When Biden Met Bennett—and gave his blessing to impunity

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President Joe Biden shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as they meet in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, August 27, 2021. (credit: Evan Vucci / AP Photo)
No country has been in a better position to impose pressure on Israel than the United States, but most presidents never tried—including the current one.

By Henry Siegman | The Nation | Sept 20, 2021

No one in the international community was in a better position to impose such pressure on Israel without harming its security than the United States, but, with the exception of Dwight Eisenhower, no American president ever tried.

Before leaving Israel for his meeting with President Joe Biden in Washington in late August, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel repeated his firm opposition to Palestinian statehood, thus confirming the permanence of the de facto apartheid that he and his government—like the preceding ones headed by Benjamin Netanyahu—intend to maintain in the Jewish State. Like Netanyahu and most Israelis, he considers the apartheid charge anti-Semitic slander—not because the alleged facts are untrue, but because if Israel does it, you cannot call it apartheid. Why? Because anything done in Israel in the name of its self-interest and for its Jewish citizens is permissible, no matter how clearly deemed illegal by international law.

It is this mindset that prompted Bennett to urge Israel’s last Knesset to adopt legislation that would allow the killing of Palestinians who have committed acts of terrorism, even when they no longer pose a threat. As reported in The Jerusalem Post, when admonished by Israel’s national security adviser that this would be a criminal offense, Bennett replied, “I have killed many Arabs and it’s not a problem.”

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