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Blinken Turns a Phrase in Israel

Israel needs more than an emotional speech from the United States.

On October 11, America’s chief diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, went to Israel to assure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli people that the United States stands squarely behind them. Blinken and Netanyahu then held a joint presser on October 12, in which the secretary announced several shipments of weapons had already landed in Israel and that there would be more to come. During a recent speech, President Joe Biden compared his experience in the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago to the day Hamas terrorists invaded Israel from Gaza in 2003. In 1973, then-Sen. Biden said he met with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, promising moral support. President Richard Nixon bolstered that sentiment with M-60 and M-48 tanks in giant C-5 Galaxy cargo aircraft.

The question, this time, was whether Biden would send Blinken to Jerusalem with anything more than words. As Liberty Nation’s Graham Noble explained, after Biden had made his long-awaited remarks in minutes counted on one hand: “By the time he walked slowly away from the podium, though – ignoring questions from reporters, as he usually does – Biden had provided nothing that would have comforted the people of Israel or their supporters in the United States. Perhaps worse still, he said very little that would give the Jewish state’s enemies pause for thought.”

Blinken Spouts Old Talking Points

Speaking alongside the Israeli prime minister, Blinken began with a personal message before resorting to the mostly prepared remarks that were released in advance.”The Secretary will reiterate his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attacks against Israel and condemn those attacks in the strongest terms. The Secretary will also reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with the government and people of Israel,” a State Department press release had outlined Blinken’s message to Israel. Providing a little more insight, Department of State spokesman Matthew Miller posted this statement on X (formerly Twitter): “First, we are standing by the people of Israel and giving them the assistance they need to defend themselves against this brutal terrorist attack. And our support for Israel will be unwavering. The president has announced that we will send security assistance, including munitions, to Israel.”

GettyImages-1705227384 Antony Blinken

Antony Blinken (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

In 1973, the Nixon administration responded within 72 hours of the attacks on Israel by Egypt and Syria, loading an El Al Airline commercial aircraft with war supplies from the United States. “Number two,” Miller said, “is doing everything we can, and Secretary Blinken has been on the phone with his counterparts all around the world on this question, doing everything we can to keep this conflict from broadening.” Miller then reiterated what an earlier White House statement warned: Hostile individuals and countries should not take advantage of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Secretary Blinken reiterated that warning in his presser with PM Netanyahu. For those state and non-state actors looking to take advantage of the situation in Israel: Don’t. America has Israel’s back, he explained.

Blinken Doesn’t Talk About Iran

While the secretary did vaguely warn state and non-state actors alike, neither he nor any State Department press releases mentioned Iran and its complicity in the murderous Hamas attack on Israel. In a Fox News interview, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was asked what he would like to hear from President Biden:

“What the president is going to do to avenge the deaths of at least 11 [now confirmed 14] American and an unknown [now believed to be 20] number of Americans who are held hostage or at least missing … What Israel needs now is total freedom of action to go into Gaza and destroy Hamas … The President needs to announce he will immediately halt the $6 billion transfer to Iran; that he will immediately begin to enforce sanctions against Iranian oil shipping.”

New Banner Military AffairsCotton challenged Biden to “warn Iran directly in no uncertain terms” not to prompt or support its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon to attack Israel on the northern border. If it does, there will be a “ferocious” response by America.

The president’s only comment on Iran to date was a fairly cryptic “be careful,” suggesting that the White House is warning against future interactions rather than the likelihood that Iran was directly linked to the Hamas attack. The administration’s love affair with Tehran is inexplicable, and it’s not likely that Blinken will explain why the Biden administration is soft on Iran’s oppressive regime, the number one sponsor of terrorism, and Hamas. It’s Blinken’s opportunity to tell Israel how the United States can offer effective help, not just words. To paraphrase a quip by former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban about the Palestine Liberation Organization: “Some politicians never miss an opportunity to lose an opportunity.”

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