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Unveiling America’s Contradictory Stance in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

The deepening conflict in Gaza leaves significant marks in the background of American politics. To unveil the Israel-Palestine issue, it’s essential to closely examine the double standards American politics apply against Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib from Michigan and Republican Representative Brian Mast from Florida.

In November, Tlaib was condemned for a video where she chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” during a protest organized in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. While supporters of Israel argue that this slogan aims to erase the Jewish state from the map, Tlaib defended it as a call for “freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence.”

Though Tlaib’s condemnation was symbolic, it was an attempt to politically marginalize Palestinian Americans in Congress and diminish their support. Mast was criticized for comparing Palestinians to Nazis bombed by Nazis but was not condemned.

These double standards reveal the complexity of support for Israel in American politics. While a Palestinian American representative is condemned, a pro-Israel representative does not receive the same treatment, highlighting the inconsistency in America’s stance on the Israel-Palestine issue.

Within the Republican Party, many influenced by Biblical and apocalyptic scenarios express their support for Israel. Changes accepted in the party platform during Trump’s era indicate the Grand Old Party’s (GOP) shift away from supporting a two-state solution and a Palestinian state.

Especially among conservative segments of the Protestant Church, Evangelical Christians defend the sanctity of Israel based on Biblical prophecies. Trump found a way to please his Evangelical base by using this support in his election campaigns. However, this support complicates America’s role as an objective mediator in the Israel-Palestine issue.

While the Biden administration appears to have slightly withdrawn support for Israel, it continues to believe in the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. Political pressures within the Democratic Party increase the likelihood of changes in the White House’s Israel policy. Vice President Kamala Harris’s call for a ceasefire shows America’s search for a shift in its Israel policy.

However, the Republican Party mostly presents a united front when it comes to full support for Israel. Trump and like-minded radical politicians maintain strong support for Israel alongside antipathy towards Palestine. Figures such as Brian Mast refuse to accept a two-state solution, emphasizing claims that a Palestinian state would be governed by terrorists.

Tlaib’s condemnation might be symbolic, but the real issue lies elsewhere. Republicans aim to use Congressional support for the Palestinian people as a political tool. Democrats attempt to condemn Mast by comparing Palestinians to German civilians bombed by Allies in Nazi Germany. Mast, implying that Palestinians deserve to be eradicated due to crimes committed by Hamas, stated, “I don’t want the idea of innocent Palestinian civilians to be thrown out too easily.”

While the motion to censure Tlaib succeeded, the motion against Mast was quietly withdrawn. Mast increased his anti-Palestinian rhetoric following these decisions, even wearing an Israeli military uniform at a Republican conference meeting. He stated he wore the uniform because Tlaib’s office had a Palestinian flag hanging in front of it.

Mast, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan, has said that even Palestinian babies are not innocent. He addressed Code Pink protesters with “Kill all terrorists” and labeled Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a terrorist.

Trump’s influence should not be forgotten. By ignoring war crimes against Muslims, sharing photos of Iraqi civilians being killed, and even pardoning the Blackwater team that shot at Iraqi civilians, Trump pursued a systematic policy of tolerance towards actions against Muslims.

After the October 7 Hamas attack, Trump briefly criticized Netanyahu and praised Hezbollah, a group backed by Iran and designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., as “very smart.” He was heavily criticized for these comments but reiterated his longstanding promise of full alliance with Israel if reelected, promising complete support for a total war with the backing of the Republican Party.

Questioning Israel’s violence against Palestinians means delving into the complex labyrinths of American politics. Many questions arise about efforts to prevent Israel from indiscriminately targeting Palestinians.

Eyes are on America’s Israel policy and how political actors approach this issue. The unlimited support for Israel during Donald Trump’s era seems to have once again led American politics into a deadlock. However, the problem is not only in the past but also looms in the future.

In the midst of the conflict in Gaza, the inconsistency in America’s Israel-Palestine policy becomes even more evident. Changes accepted during Trump’s administration reflect the Republican Party’s Biblical and apocalyptic approach. However, pressure is also mounting among Democrats, and the Biden administration’s stance indicates a search for political balance.

The complexity of support for Israel in American politics is evident. While a Palestinian American representative is condemned, a pro-Israel representative does not receive the same treatment. These double standards highlight the inconsistency in America’s Israel-Palestine conflict stance.

Even as the Biden administration seeks balance in its Israel policy, the issue of Palestine remains a puzzle in the turbulent waters of American politics. The loyalty of Trump and the Republican Party to Israel complicates America’s role as a mediator in the region. Where the exit from this labyrinth lies and how America will redefine its role in ensuring justice remains to be seen.

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YÜKSEL DURGUT is a journalist with a primary focus on global politics and foreign affairs.

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