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Biden Hosts Israeli President But Says Nothing About Deadly Israeli Crackdown in Occupied West Bank

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We speak with Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, about the growing crisis in the occupied West Bank as Israel escalates its daily military raids. At least 120 Palestinians have been killed so far this year, including dozens of children. U.S. President Joe Biden met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog Wednesday, but neither mentioned Palestinians in public remarks. “There has to be a change to acknowledge that U.S. support for Israeli apartheid and occupation is what enables these raids to go on with impunity,” Bennis says.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Phyllis, before you go, just one question, as a person who’s written a number of books on Israel-Palestine, a keen observer of the region, about the growing crisis in the occupied West Bank. Israel is continuing to carry out daily military raids. At least 120 Palestinians have been killed so far this year, making it the deadliest year in the West Bank since 2015. On Wednesday, President Biden met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the White House. During public remarks, neither mentioned Palestinians, the occupied West Bank or Gaza. Your quick response?

PHYLLIS BENNIS: This has been an outrage that this level of killing on a daily basis, raids into Palestinian cities, which officially, if you want to go back to the Oslo Accords, are ostensibly under complete Palestinian control — there is no Palestinian control. It is completely under Israeli assault with the attacks on children — on civilians, of whom there have been — I believe the number is up to 30 children among them who have been killed. The arrests, the raids of civilian homes, particularly in the middle of the night, with children being taken off for interrogation, deliberately aimed at undermining the ability of Palestinian families to survive, it’s a horrific situation.

The U.S. has had nothing to say about it, despite continuing to provide $3.8 billion a year directly to the Israeli military. And the fact that we are not even hearing any discussion of this in Congress, in the White House, in the mainstream press is a travesty for our country, and it has to be dealt with in a much more overt way. There has to be a change to acknowledge that U.S. support for Israeli apartheid and occupation is what enables these raids to go on with impunity.

The problem of impunity is the core of this issue, and hopefully the United Nations and other parts of the international community, the International Criminal Court, the international special investigation team that is now looking at these violations of international law, that that’s where we will be able to look to for an end to this kind of Israeli impunity.

AMY GOODMAN: Phyllis Bennis, we want to thank you for being with us, author and fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Up next, amidst Ethiopia’s growing humanitarian crisis, peace talks have begun, the government and leaders from the Tigray region, to end the devastating two-year conflict. Back in 30 seconds.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: Sarah Torres singing “Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Now” at a Philadelphia rally Wednesday outside the courthouse, calling for the release of the 68-year-old journalist and former Black Panther.

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