US Scolds Israeli Officials for Saying Quiet Part Aloud

The State Department is not actually upset with Ben Gvir and Smotrich for advocating the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, it’s only upset that they said it, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, foreground next to bannister, with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Tel Aviv on Nov. 30, 2023. (State Department, Chuck Kennedy)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to Tim Foley reading this article. 

The U.S. State Department has issued a statement indignantly finger-wagging at two Israeli officials who recently drew headlines for openly endorsing the ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip. 

The statement reads as follows:

“The United States rejects recent statements from Israeli Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza. This rhetoric is inflammatory and irresponsible. We have been told repeatedly and consistently by the Government of Israel, including by the Prime Minister, that such statements do not reflect the policy of the Israeli government. They should stop immediately.

We have been clear, consistent, and unequivocal that Gaza is Palestinian land and will remain Palestinian land, with Hamas no longer in control of its future and with no terror groups able to threaten Israel. That is the future we seek, in the interests of Israelis and Palestinians, the surrounding region, and the world.”

The offending statements by Ben Gvir and Smotrich promoted the idea of “encouraging” Palestinians to flee Gaza en masse, absurdly referring to this hypothetical outcome as “voluntary migration” despite the fact that Israel has been doing everything in its power to make living in Gaza impossible.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, left, and radical right political activist Bentzi Gopstein in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem in February 2022. (CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

You will note, probably without surprise, that the statement contains nothing but empty scolding. No mention is made of the faintest possibility of any consequence of any kind being brought to bear should Israeli officials continue to openly advocate for eliminating the Palestinian population of Gaza and replacing it with Jewish settlements. This is because the U.S. has no intention of actually doing anything to hinder Israel’s ethnic cleansing agendas.

And make no mistake, that absolutely is Israel’s agenda. The State Department can claim all it wants that “such statements do not reflect the policy of the Israeli government” and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assured Washington that there are no plans to resettle Palestinians outside of Gaza, but Netanyahu himself has been publicly contradicting this claim with increasing brazenness. 

October 2017: Smotrich, left, with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman during a visit to Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot. (U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Just last week at a Likud Party meeting Netanyahu explicitly said that his government is working on finding countries who would be willing to “absorb” Palestinian refugees from Gaza, claiming that the world is “already discussing the possibilities of voluntary immigration.” 

Indeed, it’s fair to say that the extreme-right ministers Ben Gvir and Smotrich are not actually saying anything on this front that is significantly different from what Netanyahu himself has been saying.

Bibi’s just a bit more polite about it, with Ben Gvir openly thumbing his nose at the State Department’s remarks saying “we aren’t another star on the American flag” and “facilitating the relocation of hundreds of thousands from Gaza will allow those in the Israeli Gaza border communities to return home and live securely while safeguarding the IDF soldiers.”

In fact, one could easily argue that Netanyahu as well as Ben Gvir and Smotrich have been entirely in alignment with the State Department’s own language on this subject.

The idea of “voluntary immigration” does not contradict the position asserted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the U.S. vision for Gaza involves “no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza — not now, not after the war.”

Notice Blinken’s careful insertion of the word “forcible” there. His wording makes it clear that the U.S. would only object if Palestinians were actually forced onto ships or marched across the Egyptian border at gunpoint, as Middle East analyst Mouin Rabbani recently observed on Twitter:

“Alarm bells should have started ringing in early November when U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other Western politicians began insisting there could be ‘no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza’. Rather than rejecting any mass removal of Palestinians, Blinken and colleagues objected only to optically challenging expulsions at gunpoint. The option of ‘voluntary’ displacement by leaving residents of the Gaza Strip with no choice but departure was pointedly left open.”

So, contrary to its self-righteous moral posturing, the State Department is not actually upset with Ben Gvir and Smotrich for advocating the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. They’re just upset they said the quiet part out loud. 

If there’s one thing Blinken and his cohorts understand, it’s that you’re not supposed to describe the evil things you want to do in evil-sounding language.

You’ve got to tap-dance gracefully around the actual depravity you intend to inflict, uttering flowery prose about humanitarian concerns and compassion for both sides to keep everyone dazzled and hypnotized while the killing machines are quietly rolled out in the background.

You’ve got to be eloquent and elusive about your murderousness. Like former U.S. President Barack Obama.

The U.S. war machine is every bit as depraved as the state of Israel, and the Biden administration is just as culpable for the horrors being unleashed in Gaza as Netanyahu and his goons. Ignore their words and watch their actions. Don’t let them dazzle you with their feigned concern for human rights.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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28 comments for “US Scolds Israeli Officials for Saying Quiet Part Aloud

  1. anon
    January 5, 2024 at 07:42

    “We will annihilate everyone in Gaza.”

    Charming little Zionist brats singing on national television.

