US President Joe Biden has dispatched the American official Hady Amr to the Middle East to “de-escalate the fighting” between Israel and Hamas.
In the past, Amr, now the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for “Israel-Palestine,” said he was “inspired by the Palestinian intifada” and accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
In 2002, after Israel killed a senior Hamas commander, Amr wrote that the Arabs “will never, never forget what the Israeli people, the Israeli military and Israeli democracy have done to Palestinian children. And there will be thousands who will seek to avenge these brutal murders of innocents”.
Does this sound like someone who can broker peace between Palestinians firing thousands of rockets to murder Israelis and the targets of that onslaught?
But the Biden administration is a hall of many mirrors. On Wednesday, Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to affirm his “unwavering support” for Israel’s security, and Israel’s “legitimate right to defend itself and its people while protecting civilians”.
In addition, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there was “a very clear, absolute distinction between the terrorist organisation Hamas that is indiscriminately raining down rockets targeting civilians, and Israel’s response defending itself targeting the terrorists”.
There is, however, every reason to be wary of such hand-on-heart professions of support from this administration. For its specialty is what’s been called the “values-feint”— making high-minded statements to disguise its morally bankrupt actions.