U.S. President Joe Biden last week questioned the official death toll from the Israeli-orchestrated genocide in Gaza after the 7 October Hamas attack that killed about 1,400.
Biden told reporters on Wednesday that he has “no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed.”
He continued, “I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s the price of waging a war.”
The president said Israelis should be “incredibly careful” to focus on the people “propagating this war” and it is against their own interests when that doesn’t happen.
He said he has “no confidence in the number” that the Palestinians are using.
The next day, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza released a 150-page document that included the names of 7,000 Palestinians who have died in Israeli attacks, including 3,000 children. Al Jazeera noted that each of the names came with their own identification numbers.
The report said Palestinian rights advocates said the president’s comment was an obvious attempt to “dehumanize” the victims.
“The president’s statements are outrageous, irresponsible, and flat-out racist and anti-Palestinian,” Zeina Ashrawi Hutchison, a Palestinian-American activist, told the network.
Yara Asi, a Palestinian-American public health expert at the University of Central Florida, also told the network that Biden’s remarks were “appalling.”
“To dispute those figures was really, really just putting both feet in with Israel on this, in yet another way that dehumanizes Palestinians,” she said.
Ashraf al-Qudra, the spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry, accused the U.S. of being devoid of “human standards, morals, and basic human rights values,” AntiWar.com reported.
“We decided to go out and announce, with details and names, and in front of the entire world, the truth about the genocidal war committed by the Israeli occupation against our people,” he said.
Zeeshan Aleem, an opinion writer for MSNBC, wrote that Biden’s “words weren’t just ill-founded and insensitive, they were reckless.”
“Israel is conducting one of the most intense bombing campaigns of the 21st century in one of the most densely populated areas in the world,” he wrote. “It is openly pursuing collective punishment in the Gaza Strip, justifying cutting off food, water, electricity, and fuel to the territory by calling Gazans ‘human animals,’ and striking loads of civilian infrastructure. If the president was true to his warning to Israel ‘not to be blinded by rage,’ he would be sounding the alarms about war crimes. Instead, Biden is opening the door to conspiracy theories about whether Palestinians are lying or exaggerating about mass casualties.”
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza because of the Israeli blockade. (See “U.S. REJECTS UN RESOLUTION DEMANDING HUMANITARIAN PAUSE IN GAZA” 24 Oct 2023, “BLINKEN ANNOUNCES HUMANITARIAN AID TRUCKS INTO GAZA, BUT U.S. WARNS HAMAS NOT TO INTERFERE” 24 Oct 2023, and “PETRAEUS WARNS THAT ISRAELI GROUND INVASION OF GAZA COULD LOOK A LOT LIKE THE U.S. MISADVENTURE IN MOSUL” 24 Oct 2023.)
Biden’s comments show the callous disregard that Washington has historically shown when it comes to Muslim deaths. We have noted in the past when former Secretary of State Madeline Albright was interviewed by “60 Minutes” in 1996 and was asked about the 500,000 Iraqi children who died as a direct result of U.S. sanctions.
“I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it,” she said.
Biden has shown similar insensitivity in the past.
George Packer’s 2019 book, “Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century,” Biden, who was vice president in 2010, told Holbrook that the U.S. should pull out of Afghanistan despite the humanitarian costs.
“Fuck that. We don’t have to worry about that,” Biden reportedly told Holbrooke. “We did it in Vietnam. Nixon and Kissinger got away with it.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Yoan Gallant said in the beginning stages of the war that Israel was fighting “human animals.”
DW.com reported that a total of 34 trucks loaded with humanitarian goods were supposed to enter Gaza last weekend, but the UN only confirmed that 20 managed to get through security. A top UN official called 20 trucks a small drop in the ocean.
It is believed that there would need to be about 100 truckloads of supplies per day to meet the basic needs of the civilian population, the report said. Israel is not allowing fuel to enter the country which means drinking water is largely unavailable and hospital generators are shutting down.