  2. GC
    January 4, 2024 at 22:35

    Blinkin, Netanyahu and his goons are a total waste of space. They should be prosecuted.

  3. Jimm
    January 4, 2024 at 19:36

    The US is against the “resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza”‘ even though the US supports the leveling of Gaza. We lie, we cheat, we steal. The killing goes without saying.

  4. Michael Johnson
    January 4, 2024 at 18:18

    Israeli politicians declaring genocide and the forced relocation of the Palestinian people–

    “Annihilate Gaza now. Now! Gaza needs to turn into Dresden. Yes!”  Former Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Parliament Moshe Feiglin
    “It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible.  It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved, it’s absolutely not true.” President of Israel Issac Herzog

    “We are enacting a complete siege on the city of Gaza. There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. Everything will be closed. We are fighting against human animals and we will act accordingly.”  Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant

    “In an interview the question was asked, “For your part, and according to your expectation we should drop a bombn on the Gaza Strip tomorrow morning, flatten it, and eliminate everyone there?”  “That’s one option.”  Israeli Minister of Heritage Amihai Eliyahu

    “We are too humane.  We should burn Gaza.  Israel should leave just “one old man” alive in Gaza so he could “tell everyone” what happened there.”  Senior Israeli Lawmaker Deputy Knesset Speaker Nissim Vaturi

    “There is no escape from returning and fully controlling the Gaza Strip. Full control that will include extensive and flourishing settlement in the entire strip. Not like the Gush Katif settlements that were concentrated in a few isolated areas, but settlement along the entire length and breadth of the strip.”  MK Limor Son Har-Melech 

    MK Limor Son Har-Melech to her son– “What will you be when you grow up?”  “A soldier.”  “And what will you do?”  “I’ll drive a jeep and I’ll kill the Arabs.”  “Excellent.”

    Danny Danon, Israel’s former Ambassador to the U.N. and a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Israel’s Kan Bet radio that he has been contacted by “countries in Latin America and Africa that are willing to absorb refugees from the Gaza Strip.” “We have to make it easier for Gazans to leave for other countries,” he said. “I’m talking about voluntary migration by Palestinians who want to leave.”

    “The problem for now “is countries that are willing to absorb them, and we’re working on this.” Benjamin Netanyahu

    “There will never be a peace plan with the Palestinians.  I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state.”  Netanyahu’s Minister of Education

    “Palestinians are all enemy combatants. This also includes the mothers of the martyrs.  They should follow their sons. They should go out of the physical homes in which they raised the snakes, otherwise more little snakes will be raised there.”  Israeli Minister of Justice

    “My position is that between the sea and the Jordan River, there needs to be one state only… the state of Israel.  There’s no place for any agreements of any kind ” The Minister for Foreign Affairs

    “Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48. Nakba in Gaza and Nakba to anyone who dares to join! their Nakba, because like then in 1948, the alternative is clear”  Israeli Member of the Knesset Ariel Kallner

    “Jericho Missile! Jericho Missile! Strategic alert. Before considering the introduction of forces. Doomsday weapon! This is my opinion. May God preserve all our strength.”  Tally Gotliv Likud party Member

    “I’m proud that I prevented the establishment of a Palestinian state because today everybody understands what that Palestine state could have been, now that we’ve seen the little Palestinian state in Gaza.”  Benjamin Netanyahu

    “There are two million Palestinians living in Gaza of having a “desire to slaughter, rape, and murder Jews, what needs to be done in the Gaza Strip is to encourage emigration. If there are 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs in Gaza and not two million Arabs, the entire discussion on the day after will be totally different.”  A leader of the settlement movement, and Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich

    “We need guns in the hands of more and more citizens.”  “My right, my wife’s right, my kids’ right to move around freely on the roads of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] is more important than that of the Arabs.”  “The departure of Palestinians and re-establishment of Israeli settlements is a correct, just, moral and humane solution.  This is an opportunity to develop a project to encourage Gaza’s residents to emigrate to countries around the world,”
    Israel’s national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir 

  5. hetro
    January 4, 2024 at 17:00

    I suggest Blinken get up a tent and some other gear and find himself a spot in Northern Gaza where he can set up for a few days and explain things to the residents. That they’re certainly not being forced into leaving the strip for somewhere else, no one is holding a gun to their heads. Bombs and rubble, corpses, contamination of water, no electricity, snipers if they happen to seek a hospital or refugee center, yes, all that is unfortunate, but otherwise the US has a soulful concern that they might want to leave . . . He might offer passers-by an American burger while he explains . . .

  6. Running Bear
    January 4, 2024 at 15:52

    Psssst….. Hey Blinkie ….. Hey Blinkie ….Hey BLINKIE!!!!!
    ah, didn’t want to shout, but needed to get your attention. Just wanted to say … the whole friggin world sees ‘the quiet part’. You are not fooling anyone.

