Blinken: Oct. 7 can’t be a license for Israel to dehumanize others
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“The Israelis were dehumanized in the most horrific way on October 7th. Since then, hostages have been dehumanized every day, but this cannot be a license to dehumanize others.”

You could hear the disappointment in Antony Blinken’s voice at yesterday’s press conference. He came to make a deal and didn’t get it. He will continue to try to bridge the huge gap between Israel and Hamas. Maybe he’s right, maybe he has a chance. But for now, he returns to Washington empty-handed.

The US has “made it clear that Israel is fully justified in confronting Hamas and other terrorist organizations.” Blinken said.

In his conversation with Israeli officials earlier in the day, he spoke of the high death toll, as Hamas claimed more than 27,000 Palestinians had been killed. Israel has said more than 9,000 of those were combatants.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Smoke billows over Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardments on February 6, 2024 [Mahmud Hams/AFP]

Blinken stressed, however, that “the overwhelming majority of the people in Gaza had nothing to do with October 7,” Blinken said. To help increase humanitarian aid, Israel should expedite assistance from Jordan, and open up the Erez crossing so goods can more quickly enter northern Gaza, Blinken said. The deconfliction mechanisms should be strengthened and the delivery of aid should not blocked, he added.

This cannot be a License to Dehumanize.
A displacement camp in Rafah [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]

The families in Gaza whose survival depends on aid are just like our families, he said. “Their mothers and fathers want to earn a decent living, send their children to school and live a normal life. That is who they are. This is what they want. We cannot, we must not lose sight of that. We cannot, we must not lose sight of our common humanity,” he said.

This cannot be a License to Dehumanize.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken

“We urge Israel to do more to help civilians knowing full well that it faces an enemy, that would never hold itself to those standards.”

“An enemy that cynically embeds itself among men, women, and children and fires rockets from hospitals, schools, mosques and residential buildings,” Blinken said.

“An enemy whose leaders surround themselves with hostages. An enemy that has declared publicly its goal to kill as many innocent civilians, as it can simply because they are Jews. and to wipe Israel off the map,” Blinken said.

We ask you to continue to spread the truth with us. The world needs to know what is happening in the Middle East.

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