:
“So far, two different positions have been declared by the Israeli government. At precisely 9:37 p.m., Palestine time, Aljazeera Arabic live blog, citing Israeli military spokesman, wrote:
ISRAELI ARMY SPOKESMAN: ‘We had warned to evacuate the Baptist Hospital (Al-Ahli) and 5 other hospitals so that Hamas would not take them as a refuge.’ This statement was indeed consistent with other statements made by Al-Ahli hospital administration following the massacre. It said that they had been threatened that if they did not evacuate the hospital, the hospital would be bombed…. When the news of the massacre began circulating, and gruesome images of mutilated bodies of children and civilians began appearing on TV channels and social media platforms, the Israeli position began shifting. The Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported that the Israeli military had changed its story. ‘The Israeli military said that the killing of hundreds of people at a hospital in the Gaza Strip (…) was caused by a failed rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a militant group in Gaza,’ Xinhua reported. But this cannot possibly be the case, for several reasons: First, no one in the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza has bombs with this kind of destructive capabilities. Second, the Israeli military had already made it clear, in its initial statement, that it was the party behind the mass killing. Third, Israel had in fact already bombed that same hospital, only a few days earlier, specifically on Saturday, October 14. The bombing then resulted in infrastructural damage. Fourth, Israel has bombed other hospitals as well, including Al-Dura hospital and the Indonesian hospital, among others. Fifth, soon before the massacre, Israeli aircraft also carried out a strike against a UNRWA-run school, sheltering civilians, in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, killing and wounding dozens. And finally, and perhaps even more important, is the fact that the Israeli army continued bombing hospitals, even following the news of the great massacre. One of these hospitals was the European Hospital in Gaza. ‘Al Jazeera’s correspondent reported that the Israeli occupation forces bombed the vicinity of the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip,’ Aljazeera Live Blog reported.”
Days of Mourning and Outrage
There were immediate political responses throughout the world to the IDF bombing of al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Demonstrations erupted in Amman, Jordan; Rabat in the Kingdom of Morocco; Sana’a the capital of Yemen; the cities of Ottawa and Montreal Canada; Ramallah on the West Bank of occupied Palestine, among many others. In Lebanon, the Hezbollah resistance movement called for a “Day of Outrage” throughout the country neighboring Palestine for October 18.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, demonstrations involving hundreds of thousands took place in several cities after the news of the hospital bombing spread throughout the globe. Iranian political and religious leaders condemned the bombing and called upon the Palestinians and all people of goodwill to resist the Israeli regime.
In the North African state of Egypt, Al Jazeera reported on October 17:
“Egyptians continue to take to the streets in the country’s capital, and other parts of the country early on Wednesday, amid simmering anger over the deadly strike in Gaza. Al Jazeera Arabic is reporting that Egyptian opposition parties led protests in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, in which several political and civic movement figures participated. In Giza, dozens went out in a night march denouncing the Israeli aggression. Egyptian activists posted on their pages on the social networking site, Facebook, video clips of a mass demonstration that began in Giza’s Al-Hosary Square, denouncing the Gaza attack, which Palestinian officials blame on Israel.” ()
These acts by the State of Israel, which are backed by Washington, will make it extremely difficult for the U.S. to be viewed as a viable force for peace and security throughout the globe. People in the U.S. must reject the imperialist program of the ruling class and join with the world’s majority in demanding the liberation and statehood for Palestine.