In a significant development amid the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has strongly condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israel, drawing parallels with Nazi massacres. Addressing a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Blinken expressed the US’s unwavering support for Israel.
Blinken, who is of Jewish descent, emphasized the harrowing echoes that the Hamas attacks have for Jews globally. He remarked, “It’s impossible for me to look at the photos of families killed and not think of my children.”
He further assured Israelis of America’s steadfast support, stating, “You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself. But as long as America exists, you will never, ever have to. We will always be there by your side.”
The US Secretary of State’s visit to Israel comes at a time when the region is witnessing one of its most intense conflicts in recent years. The death toll, combining casualties from both Israel and Palestine, has surpassed the 3,000 mark. Blinken revealed that at least 25 Americans were killed in the Hamas attacks and assured that there was overwhelming bipartisan support in the US Congress to supply Israel with the necessary weaponry.
Blinken‘s statements also highlighted the distinction between the Palestinian people and Hamas. He insisted that while Palestinians have legitimate aspirations, they are not represented by Hamas. He is scheduled to meet the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank shortly. He emphasized, “Anyone who wants peace and justice must condemn Hamas’s reign of terror.”
The US’s stance on the conflict has been clear, with President Joe Biden also condemning the Hamas attacks, terming them as “sheer evil”. Biden noted that the attacks marked “the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust”. Netanyahu, expressing gratitude for the US’s support, stated, “Thank you, America, for standing with Israel, today, tomorrow, and always.”
The ongoing conflict has drawn international attention, with various nations and organizations calling for an immediate ceasefire. The situation in Gaza is described as a growing humanitarian catastrophe, with thousands displaced and essential services disrupted.
The US’s involvement and Blinken’s visit signify the importance of the issue on the global stage. It remains to be seen how the international community, led by major powers like the US, can broker peace in the region and bring an end to the hostilities.