Summer questions are like gnats. You can swipe at them, but they don’t go away. So, take them on.
The Biden administration has axed science and technology research grants for Ariel University in the West Bank – because, the administration spokesman said, “Engaging… with Israel in geographic areas… subject to final status negotiations is inconsistent with US foreign policy.”
Two questions: first, how is this not BDS – boycotting Israeli production (intellectual or physical) emanating from Judea and Samaria? Second, is US cooperation with Palestinians in territories awaiting final status since 1949’s illegal Jordanian occupation “inconsistent with US foreign policy” as well? The US will send $500 million to the PA between 2021 and 2024. This is in addition to restoration of the US to the position of largest donor to UNRWA, with a donation of $344 million in 2022.
Speaking of restoring funds, the US has also restored funding to EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based entity that engaged in bat research at the Wuhan Institute of Technology when it was illegal in the US. Its director was a longtime collaborator with China’s “bat lady,” Shi Zhengli. Question: What?
Shift gears a bit.
According to a report by an Israeli security analyst, State Department personnel asked for “clarifications” over Israel’s use of a UAV to kill 3 West Bank militants. “’The introduction of armed UAVs raises concern over the potential loosening of rules of engagement in an area that needs to see de-escalation,’ a U.S. official told me,” the Israeli source reported.
Question: Why, when the priority is to remove the terrorist menace? President Barack Obama used armed drones to kill US citizens abroad, including a 16-year-old boy – raising serious constitutional questions about summary execution. The Council on Foreign Relations reports there were 542 drone strikes authorized by Obama killing an estimated 3,797 people, including 324 civilians, including an American aid worker and his Italian colleague.
The Biden administration used armed drones that killed an Afghan family – including 7 children – during our horrendously mismanaged withdrawal from Kabul.
In 2015, President Obama said, “This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to… harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases and so on… I think that we have to be judicious… drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties. For the most part, they have been very precise, precision strikes.”
Questions: Are 324 civilians not a “large number” and would he think Israel is not at least as judicious as the US?
Israel appears to be doing a better job of avoiding civilian casualties a) in a space that is close to Israeli civilians and b) against an enemy that is thoroughly devoted to hiding behind their own civilians and aiming at Israeli civilians.
That is not a question.
On the other hand, the Russians don’t appear to have the same scruples. (No figures cited here – there are no independent, reliable reports from either side.)
Here is your question: While the administration has commented on the Iranian drones illegally sold to Russia despite a UN arms embargo, it has NOT commented on the fact that those drones have parts manufactured in China in 2023, according to The Wall Street Journal?
This requires another question: How can the Biden administration continue to unfreeze billions of dollars to the mullah regime in Iran, knowing that it is selling the drones being used against our allies/dependents in Ukraine? Are we willing to fund both sides of the war? Ick.
This is separate from and on top of the older question: How can the US allow money to go to a regime that hangs its opponents from cranes – 192 people, including 8 women since the beginning of the year, according to Human Rights Watch. The number according to NGO Iran Human Rights is 354 executions. Whatever the actual number, even the UN – EVEN – called for a halt in the “horrific wave of executions.”
This is extraordinarily sad, coming as it does, during the American Independence Day holiday. France is our friend, our ally, our partner and, in fact, one of the great fathers of American Independence.
France is literally burning from end to end. Over the weekend, rioters set fire to an apartment building and desecrated the Holocaust Museum in Paris.
Why has the administration nothing to say about threats to French democracy, but when the democratically elected Israeli government put forward a judicial reform bill – a thoroughly domestic matter – the US called it a “threat to Israeli democracy”? Israelis had/have their own way of expressing their opinions to their government – and their way has been peaceful.
Final question: Why is it so hard for the Biden administration to speak clearly and forcefully to China, Russia, and Iran about depredations that should shake us as Americans, while ignoring the ravaging of France, and biting, gnat-like at America’s democratic ally and security partner, Israel?