Hosted by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has come under fire for statements he has made regarding his policies in the Middle East, ones that sounded like those of his predecessor Mike Pompeo of the Trump administration.
Blinken not only says he and Biden accept Jerusalem as Israel’s capital - Trump wins! Bibi wins! - but he also *refuses* to say East Jerusalem would be the capital of a Palestinian state.— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) February 9, 2021
(FYI, international law and the international community both say otherwise.) https://t.co/yYJNvpMy9z
In the interview, Blinken outlined his views regarding many international issues, including those of China, Iran, and the Middle East. Yet, his answers to Blitzer's questions over decisions made by the former US administration in regards to the Middle East prompted many angry reactions amongst online commentators, who argued that Blinken "didn't sound all that different from Pompeo."
Blinken told CNN that he recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and swiftly avoided answering whether or not he would endorse a Palestinian future capital in the eastern part of the city, one that is recognized as Palestinian territory by international law.
The worst pick of the Biden administration - unfortunately every US administration will act the same toward the Middle East: buy oil from the gulf, sell arms to the gulf, and unequivocally support Israel’s war crimes and imperialism.— Salah Safadi (@SalahSafadi1992) February 9, 2021
In another answer that seemed to overstep international law, Blinken avoided condemning the Israeli control of the Syrian Golan Heights which was occupied during the 1967 war, arguing that Israel needs that territory for security reasons "Leaving aside the legalities of that question".
As soon as the interview was broadcast on CNN last night, social media commentators drew comparisons between the Biden foreign policy and that of Trump, saying that "nothing has fundamentally changed."
This needs be stated and restated.— Daniel Seidemann (@DanielSeidemann) February 9, 2021
This conflict may never end, but if it does, it ends in Jerusalem. That means an end of Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem which will unshackle Palestinians and liberate Israelis too from the curse of occupation.
This conflict needs truth, https://t.co/IY2QE1cIde
New Secretary of State Discount Mike Pompeo reporting for duty. Nothing will fundamentally change— CWright (@CWright70254213) February 9, 2021
In his first remarks, Blinken explained that the US plans to "restore its role in the world," adding: "the world doesn’t organize itself. So if we’re not in there and present every single day trying to do some of that organizing, helping to write the rules and shape the norms that sort of govern the way countries relate to each other, then either someone else is going to do it in our place..."
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