White House stresses Gazan pain on Islamic holiday, contradicts Israel’s war aims

White House stresses Gazan pain on Islamic holiday, contradicts Israel’s war aims

“Jill and I wish American Muslims—and Muslims around the world—a very blessed Eid al-Adha,” the U.S. president said.

President Joe Biden on Sunday wished Muslims in the U.S. and the world best wishes on Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday, taking the opportunity to stress his sympathy for the “suffering” of Gazan civilians and reiterating policy positions at odds with Israeli war aims.

“This year, Eid al-Adha comes at a difficult time for many Muslims around the world. In Gaza, innocent civilians are suffering the horrors of the war between Hamas and Israel,” the president said in a statement.

“Too many innocent people have been killed, including thousands of children. Families have fled their homes and seen their communities destroyed. Their pain is immense,” he added.

The president said his administration is “doing everything” it can to end the war, a goal in opposition to Israel’s stated war aims, which include the complete destruction of Hamas, the Gaza Strip-based terrorist group responsible for the mass murder of some 1,200 Israelis and the kidnapping of more than 250, of which roughly 120 remain in captivity.

Israeli forces conduct a daring daylight raid to rescue four hostages from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip, June 8, 2024. Credit: Israel Police.
(source: JNS)

Biden also emphasized his administration’s commitment to the two-state solution, also in opposition to Israel’s position that a Palestinian state would be a reward for terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel last week amid the Biden administration’s efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza and avoid a wider war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, as well as President Isaac Herzog, former War Cabinet member Benny Gantz and opposition leader Yair Lapid.

According to a U.S. readout of the meeting with Netanyahu, Blinken “reiterated that the United States and other world leaders will stand behind the comprehensive proposal outlined by President Biden that would lead to an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages, and a significant and sustained increase in humanitarian assistance for distribution throughout Gaza.”

Blinken was said to have emphasized the importance of preventing the conflict from expanding further, claiming that the proposed deal with Hamas “would unlock the possibility of calm along Israel’s northern border and further integration with countries in the region.”

The secretary updated Netanyahu on plans for the “post-conflict period, emphasizing the importance of those efforts to providing long-term peace, security and stability to Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Eid al-Adha celebrates the “Sacrifice of Ishmael,” a reversed version of the biblical story of the “Sacrifice of Isaac.” In the Islamic re-telling, Abraham shows his obedience to God through his willingness to sacrifice Ishmael, not Isaac.

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