The Electronic Intifada / July 11, 2022
I joined Eugene Puryear and Rania Khalek on their Breakthrough News show The Freedom Side to talk about the latest US efforts to exonerate, justify and cover up Israel’s responsibility for the May killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
The clumsy American effort to get Israel off the hook is only fueling anger over the slaying of the Al Jazeera correspondent. But as I told Puryear and Khalek, it’s not the only example of the United States colluding in the killing and persecution of journalists.
US President Joe Biden is set to travel to Israel, the occupied West Bank and Saudi Arabia this week.
He’s expected to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who according to US intelligence agencies personally approved the horrifying October 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
During his 2020 election campaign, Biden had vowed to make the kingdom a “pariah” because of the killing.
But the president’s concern for Israel and desperation to bring down oil prices that are driving inflation and a collapse in his approval ratings, ahead of November’s midterm elections, trumps any American pretense of concern for accountability and press freedom.
I also noted the ongoing effort by the Biden administration to extradite Julian Assange, in order to punish the Wikileaks founder for revealing US war crimes and deter others from doing the same.
One of the issues likely to be on Biden’s agenda during his upcoming trip are efforts to form a so-called Arab NATO to bring regional US client regimes into a formal military alliance against Iran.
The new twist, I pointed out, is that Israel may openly participate in such an alliance – possibly in a leading role.
In the meantime, the US is sabotaging negotiations to restore the Iran nuclear deal, while trying to cast blame for failure on Tehran.
We also talked about how the war in Ukraine is affecting the geopolitics of energy: With the European Union desperately trying to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, Brussels is eyeing the huge gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Israel’s ability to fully exploit these resources is far from certain, following recent warnings from Lebanon’s main military resistance organization, Hizballah, over Israeli encroachment on Lebanese territorial waters.
You can watch the entire 25-minute discussion in the video at the top of this page.
Ali Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine (Haymarket Books)