News Release

Biden Bill Slashes Humanitarian Relief for Gaza, Sets Stage for Ethnic Cleansing

[The International Court of Justice on Monday began hearings on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This will likely result in an advisory opinion on the illegality of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. See coverage by Al-Jazeera English. This is a separate case from South Africa invoking the Genocide Convention before the Court, which resulted in an Order from the Court which it reiterated on Friday with a reporting mechanism on that case due before the end of the month.]

RICHARD ESKOW,, @rjeskow
Eskow is host and managing editor of The Zero Hour and was the lead writer for the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign. He just wrote the piece “10 Reasons House Progressives Must Reject Biden’s Pro-War, Anti-Humanitarian Bill.”

He said today of the Israeli attack on Gaza: “Western governments and media may report or note certain individual attacks here and there — this hospital invaded, these schools and residential blocks destroyed. They may even engage in performative, pro forma criticisms of them from time to time. But they studiously avoid noting the larger pattern at work: a pattern of systematic ethnic cleansing — and do their best to make sure the public doesn’t notice it.

“It’s not subtle, once you look. Israel has spent the last three months driving Palestinians in Gaza southward toward Egypt, destroying homes, schools, and hospitals behind them, and killing them as they go. UNRWA has the largest remaining humanitarian infrastructure in Gaza and had the institutional backing of the United Nations, so destroying it is the logical next step in rendering Gaza uninhabitable.

“How long before tent cities in Sinai … is promoted as the only ‘humane’ situation? Because, while we didn’t see it coming, events have regrettably forced us to — etc. etc. etc.” [See Wall Street Journal piece “Egypt Builds Walled Enclosure on Border as Israeli Offensive Looms.”]

From his recent piece: “1. Yes, it really slashes humanitarian aid.

“Biden said after the bill’s Senate passage that ‘it will provide lifesaving humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, who desperately need food, water, and shelter. They need help.’

“The dishonesty and cynicism are stunning. The bill includes only $9.15 billion for humanitarian aid, to be divided among several parts of the world, and doesn’t commit any specific amount for Gaza. …

2. The bill doesn’t specify any level of aid to Gaza.

“Like Biden, Sen. Charles Schumer and other Democrats insist the bill must be passed because it contains humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. But it doesn’t commit any specific funds. They might get something; it might get nothing.

“State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel claimed the bill included $1.4 billion for Gaza. ‘This is tangible money,’ he said. No, it isn’t. That figure appears nowhere in the bill’s text. Even the Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee, led by Sen. Patty Murray, don’t make that claim. …

3. The Administration has shown that it can’t be trusted.

“White House officials met with Arab Americans on February 8 over the administration’s Gaza policy. The New York Times reports that ‘the officials committed to issuing a letter clarifying the administration’s support of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.’

“Support? Five days later, at the White House’s urging, the Senate passed the bill terminating UNRWA aid in a predawn vote. (The word ‘predawn’ has long been associated with Israeli airstrikes that kill women and children, but in this case it was a vote.)”

See IPA news release from October: “In ‘Grotesque Hoax’ Biden Admin Not Just ‘Green Lighting’ Israeli Ethnic Cleansing — ‘It’s Bankrolling It.’