AMP to Blinken, “Yes, Israel is a racist state.”

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January 19, 2021
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 19, 2021 | 6 PM EST | AMPalestine.org | Washington, DC -- American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) objected to the statement made today by Antony Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State, during his testimony before a Senate confirmation hearing. When asked if Israel was a racist state, Blinken responded, “No.” 

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem recently made waves in labeling Israel as an apartheid state, affirming what Palestinians have experienced, documented, and claimed for decades.

Dr. Osama Abuirshaid, Executive Director of AMP, stated: “Joe Biden has pledged to lead by moral example. Blinken’s testimony today to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee--where he opposed BDS and claimed that Israel is not a racist state--is a direct contradiction of that pledge. As the leading Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem noted recently, Israel practices apartheid from the river to the sea. Apartheid, by definition, is a system of racist rule and is a crime against humanity that should be boycotted. We expect that the Biden administration’s pledge to lead by moral example applies to ending Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.”    

In the hearing, Mr. Blinken also said, “neither party should take steps to make the already difficult situation even more challenging and avoid unilateral actions that make that more challenging.” AMP calls on Blinken, after he is confirmed, to make this a reality by ensuring that no US funds are contributing to Israel’s crimes, including the ongoing unilateral de facto annexation through its illegal colonization of Palestinian land.

Abuirshaid continued: “While Blinken’s remarks about Israel not taking unilateral actions are welcome, the Biden administration must take concrete steps to impose consequences on Israel should it continue to illegally colonize Palestinian land. For far too long, the United States has opposed Israeli unilateral actions in rhetoric only. The lack of tangible consequences has only emboldened Israel to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians.”

Earlier today, less than 24 hours before the Biden administration’s inauguration, Israel's land authority announced it is moving forward with the building of 2600 new government-subsidized housing units in illegal settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. 

In November 2020, AMP issued a memo to the Biden-Harris transition team with policy recommendations to reverse Trump’s most destructive policies toward the Palestinian people and reorient US policy on the basis of human rights and international law. Founded in 2006, AMP educates the US public and media on issues related to Palestine. You can learn more about our work at www.AMPalestine.org.

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For more information, or to schedule an interview with an AMP spokesperson, please contact AMP’s Media Coordinator, Malak Shalabi, at [email protected] or  +1 (888) AMP-1948.