ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Blinken: Israelis were ‘dehumanized’ on Oct. 7, but that cannot be a license to dehumanize others

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a press conference in Tel Aviv, February 7, 2024. (Screenshot)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a press conference in Tel Aviv, February 7, 2024. (Screenshot)

“We urge Israel to do more to help civilians, knowing full well that it faces an enemy that would never meet those standards,” says US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a Tel Aviv press conference, adding that Hamas embeds itself among civilians and fires rockets from hospitals, mosques and schools.

He calls Hamas “an enemy whose leaders surround themselves with hostages,” and says it is “an enemy that has declared publicly its goal to kill as many innocent civilians as it can, simply because they’re Jews, and to wipe Israel off the map.”

“That’s why we’ve made clear that Israel is fully justified in confronting Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” Blinken says. “That’s why the United States has done more than any other country to support Israel’s right to ensure that October 7 never happens again.”

Nonetheless, he now uses caustic language to upbraid Israel on its conduct of the war in Gaza.

“Israelis were dehumanized in the most horrific way on October 7,” he says. “The hostages have been dehumanized every day since. But that cannot be a license to dehumanize others.”

“The overwhelming majority of people in Gaza had nothing to do with the attacks of October 7,” he maintains.

Adds Blinken: “The families in Gaza whose survival depends on deliveries of aid from Israel are just like our families. They’re mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, who want to earn a decent living, send their kids to school, have a normal life. That’s who they are. That’s what they want. And we cannot, we must not, lose sight of that. We cannot, we must not, lose sight of our common humanity.”

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