News Release

Biden Green Light for Israeli Aggression?

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle@illinois.edu
    Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law. He notes media reports that Biden’s Secretary of State Tony “Blinken didn’t press the Israelis to stop the operation in Gaza for now.” Said Boyle: “So in other words Blinken gave them the green light to escalate.”

NOURA ERAKAT, nourae@me.com@4noura
    Erakat is a human rights attorney and associate professor at Rutgers University. She is the author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine from Stanford University Press.

    She just co-wrote the piece “Sheikh Jarrah highlights the violent brazenness of Israel’s colonialist project,” which was published in the Washington Post. Her co-author, Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian writer and researcher based in Ramallah, had her Twitter account suspended for a time yesterday, because she allegedly violated the “Twitter Media Policy.” (See accuracy.org 2019 news release “Israel Bombs Palestinians as Twitter Censors Them.”)

State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Monday asserted “Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself” in justifying its bombings. When questioned about the Palestinians’ right to defend themselves, Price wouldn’t engage in the substance of the issue, stating: “I’m not in a position to debate the legalities from up here.” See video clip.

    Some have criticized aspects of Israel’s bombings of Gaza, with 53 Palestinians killed, including 14 children and the destruction of towers, including one with media offices. In 2014, during a major Israeli bombing of Palestinians in Gaza, Erakat wrote the piece “No, Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory,” which argued: “A state cannot simultaneously exercise control over territory it occupies and militarily attack that territory on the claim that it is ‘foreign’ and poses an exogenous national security threat. In doing precisely that, Israel is asserting rights that may be consistent with colonial domination but simply do not exist under international law.”