Joe Biden faces revolt among Democrats over Israel policy – ‘Hold them accountable!’

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More than 500 party staffers who worked on his 2020 Presidential campaign signed an open letter demanding that the US President holds Israel accountable for its actions and does more to protect Palestinians. The latest bout of fighting resulted in the deaths of 230 Palestinians along with substantial devastation in Gaza. Twelve Israelis were killed in rocket attacks launched by Hamas in retaliation.

The letter reflects growing tensions within the Democratic Party between pro-Palestinian left-wing progressives and traditional pro-Israeli centrists.

While acknowledging Mr Biden’s efforts to effect a ceasefire, the signatories wrote: “We also cannot unsee the horrific violence that unfolded in recent weeks in Israel/Palestine.

“We implore you to continue using the power of your office to hold Israel accountable for its actions and lay the groundwork for justice and lasting peace.

“The very same values that motivated us to work countless hours to elect you demand that we speak out.

“We remain horrified by the images of Palestinian civilians in Gaza killed or made homeless by Israeli airstrikes.”

Pollster John Zogby told the BBC’s podcast Americast that there had been a “dramatic” and “tectonic” shift among Democrats in their views towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“There is a non-white population, particularly among Democrats, who are very sensitive to the treatment of fellow non-whites,” he said.

“They see Israel as an aggressor.”

He added they are unfamiliar with Israel’s earlier history and struggles.

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“They know post-Intifada; they know the various wars, the asymmetrical bombing that have taken place, the innocent civilians that have been killed.”

On Friday, Mr Biden told journalists at a White House press conference that the US remained committed to Israel’s security.

However, he insisted that a two-state solution that establishes a viable Palestinian state was the only answer to ending the conflict.

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