Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Palestinians stand near ruins of buildings destroyed by ongoing Israeli airsrtikes in Beit Lahia, Gaza on May 13, 2021.

Palestinians stand near ruins of buildings destroyed by ongoing Israeli airsrtikes in Beit Lahia, Gaza on May 13, 2021. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

AOC Says Biden's Refusal to Condemn Israeli Attacks on Palestinians 'Takes a Side—the Side of Occupation'

The New York Democrat criticized Biden for failing to acknowledge "what precipitated this cycle of violence—namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al-Aqsa."

Jake Johnson

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Wednesday evening that President Joe Biden's "blanket" remarks emphasizing Israel's right to self-defense effectively excuse the country's human rights violations as it continues to assail the occupied Gaza Strip and brutally repress Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

"Blanket statements like these with little context or acknowledgement of what precipitated this cycle of violence—namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al-Aqsa—dehumanize Palestinians." 
—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Speaking to reporters, Biden said that "Israel has a right to defend itself" from rocket attacks emanating from Gaza and expressed hope that the latest round of violence—which observers fear could descend into all-out war—will "be closing down sooner than later."

But the president, who mentioned his earlier phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, notably did not denounce Israel's attacks on worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound earlier this week, nor did he condemn Israel's killing of civilians and destruction of residential buildings with airstrikes on Gaza—an ongoing bombing campaign that has left more than 80 Palestinians dead.

"Blanket statements like these with little context or acknowledgement of what precipitated this cycle of violence—namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al-Aqsa—dehumanize Palestinians and imply the U.S. will look the other way at human rights violations. It's wrong," said Ocasio-Cortez, echoing other critics' depiction of Biden's comments as a "green light" for Israel to continue its deadly attacks.

"By only stepping in to name Hamas' actions—which are condemnable—and refusing to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians, Biden reinforces the false idea that Palestinians instigated this cycle of violence," the New York Democrat continued. "This is not neutral language. It takes a side—the side of occupation."

Jewish Voice for Peace Action, a progressive advocacy organization, applauded Ocasio-Cortez's response to the president, tweeting: "This is not a complicated situation. The Biden administration is defending a government that is forcibly displacing Palestinians from their homes, assaulting Palestinian worshipers, and raining bombs on an open air prison."

In a readout of Biden's call with Netanyahu on Wednesday, the White House said the president "conveyed his unwavering support for Israel's security and for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians."

Earlier this week, a State Department spokesperson refused to say whether the Biden administration believes that Palestinians have the same right to self-defense as the Israelis.

As U.S. officials publicly insist they are doing all they can to deescalate the violence, the Biden administration on Wednesday continued to block the release of a United Nations Security Council statement aimed at reducing tensions. Agence France-Presse reported that 14 of the 15 members of the body supported adopting the joint statement, with the U.S. remaining the lone opponent.

"During a first emergency meeting on Monday, the United States also refused to back a text proposed by Tunisia, Norway, and China calling on all parties to refrain from provocation," AFP noted.

Kate Kizer, policy director with U.S.-based advocacy group Win Without War, slammed the Biden administration's stonewalling of the U.N. Security Council statement, warning that "shielding other governments from accountability for violations of the 'international rules-based order' simply because it's politically expedient gives a blank check for others to do the same."

"We are actively creating the culture of impunity that drives our collective insecurity," Kizer said.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo