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The terror narratives protecting Israel’s colonial violence

October 19, 2023 at 4:15 pm

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) hold a joint press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 12, 2023. [GPO – Anadolu Agency]

“As long as the United States stands and we will stand forever, we’ll not ever let you be alone,” US President Joe Biden told Israelis in an address from Tel Aviv, before proceeding to repeat the same propaganda which NATO and mainstream media utilised to justify foreign intervention in Libya. His next move was to bring ISIS into the narrative: “atrocities that recall the worst ravages of ISIS”.

This manipulation follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks after meeting US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in Tel Aviv last week. “Hamas is ISIS, and just as ISIS was crushed, so too will Hamas be crushed.  And Hamas should be treated exactly the way ISIS was treated,” Netanyahu stated.

One must also not forget Blinken’s threat. “Here in Israel, and everywhere, we will reaffirm the crystal-clear warning that President Biden issued yesterday to any adversary – state or non-state – thinking of taking advantage of the current crisis to attack Israel:  Don’t.  The United States has Israel’s back,” Blinken warned, while referring to the US deploying the largest aircraft carrier in the world to bolster Israel’s genocidal actions against Palestinians in Gaza.

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Only the terror narrative sustains Israel’s current bloodbath against the Palestinians in Gaza. And only because the international community is too cowardly and complicit to call out Israel’s colonial violence. Meanwhile, the US promotes a false narrative that, together with Israel, both allegedly believe in “the fundamental dignity of every human life”. Basic empathy aside, which is non-existent anyway when speaking about colonial powers, how does the US$100 million in aid to Palestinians compare next to the $10 billion Biden will be requesting the US Congress for Israel?

The US is reciprocating Israel’s terror narrative with comparisons to 9/11, and justifying Israel’s colonial violence from the same narrative that brought the world’s powers together in the so-called “war on terror”. Positioning a US aircraft carrier against a besieged enclave, with a population that has been repeatedly displaced since 1948, and which is now estimated to have one million forcibly displaced Palestinians since 7 October, speaks of international engagement in colonial violence against Gaza. Not to mention the 3,785 Palestinians killed in Israel’s bombing of the area.

According to EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, “there is no contradiction in standing in solidarity with Israel and acting on the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people”.  But there is. There is contradiction in standing in solidarity with a colonial enterprise built over the remnants and buried history of ethnic cleansing, stolen land and massacred people. Unless, of course, it is former colonial powers and their weaker allies depending on political allegiances that do not want a true decolonial reversal – one that restores land ownership to its rightful people – the Palestinians. Acting in solidarity with Israel is violating the Palestinian people’s humanitarian needs – there is and will never be any equivalence.

But such is the politics guiding the international community, sheltering Israel from facing a reversal of the terror narrative that would shatter its core.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.