US readouts mum on true reason for Blinken’s calls with Gallant, Gantz

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

File - US President Joe Biden, center left, pauses during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center right, in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023. At left: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken; at right: Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, second right and lawmaker Benny Gantz, right. (Miriam Alster/Pool Photo via AP)
File - US President Joe Biden, center left, pauses during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center right, in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023. At left: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken; at right: Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, second right and lawmaker Benny Gantz, right. (Miriam Alster/Pool Photo via AP)

The US State Department confirms that Secretary of State Antony Blinken held calls with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz earlier today, but makes no mention of the actual reason for the calls — the Israeli cabinet members’ efforts to convince the Biden administration to walk back plans to sanction the Netzah Yehuda battalion over alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Instead, the readouts regurgitate old talking points about the war in Gaza — the US commitment to Israel’s security, boosting efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza and ensuring that the conflict does not spread.

While the Israeli readouts made clear that Gantz and Gallant had reached out to Blinken in order to talk him down from sanctioning any IDF units, the State Department readouts avoid the topic entirely.

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