Washington (The Inside Palestine)- Activists showed up outside The White House today to protest the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Bennett’s meeting with President Joe Biden was scheduled for Thursday morning but was delayed until Friday after two deadly blasts hit Kabul.
The action was organized by Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action), the Palestinian Youth Movement, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Occupation Free DC, the Adalah Justice Project, Rabet by the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, CODEPINK, and Democratic Socialists of America BDS Palestine Working group.
“Biden is actively endorsing a right-wing leader of an apartheid state,” said Palestinian Youth Movement’s Laura Albast in a statement. “The visit indicates that ‘the peace process’ is not about peace — it is about continuing Israeli expansion at the cost of Palestine and its people. The events of the past three months signify a new era of youth organizing for Palestine. We will not back down and will continue resisting to call for an end to forced expulsion, demolition, administrative detentions, and ethnic cleansing.”
“While Bennett’s government is stalling reconstruction in Gaza – following Israel’s murder of 265 Palestinian civilians in Gaza – the Biden administration refuses to hold its flow of U.S. military aid and weapons to that state,” said Council on American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Nihad Awad. “It is incumbent that President Biden demand Israel immediately halt its killing of Palestinian protesters, confiscation of Palestinian land and cease interfering in the reconstruction of Gaza.”
In a recent interview with the New York Times Bennett said he wanted to “reset the tone” of the U.S./Israel relationship. He also said that he’d expand West Bank settlements, oppose the U.S. plan to reopen a Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem, and reject any peace agreement with Palestine.
The focus of the visit is expected to be Iran, as Israel opposes Biden relaunching Barack Obama’s nuclear deal. “What we need to do, and what we are doing, is forming a regional coalition of reasonable Arab countries, together with us, that will fend off and block this expansion and this desire for domination,” said Bennett. “Israel is here. We are the precise anchor of stability, of willingness to do the job to keep this area safer.”