Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Shmulik Almany

Anthony Blinken's visit to Israel included admonitions to Israel's government to refrain from:

1. Settlement expansion
2. Settler violence
3. Demolitions
4. Evictions of families from homes they've lived in for decades

The Palestinian Authority has only one problem, according to the U.S.Secretary of State:
1. Payments to individuals convicted of terrorism

Not mentioned: Daily Palestinian Arab violence on the roads and in urban areas, including blocking an access road at night, stabbings and rock throwing (constantly, but also all happening in the past week as well), illegal Palestinian Arab construction and environmental damage, Palestinian Arab destruction of archeological and other evidence of the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria in the biblical period and onwards, and much more.

It is not clear who this phrase was meant for:
1. Incitement to violence

See Blinken's speech below (as communicated by the Prime Minister's Foreign Media Adviser) and judge for yourself.


Statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after meeting today with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Sunday, 27 March 2022):

"We appreciate all efforts by allies and partners to stop the catastrophic suffering that Russia's aggression is causing for the people of Ukraine. And I have to say, we're also grateful for the Israeli government's efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including more than a hundred tons of
food, medicine, generators and other vital supplies. And the field hospital.I had a chance earlier today, when I was with Foreign Minister Lapid, to actually connect directly with those who are running the field hospital. We did it virtually and it was very powerful to see that in action.

This support is crucial as more and more Ukrainian men, women and child are being killed, maimed, displaced by Moscow's attacks. More are trapped in barbaric sieges where they are denied food, water, medicine and where people are starving to death. Fully half the children of Ukraine have been displaced by Russia's aggression. Half the children in the country.

I also made clear the conviction that the United States has that Israelis and Palestinians deserve to enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, opportunity and dignity. And that's one of the principle reasons we support a negotiated two-state solution. The Prime Minister and his government have
made important efforts to address some of the challenges facing Palestinians: increasing Israeli water sales to Gaza, granting permits now to 20,000 people from Gaza to work in Israel, legalizing the status of
thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank. And we very much hope to see more efforts along these lines in the near term. We're also encouraged to see members of the Prime Minister's cabinet meeting with Palestinian leaders, including Defense Minister Gantz who I will see in a short while.

Our administration is also rebuilding America's relationship with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people, something I'll continue to do today in Ramallah with President Abbas, and in east Jerusalem with leaders of that community's vibrant and diverse civil society. We're increasing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, totaling half a billion dollars since April of 2021.

Today, we also discussed ways to foster a peaceful Passover, Ramadan and Easter across Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, particularly in Jerusalem, a city of such profound importance to Jews, to Christians, to Muslims. And that means working to prevent actions on all sides that could raise tensions, including settlement expansion, settler violence, incitement to violence, demolitions, payments to individuals convicted of terrorism, evictions of families from homes they've lived in for decades. It's a message that I'll be underscoring in all of my meetings on this trip.

At the same time, we are increasing our efforts to foster partnerships between Palestinian and Israeli grassroots organizations, businesses, young people, other parts of society through a five-year 250 million dollar Nita M. Lowey Middle East partnership for peace act. Right after this in fact I'll have a chance to meet with one of the program's first grantees, a project that brings together groups in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel to tackle the interconnected problem of water scarcity. Efforts like this will
not only improve people's lives but build relationships that can help defuse tensions and violence and ultimately, lay a foundation for dialogue and for peace.

Finally, as the Prime Minister said, we discussed how we can continue to build on the significant progress of the Abraham Accords and normalization, including in the summit starting this evening in the Negev. The United States will continue, not only to support the work of those who have already normalized relations, but also to urge more governments to take this important step to the benefit of the people in their countries and far beyond.

Mr. Prime Minister, your recent trilateral summit with President El-Sisi and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, as well as President Herzog's visit to Turkey for meetings with President Erdogan and others, these are just the latest demonstrations of broader engagement that is made possible as normalization becomes the new normal throughout the region. And again I applaud Israel's leadership, its engagement, its diplomacy in building these agreements and making them real.

So Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for hosting us today and again, for such a constructive, important exchange on everything we just talked about and more. And thank you for continuing to strengthen what is an enduring and powerful friendship between Israel and the United States. Thank you very
much."

Mr. Blinken, don't be condescending and don't be a fool. Yes, these are fairly extreme words I have used to describe you, but they are well earned.

I consider Antony Blinken condescending and foolish because he joins an equally condescending fool, Ambassador Nides, in telling us what to do in the sphere of Israeli Palestinian-Arab relations based on the presumption that he knows so so much better than we do as to both what our interests are and what is realistically viable.

When we meet with someone who talks on and on about the "two state solution" with a sovereign Palestinian Arab state we smile and politely decline to explain why they are clueless ideologues.

Basically we relate to this talk as we would to someone talking about their odd religious beliefs or a child discussing the tooth they left for the Tooth Fairy under their pillow.

If this did not impinge on policy it wouldn't matter, Mr. Blinken.

But your State Department is now offering almost a million dollars to NGOs to engage in lawfare against us.

And you are planning to push us to forfeit any semblance of rights on the Temple Mount - for the period of Ramadan and onwards (after Ramadan arguing that resumption of Jewish visits would only make trouble).

And to make many other concessions.

These are magnitudes less in importance than your efforts to mess with us and our Sunni allies with the Iran deal.

Nor, for that matter, do we ignore the disturbing remark by CENTCOM Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie that while "Iran [is] dedicated to the destruction of Israel" that "I worry about exchanges between Iran and Israel because many times, our forces are at risk". As if we should not act against a country dedicated to destroying us!

We are not alone in being subject to this condescending and irrational approach. The Saudis have suffered from being subject to an incredibly selective moral standard exploited to raise into question the American supply of critical equipment along with an American refusal to recognize the Houthis for the
terrorists that they are. This as the Houthis engage in round after round of attacks against Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Blinken, we are on the right side of history.

Get on the right side of history.

Dr. Aaron Lerneris editor of IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis - since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations Website: www.imra.org.il