US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Israelii Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, January 9, 2024
I joined Monocle Radio’s Emma Nelson to analyze US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s two-day visit to the Middle East, including Israel, amid ongoing Israeli attacks across Gaza.
Listen from 8:24, after an interview with Shaina Low of the Norwegian Refugee Council:
In public, “the visit is show with little substance”, I explain. Despite Blinken’s headline call on Israel to limit the mass killing of civilians, he did not seek any restriction on the bombing, shelling, and ground operations. Despite his declaration that aid should reach 2.3 million Gazans — 85% of whom have been displaced — did he suggest any step to remove Israel’s veto on assistance.
The bottom line: apart from a token withdrawal of some forces from northern Gaza, Israel is maintaining its assault and offering no respite for civilians — and still has no idea of who might provide public services in a post-Hamas Gaza. And the US is not exercising any leverage, be it through the UN or a reduction of military aid to the Israelis, to change this.
As an analyst, I’ll say that Blinken’s words will do nothing in the short term to limit the Israel attacks across Gaza or to ensure aid.
As a person, I’ll tell you that I’m not just exasperated but at the point of exhaustion over the failure of the US to do anything to check what is a mass killing.