    The Genocidal. Aka, The West.
    They were Genocidal.
    They are Genocidal once again.
    We now know they were lying when they said they had changed.
    If they tell us again that they have again stopped being Genocidal, will we believe them? Again?
    Is it safe to believe the Genocidal? Again? Ever?
    The whole world knows this. So, Blinkie, Good Luck with trying to keep this Genocide quiet.
    The whole world is watching.

  7. robert e williamson jr
    January 4, 2024 at 15:47

    I left a comment here earlier [regarding Israeli designs on Gaza lands–CN]. I now have a link to the 1963 memo declassified in 1996-


    later on folks.

    • Running Bear
      January 4, 2024 at 16:17

      Back when the Genocidal were pressuring the PLO to make nice with the Israelis, the Big Deal was that the PLO and Arafat had to ‘recognize Israel’s right to exist.’ The Clintons applied pressure, and convinced Arafat that good things, including a Palestinian State and a land bridge between Gaza and the West Bank, would result from the PLO recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Which Arafat and the PLO did.

      It was pointed out by some, that this was a loaded question, because Israel had never agreed upon or fixed its own borders. How do you recognize a country that won’t declare its own borders? Is it safe to do so?

      If you listen to some in Israel, the ‘natural borders’ of Israel are the Litani River up in Lebanon, and as far as the Euphrates River in Syria and Iraq. They tend to refer to ‘Greater Israel’ as the land to which the Chosen People have the right to take, and it involves a whole lot more than Gaza and the West Bank. But then again, they don’t really ever say that even this would be the limit, or the final borders of Israel. The one thing we know is that Israel has, IIRC, still has never committed to its actual borders. The nation certainly shows no intention of backing up to within its legal, internationally recognized borders, at least not voluntarily.

  8. Drew Hunkins
    January 4, 2024 at 15:15

    I actually have a little different take.

    I think there is indeed a rift between the hardcore Zionist sadists in Tel Aviv versus the State Dept hacks in Washington.

    Of course the Zionists in Washington are just about as bloodthirsty as the Israeli land-grabbers and baby murderers, but I think for appearance sake, the Washington imperialists do not want to see 2 million Palestinian refugees living in the Sinai.

    The irrational cretins in Tel Aviv want nothing more than to start a major war with Iran and eject millions of Palestinians from Gaza.

    • ingamarie
      January 4, 2024 at 19:16

      Whatever. What we’re actually seeing is how powerless the USA is to prevent what Israel is doing….the best Winkin Blinken can muster is scolding…in the hope that when the worst happens, the world will remember he was against it.

      Birds of a feather do flock together……even if some of the bird brains think they’re a cut above their buddies. It’s an illusion….proved by America’s actions. Didn’t Biden by pass congress to send Israel more military aid?

      • Drew Hunkins
        January 5, 2024 at 22:13

        “What we’re actually seeing is how powerless the USA is to prevent what Israel is doing”

        Precisely. Which jibes with my main point.

        So “whatever” man, whatever!

          January 6, 2024 at 01:07

          Except that the US has complete power to stop what is happening and refuses to do so.

    • GC
      January 4, 2024 at 22:36

      I agree.

  9. robert e williamson jr
    January 4, 2024 at 14:32

    Look let’s cut right to the chase.

    A situation exists currently that explains what the U.S. and Israel are up to. They both seek free reign over the Gaza Strip for economic reasons. You damned right they want the Palestinians gone!

    Do both countries want the ground in Gaza? Yes they do and because of their future plans for the open air prison are no longer any secret. My son and I have have been talking about the intended use of this land for weeks now. Do I hear anything other that on the internet? Nope.

    I strongly suggest everyone visit at least these two sites and maybe all the rest.


    hXXps:// its-relation-to-israels-occupation-in-gaza/


    Plus the Atlantic, the Mint press news and other sites.

    Never mind the nuclear bomb part of this, instead focus on recent developments in the area.

    Using 520 nuclear bombs sounds like something the mad-men at USAEC came up with because they knew shit about using special nuclear materials SNM.

    Who knew, evidently no one here.

    Happy New Year everybody.

    Thanks CN

  10. Sharon Aldrich
    January 4, 2024 at 13:34

    Thank you, Caitlin for keeping these atrocities before our eyes as the MSM and the Biden Administration tries to cover them up and distract us from the horrors in front of the world!

  11. Caliman
    January 4, 2024 at 13:08

    Once all the Gaza homes are destroyed, markets are blown up, hospitals are destroyed, schools are gone (and we are almost there already), and none are allowed to be rebuilt and very little food is allowed in, HOW are people going to stay on their land? They will have to move.

    This is why this great crime against humanity must not be allowed to continue … the S Africa case is the only hope, really, as Russia and China have decided to stand apart and the US, as represented in the persons of Blinky and Bidey, is fully on board the ethnic cleansing.

