The Trump administration’s response to today’s massacre of unarmed protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces was as appalling as we would expect it to be:
The Trump administration blamed Hamas for the deaths of dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers on Monday during mass protests along the boundary fence, the deadliest day of violence since the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.
We know that the Trump administration consistently indulges U.S. clients and encourages them in their worst behavior, but the refusal to hold Israel accountable for obvious, egregious crimes like this one is nonetheless breathtaking and despicable. Hamas bears responsibility for its own crimes and misrule, but it is ludicrous to hold them responsible when Israeli forces shoot live ammunition into a crowd of unarmed people. The administration’s attempt to shift the blame from the government that killed nearly five dozen unarmed protesters and wounded hundreds more to anyone else is similar to their responses to Saudi coalition crimes in Yemen: ignore them for as long as possible, absurdly claim that the client state is acting in “self-defense,” and when all else fails find some other group or government to blame for things that the client has done.
Refusing to hold Israel responsible for its crimes guarantees that there will be more of them in the weeks and months to come. As long as the administration doesn’t object to this excessive and illegal treatment of Palestinians, the Israeli government will assume that it has Trump’s full support and will keep doing more of the same. The Trump administration is giving Israel a green light to shoot Palestinian protesters, and its determination to ensure that there is “no daylight” between our two governments means that there is practically nothing that the Israeli government can do that this administration won’t tolerate.