When Russia invaded Ukraine the Kremlin insisted the move was necessitated by criminal “Nazi” elements in the neighboring country that were threatening the Russian home front. The international community called out Moscow’s lie and began arming and aiding the Ukrainians.
The way that played out was very attractive to the Palestinians, who were eager to draw a comparison with their own situation, in which Israeli forces enter and “occupy” their towns purportedly to battle terrorist forces.
During a US State Department briefing on Monday, Palestinian journalist Said Arikat tried to again push that narrative, but was quickly shut down by US government spokesman Matthew Miller.
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The Palestinians are “facing a very brutal occupation. Unlike the Ukrainians, they’re not–the Palestinians are not afforded the right to self-defense, facing against Apache helicopters, American-supplied weapons and so on. Kids throwing stones at these weapons that you supply so generously to Israel and so on,” said Arikat, who is the Washington bureau chief for the Al-Quds newspaper. “Do you believe that the Palestinian people in Jenin have a right to defend themselves?” he asked.
Miller outright rejected the comparison.
“Let me just say first of all with respect to the comparison to Ukraine, the United States does not believe these two situations are comparable,” he said. “I’m not going to litigate all the differences here at the podium, but in no way do we believe there is a comparison to be drawn here.”
It might not be as much as Bible-believers would hope for, but at least the US government is tacitly acknowledging that Israel and the Jews are not colonizers or foreigners in their own ancient homeland.
“We support Israel’s security and the right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups,” Miller added. “At the same time, it is imperative to take all possible steps to protect civilians from harm and facilitate humanitarian and reconstruction supplies for the benefit of the people, of the people of Jenin, like restoring electricity and water services.”
Another reporter asked for the State Department to comment on Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s reaction to a statement from US President Joe Biden. Ben-Gvir said that Israel is not a star on the US flag.
“That’s a statement of fact. Israel is an independent country,” Miller said. “At the same time, when we have concerns, we will continue to express them, just as countries express their concerns about actions the United States takes, and we view that as constructive and healthy.”
With reporting by JNS.
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