The Myth of Joe Biden’s Red Line

PalestineWhite House Joe Biden
The Myth of Joe Biden’s Red Line

In Gaza, the red lines that make up the Biden administration’s bureaucratic farce are etched in blood, each one thicker than the last—an unyielding devastation so brazen that it can be seen and heard not only in neighboring Lebanon, but from space. Hind Khoudary, a Palestinian journalist in Gaza, has described the smell of blood as staggering, while others have characterized the scenes in the streets—littered with body parts, and the scent of death overwhelming the senses—as being reminiscent of Karbala.

“Israel has opened the gates of hell across every inch of Gaza”, 26-year-old Khaled tells me. “All I smell is blood. Even in my dreams. I’ve forgotten the fragrance of my mother, of my father, of my sisters; dust, blood and death is all that’s left.” 

Like administrations before it, Biden’s policy in Gaza has been one of undisguised attrition—to wear down not only Hamas but the entirety of Gaza, city by city and tent by tent. A bygone strategy in new clothing. Israel, the United States’ key bastion in the region, has for over seven decades maintained its colonial order by way of unfettered violence, its weaponry earmarked and sanctified by the so-called “special relationship” of every American administration since Harry Truman, who called for the revision of the arms embargo, affording Israel a “right to self-defense.”

In March, Biden said that an invasion of Rafah was a “red line,” but when Israel pressed on with it, they claimed that it was “limited” and did not violate this amorphous standard Biden refuses to set.

Even now, as apocalyptic scenes pour out from Gaza, Israel, a colonial occupier, clings with fervency to the myth of self-defense. As eight months crawl forward and massacres mount, the Biden administration remains “gravely concerned” but steadfastly committed to Israel’s institutionalized practice of incalculable violence, not only in Gaza but across the southern villages of once-occupied South Lebanon where children remain Israel’s most favored targets of which to fill its coffers.

In May, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller claimed that the Biden administration did not wish to see a military operation in Rafah, and Biden told CNN that he will stop sending bombs and artillery to Israel if it launches a major invasion of Rafah, yet the arms shipments continued, and Israeli occupation forces took control of the Philadelphi corridor, gleefully airstriking the city at a breathtaking pace. The shadow of death is not all that lingers in Gaza, but so too does starvation and the unprecedented number of child amputations, some losing limbs before even learning to crawl.

To list the crimes committed in Gaza is to document atrocities of both the present and the past across historic Palestine and Lebanon since the Israel’s barbarous inception. Israel is a nation built upon the graveyards of the caretakers of the land it now so mercilessly and joyously burns. Joe Biden knows intimately how ruthless Israel is, and has long demanded it be even more brutal, even against civilians. In 1982, during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, Biden “said he would go even further than Israel […] even if that meant killing women or children.”

The first drop of blood shed in Gaza should have been a red line, and yet the Biden administration, with help from stenographers in the Western press, remains committed to the myth that there is a limit to the depravity in Gaza, at which point they will have no choice but to intercede. The reality is that this is a war of extermination, and it is being overseen by the United States.

Despite these scenes and the Biden administration’s leisurely approach to the carnage laid bare before the world, the liberal political class has yet to face the reality on the ground, that the region they so ruthlessly dominate is rising up against the hegemonic order forced upon it, and their cries of “four more years” cannot drown out the shockwaves that could come from Gaza.

Along the Northern Front, Israeli settlements that once enjoyed the cool comfort of their colonial dominion—in villages once shared by both Palestine and Lebanon—are burning and left almost empty due to raids by Lebanon’s Hezb’Allah. The new world is being made against all odds, and despite the liberal assertion that the region will simply “forget” Gaza come November. The same generations that sprouted from the tragedies of Qana, Sabra and Shatila, and Dier Yassin, and those who came after, will remember Gaza.

 “If I survive,” Khaled says, “I will tell my children that Gaza, as small as she is, stood against the entire world and did not bow to anyone.” 

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