    • Jack Lomax
      January 4, 2024 at 17:07

      I agree that the condition is already now there for ‘voluntary’ ie not at gunpoint, leaving. Egypt may take a small but significant portion if the US secretly passes on a substantial amount of dollars to it to cover the expenses of resetling these ‘refugees’ and enough over to help its budget crisis. China and Russia will continue to refuse to be part of this plot but will not intervene in any meaningful way since they judge that the Hegemon is still too strong to openly challenge but seem to feel that the time to do so is coming but still some years in the future . The US European empire is another matter and I think they will be bludgeoned into taking in a significant part of the 1.? million Gazans after the Egyption lead . And then there will be a total silence of the lambs as Israel begins exploiting the massive off shore fossil fuel deposits and Jewish real estate agents begin advertising the luxurious sea front potential dwellings.

  12. Deborah
    January 4, 2024 at 12:24

    Watching what has, since 1948, is continuing to happen in Palestine. The Zionist are basically ruining the Jewish peoples reputation and they sit around wondering why so many people hate Jews and don’t trust them. It’s really sad.

  13. Julia
    January 4, 2024 at 10:36

    The publication of this seems timely. From the excellent Michael Rosen, and thanks to Jewish Voice for Labour for its publication :


  14. ray Peterson
    January 4, 2024 at 10:33

    And maybe recalling a Christian reminder
    about the Obama’s and Blinken’s of the
    power elite those: “. . . in sheep’s clothing but
    inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will
    know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7. 15-16).

  15. Richard Burrill
    January 4, 2024 at 10:31

    U.S. is trying to cover their a**es. From what the president has been saying since 10/7/23, it’s obvious his administration agrees with what those right wing Israeli government officials are saying and are in the process of doing.

  16. J Anthony
    January 4, 2024 at 08:03

    The US govt does not care about Israel except as a military outpost in ME. At the root of all this, as ever, is geo-strategic control of oil supplies/pipelines, and the further destabilization/occupy&control policy that’s been kicked into overdrive since 9/11. No atrocity is too depraved for the troglodytes to maintain their fantasy of uni-polar mastery over the whole region. Let’s not forget that when asking ourselves how can our government so easily turn a blind-eye to, or support, such atrocities as ethnic-cleansing. For 20 years and longer, it’s always been about the goddamned oil.

    • ingamarie
      January 4, 2024 at 19:48

      Yes. And while the Israeli government is busy destroying Palestinians, Big Fossil Fools intend to ramp up oil and gas….even if it is unconventional now, and very hard to extract, until the end of the world.

      We’re more than a little late, waking up to the real source of American exceptionalism. I suspect most of the third world is way ahead of us in knowing the real story.

  17. susan
    January 4, 2024 at 08:02

    Thanks again Caitlin for truth in reporting – I for one really appreciate your efforts to open our collective eyes!

  18. Valerie
    January 4, 2024 at 06:01

    From the article:

    “and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assured Washington that there are no plans to resettle Palestinians outside of Gaza”

    But Times of Israel says this:

    “The “voluntary” resettlement of Palestinians from Gaza is slowly becoming a key official policy of the government, with a senior official saying that Israel has held talks with several countries for their potential absorption.

    Zman Israel, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister site, has learned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition is conducting secret contacts for accepting thousands of immigrants from Gaza with Congo, in addition to other nations”

    Does the word “voluntary” make a difference.?

    • Burt
      January 4, 2024 at 17:21

      The word “voluntary” vs “forced” migration is to give Israel legal cover if they were brought up on war crimes charges

    • firstpersoninfinite
      January 5, 2024 at 00:30

      How interesting that Hitler’s “Madagascar Plan” is now the Zionist’s “Congo Plan.” Unless you believe that the Nazi regime was a “democracy,” it would be hard to continue to argue that Israel is a “democracy.” Once the “Congo Plan” is accomplished, get ready to leave your American homes for those places where Americans like you (meaning any citizen chosen) really belong – anywhere we are told to go. And don’t think that the threat of war with China and Russia will change your destiny. We will fight climate change not by rational methods of reducing carbon use, but by politically moving people like pawns across the face of the planet into those places they are allowed to go. What else could we expect from the corporate/military power elite? We are now like children inside a fenced playground in a raging, California wildfire. Don’t worry – the smell of smoke will stay with us a good while longer before the first flame appears.

    • stephen sivonda
      January 5, 2024 at 03:35

      I have a “World Atlas” dated 1893 and that whole section was marked as Palestine ! Historically , the British in the early 1900’s which had “CLAIM” to that area (as they did all over the world ) . I did not check on when the Brits gave that area it’s freedom ….but suspect after WW2 . You can check on that by using GOOGLE listed with year timelines. EX: 1920 t0 1935 .

Comments are closed.