Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Palestinian supporters disrupt Blinken’s testimony.

By ki0nk May22,2024
News

Pro-Palestinian activists interrupted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s two days of congressional testimony on Tuesday.

The latter yelled that because the top ambassador from the United States supported Israel, he was a “war criminal” and “the butcher of Gaza.” Police escorted them out of there right away.

According to Blinken, there was still hope for a ceasefire agreement in Gaza, but the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) efforts to apprehend Israeli officials were impeding progress.

WASHINGTON: On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was criticized by both the left and the right in Congress for his views on Israel policy. Republicans charged that the Biden administration was failing Israel, while Democrats said that Blinken was not doing enough to assist Gaza’s civilian population.

Blinken’s hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is controlled by Democrats, was disrupted by irate demonstrators. Blinken cringed at a protester who approached him from behind and waved a sign that read “criminal” before security guards escorted her out of the room amid cries that he had “blood on his hands.”

While restating the administration of President Joe Biden’s support for Israel, Blinken made it clear that the priority was to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Gaza. “We are standing with Israel in the Middle East to ensure that the events of October 7th never occur again, and we are doing everything within our power to end the extreme suffering of the people in Gaza and stop the conflict from getting worse,” he declared.

Later on Tuesday, Blinken was supposed to testify before the Senate appropriations subcommittee that is in charge of managing funding for foreign aid and diplomacy.

On Wednesday, he will make a second trip to Capitol Hill to testify before the Republican-led House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and a House budget subcommittee, respectively.

Republicans chastised Biden for stating earlier this month that in the event if Israeli forces conducted a significant invasion of Rafah, a city teeming with refugees in southern Gaza, he would postpone sending bombs to Israel and might even withhold others.

The US military is still planning to provide Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration with billions of dollars in support. In reaction to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court’s revelation on Monday that he has sought arrest warrants for Netanyahu and his defense minister due to suspected war crimes in the Gaza fighting, Republicans also demanded action. Karim Khan, the prosecutor, also requested arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders.

Blinken stated that in reaction to what he described as “a profoundly wrong-headed decision” regarding the warrants for the Israeli officials, the Biden administration would be pleased to collaborate with Congress to develop a response.

Biden also came under fire from some of his fellow Democrats, who feel that he should be doing more to pressure Netanyahu’s administration to defend Palestinian civilians, including placing restrictions on military exports.

Biden administration representatives have frequently appeared before Congress with demonstrations pertaining to Israel. Protesters repeatedly interrupted Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during their testimony on October 31 regarding Biden’s plea for security assistance for Israel and Ukraine.

Since then, anti-Gaza protests have spread around the country, notably to college campuses where scores of people have been arrested. This has sparked worries about how these protests may impact Biden’s reelection campaign against former Republican President Donald Trump.

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