Blinken calls for calm in Israel: Ignores Gaza rockets, equates Arab, Israeli violence
The US Embassy issued a statement in response to the growing violence in Israel. Though the statement seemed evenhanded, it entirely ignored 36 rockets that were fired from Gaza into Jewish communities in southern Israel.
US: Calls for “Return to Calm”
“We are deeply concerned about the incidents of violence in Jerusalem over the last several days,” the statement on the embassy’s website read in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. “We hope all responsible voices will promote an end to incitement, a return to calm, and respect for the safety and dignity of everyone in Jerusalem.”
The embassy issued a security alert to embassy personnel and US citizens, warning of increased violence in north and east Jerusalem.
State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted a call for calm that implicitly blamed the Israeli government for not ensuring the “security and rights of all in Jerusalem.” The State Department is headed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
We are deeply concerned by the escalation of violence in Jerusalem. The rhetoric of extremist protestors chanting hateful and violent slogans must be firmly rejected. We call for calm and unity, and urge authorities to ensure the safety, security, and rights of all in Jerusalem.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) April 23, 2021
This was echoed by UN special coordinator for Middle East peace Tor Wennesland who urged all sides to “exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation”, adding “the provocative acts across Jerusalem must cease”.
Ignoring Rocket Attack
These calls for calm focus on a demonstration that took place on Thursday evening when a right-wing Jewish group confronted an Arab riot. But the US and UN statement ignore unilateral Arab riots that broke out all over Israel when Ramadan began two weeks ago. Much of the Arab violence was focused on the Old City of Jerusalem. The US and UN statements also ignore a wave of Arab attacks on Jews that were posted on TikTok.
The calls for calm also ignore a rocket attack on Friday night in which 36 rockets were fired from Gaza into Jewish communities in southern Israel.
Some experts believe the violence was exacerbated by recent policies of the Biden administration which include reinstating substantial financial aid to the PA despite their refusal to discontinue funding terrorists. The Biden administration is also engaged in negotiations focused on reinstating the Iran nuclear deal.
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