Published On: Tue, May 18th, 2021

Turkish President Condemns Biden Response on Mideast Crisis, International Backlash Heats Up

By Janet Ekstract

ISTANBUL (TURKISH JOURNAL)- On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed U.S. President Joe Biden’s response to one of the worst outbreaks of violence between Israel and Palestinians in decades.  In a televised speech, Erdogan said: “You are writing history with blood on your hands.” The Turkish leader added: “You forced us to say this. We cannot step back.” Erdogan is not the only one criticizing Biden’s response. The U.S. president is receiving backlash from a number of U.S. Muslim organizations as well as Americans who have hit the streets in major cities to protest Israel’s violence against Palestinians.

Meanwhile, on Monday morning, at least 25 Democratic senators insisted Biden push for an end to the violence and told Biden that $735M earmarked for Israel be withheld, contingent on a ceasefire. On Tuesday, Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for a third time, telling him that the administration supports a ceasefire but fell short of demanding an end to the violence.  U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken raised major concerns about the number of Palestinian children killed in the ongoing two-week conflict. He also commented: “We’re alarmed by how journalists and medical personnel have been put at risk.” The U.S. said that diplomatic efforts were continuing in the region with at least three envoys involved in mediation efforts. Despite this, Netanyahu insists on continuing Israel’s airstrike campaign in his words – at “full force.”

In addition, more U.S. Muslim groups have come forward urging Biden to take a tougher stance on what the Human Rights Watch reported are “human rights violations” and “apartheid.” Though Blinken reiterated the U.S. stance that America “will stand against human rights abuses” – Biden’s foreign policy has avoided condemning the evictions of Palestinians. Speaking to TRT World on Tuesday, Spokeswoman and Maryland Outreach Manager for the Council on American-Islamic relations, Dr. Zainab Chaudry said that Biden needs to condemn Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. Chaudry also referred to Biden’s blocking a joint statement on the crisis from the UN Security Council and said: “Blocking a UN resolution is not helpful. We need our government to have moral courage to do the right thing.” She added: “Our government needs to make innocent life prioritized.”

The backlash to the U.S. response is becoming more vocal with Palestinian activists planning a general strike in Jerusalem and Gaza. The strikes will take place in Arab towns in Israel, in occupied Jerusalem and occupied East Jerusalem, according to a report from TRT World on Tuesday morning. Analysts point out that the general strike was initiated independently by the people and is expected to have a major impact on how the U.S. responds going forward.  While the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) slammed what they said are Israel’s “barbaric attacks” it came under fire for its lack of any strong response on Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. Sami al Arian, Director for the Center of Islam and Global Affairs at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University told TRT World that as a member of the OIC, Turkey has been urging the international community to unite in a strong declaration against the attacks on Palestinians. He added that since OIC’s leadership is based in Saudi Arabia, it’s not in sync with the Turkish response to the crisis. As he said: “It refuses to actually do or take any strong position towards this. Or at least bring the pressure of the international community on the state of Israel.”

As the conflict rages on, extreme concern has been raised about the fact that there are widespread water and electric shortages as well as 40 schools and four hospitals totally demolished in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes. With continuing airstrikes on Tuesday by the Israeli military, the number of Palestinian casualties and injuries has increased. Currently, 212 Palestinians including 61 children were killed since the attacks began. It’s estimated that 1,500 Palestinians have been severely injured in the airstrikes. The situation has reached such a boiling point that reports out of Jordan indicate that many Jordanians in protest, attempted to cross the border into Israel. On Monday, in her daily White House Press Briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration’s efforts now are focused on, as she commented: “How can we help bring an end to the violence and de-escalate violence on the ground.” 

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>