Who Killed the Palestinians, Joe?
Biden knows that Israel killed them. But he refuses to say so.
On Saturday, Joe Biden released an op-ed in the Washington Post entitled “The U.S. won’t back down from the challenge of Putin and Hamas.” It’s about what you would expect from an op-ed with such an awkward headline. Biden continues his baffling attempt to link the war in Ukraine with the war on Gaza and wastes many hundreds of words on the same empty platitudes he’s been using since October 7.
But there is one thread running through the piece that I want to linger on. See if you can spot it.
Here is how Biden describes the events of October 7 (emphasis mine):
On Oct. 7, Hamas slaughtered 1,200 people, including 35 American citizens, in the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people in a single day since the Holocaust. Infants and toddlers, mothers and fathers, grandparents, people with disabilities, even Holocaust survivors were maimed and murdered. Entire families were massacred in their homes. Young people were gunned down at a music festival. Bodies riddled with bullets and burned beyond recognition. And for over a month, the families of more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas, including babies and Americans, have been living in hell, anxiously waiting to discover whether their loved ones are alive or dead.
It’s harrowing, vivid, and very specific. You are left in no doubt that Hamas carried out these crimes and that they were horrendous.
Now let’s turn to how Biden describes what is happening in Gaza (emphasis mine):
The Palestinian people deserve a state of their own and a future free from Hamas. I, too, am heartbroken by the images out of Gaza and the deaths of many thousands of civilians, including children. Palestinian children are crying for lost parents. Parents are writing their child’s name on their hand or leg so they can be identified if the worst happens. Palestinian nurses and doctors are trying desperately to save every precious life they possibly can, with little to no resources. Every innocent Palestinian life lost is a tragedy that rips apart families and communities.
Notice anything missing?
When it comes to Israelis killed by Hamas, Biden is graphic, detailed, and specific about who perpetrated these horrors. But when it comes to Palestinians, Biden suddenly seems to have lost both his frankness and his powers of identification. He can’t even say that Palestinians have “been killed.” All he can do is gesture to “the images out of Gaza and the deaths of many thousands of civilians.”
What do the images show? Joe’s not telling. How did they die? Joe’s at a loss.
What killed the Palestinians, Joe? Was it a hurricane? An earthquake? A fire? A giant laser beam? COVID? No, it was an Israeli assault that has already dropped the equivalent of two nuclear bombs on Gaza.
Israel killed them, Joe. Why can’t you say that?
Biden also won’t say how many Palestinians have been killed—over 13,000 as of this writing, including 5,500 children—though, since he has previously indulged in appalling denialism about the Palestinian death toll, perhaps I should have seen this particular linguistic feint coming.
That’s not nearly all.