Biden’s Pier-for-Gaza Is Hollow Gesture

The U.S. president could get aid into Gaza much faster, if he wanted to, writes Jonathan Cook. His timetable for helping Palestinians is dictated by the schedule of the presidential election.

U.S. President Joe Biden with Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader,  after Biden’s State of the Union address on March 7. (C-Span screenshot)

By Jonathan Cook

A few observations on U.S. President Joe Biden’s building of a “temporary pier” — or what his officials are grandly calling a “port” — to get aid into Gaza:

No. 1 — Though no one is mentioning it, Biden is actually violating Israel’s 17-year blockade of Gaza with his plan. Gaza doesn’t have a sea port, or an airport, because Israel, its occupier, has long banned it from having either.

Israel barred anything getting into Gaza that didn’t come through the land crossings it controls. Israel stopped international aid flotillas, often violently, from reaching Gaza to bring in medicine. The blockade also created a captive market for Israel’s own poor-quality goods, like damaged fruit and veg, and allowed Israel to skim off money at the land crossings that should have gone to the Palestinians in fees and duties.

No. 2 — It will take many weeks for the U.S. to build this pier off-shore and get it up and running. Why the delay? Because every Western capital, including the United States, has supported the blockade for the past 17 years.

The siege of Gaza caused gradual malnutrition among the enclave’s children, rather than the current rapid starvation. By helping Israel inflict collective punishment on Gaza for all those years, the U.S. and Europe were complicit in a gross and enduring violation of international law, even before the current genocide.

Protest against Israel’s Gaza Blockade and attack on humanitarian flotilla, Melbourne, Australia, June 5, 2010. (John Englart, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

With his pier, Biden isn’t reversing that long-standing collusion in a crime against humanity. He has stressed it will be temporary. In other words, it will be back to business in Gaza as usual afterwards: any children who survive will once again be allowed to starve in slow-motion, at a rate that doesn’t register with the establishment media and doesn’t put pressure on Washington to be seen to be doing something.

No. 3 — Biden could get aid into Gaza much faster than by building a pier, if he wanted to. He could simply insist that Israel let aid trucks through the land crossings, and threaten it with serious repercussions should it fail to comply. He could threaten to withhold the U.S. bombs he is sending to kill more children in Gaza. Or he could threaten to cut off the billions in military aid Washington sends to Israel every year. Or he could threaten to refuse to cast a U.S. veto to protect Israel from diplomatic fallout at the United Nations. He could do any of that and more, but he chooses not to.

No. 4 — Even after Biden buys Israel a few more weeks to further aggressively starve Palestinians in Gaza, while we wait for his temporary pier to be completed, nothing may actually change in practice. Israel will still get to carry out the same checks it currently does at the land crossings but instead in Lanarca, Cyprus, where the aid will be loaded on to ships. In other words, Israel will still be able to create the same interminable hold-ups using “security concerns” as the pretext.

No. 5 — Biden isn’t changing course — temporarily — because he suddenly cares about the people, or even the children, of Gaza. They have been suffering in their open-air prison, to varying degrees, for decades. If he had cared, he would have done something to end that suffering after he became president. If he had done something then, Oct. 7 might never have happened, and all those lives lost on both sides — lives continuing to be lost on the Palestinian side every few minutes — might have been saved.

And if he really cared, he wouldn’t have helped Israel in its efforts to destroy UNRWA, the UN relief agency for Palestinians and a vital lifeline for Gaza, by freezing its funding, based on unevidenced claims against the agency by Israel.

No, Biden doesn’t care about Palestinian suffering, or about the fact that, while he’s been busy eating ice cream, many, many tens of thousands of children have been murdered, maimed or orphaned — and the rest starved. He cares about the polls. His timetable for helping Palestinians is being strictly dictated by the schedule of the presidential election. He needs to look like Gaza’s saviour when Democrats are deciding who they are voting for.

He and the Democratic Party are betting voters are dumb enough to fall for this charade. 

Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist. He was based in Nazareth, Israel, for 20 years. He returned to the U.K. in 2021.He is the author of three books on the Israel-Palestine conflict: Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish State (2006), Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (2008) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (2008). If you appreciate his articles, please consider offering your financial support

This article is from the author’s blog, Jonathan  

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

30 comments for “Biden’s Pier-for-Gaza Is Hollow Gesture

  1. robert e williamson jr
    March 12, 2024 at 20:25

    Jonathan Cook and all others.

    I have significantly more serious criticism of Biden and his “pier for Gaza”, in addition to a stern warning about about Biden rhetoric.

    Biden is in one helluva position, one he willfully chose to take.

    On this damned pier thing. Israel has been chopping at the bit to get into the energy business and the talk of a pipeline through Gaza refuses to go away.

    Thinks about this, just how difficult does one think it would have been be to build a pipeline through Gaza and then keep it safe from sabotage. before Oct 7th 2024?

    I would posit that Biden is being much less than candid about his off-shore pier. What would make any of us think that at the current death rate of Palestinians any will remain when this genocide is complete?

    At this point when it comes to Israel I do not trust Biden’s word much more than I trust Bijiman “the Blade” Notinyahoo. BTW I have no,, as in zero trust for Binji.

    micheal888 march 11, 2024 @ 18:56 has it right.

    So when the stench clears do not be surprised to see very little if any threat still exists against the new pipe “LINES” running through Gaza.

    As Beau would say, “It’s just a thought”. All I’m saying is do not be surprised when this happens.

    On Biden rhetoric, don’t believe a word this man says, he is running for election and we have little Dogdamned choice Trump is a proven danger to himself and others, certifiably insane. The psychopathic %0&!

    Thanks CN

    I had to change the “oil” in my machine, I caught a virus! But I’m Back!

  2. Jeff Harrison
    March 11, 2024 at 22:48

    Does anyone believe the US any more?

  3. Jay
    March 11, 2024 at 16:22

    The Gaza Pier is a perfect target for a speed boat attack (which will kill Americans) and then be blamed, absent strong evidence, on Hamas.

    • Lois Gagnon
      March 12, 2024 at 09:58

      The circumstances are certainly ripe for a false flag operation.

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    March 11, 2024 at 16:06

    The ongoing, widespread hypocrisy is totally SICKENING!!! Par for the course…America’s mentality is: we’ll help but first we figure out how to profit from this ‘help’.

  5. March 11, 2024 at 11:44

    This was tweeted to Biden’s National Security Advisor 3 days ago;


    POWER CORRUPTS. In your POWER bubble you think the people are stupid! From what I saw and heard in the SOTU Biden has prepared the way for Trump. Building a pier to Gaza is BS when Biden can stop the Gaza genocide immediately. Stop the weapons and cash to Israel

  6. Rick
    March 11, 2024 at 10:41

    There’s no way Biden has any intention of aiding Palestinians. He’s made it very clear what he thinks of them by paying Israel to slaughter them. So he’s doing this to aid Israel. He’s inserting US ground forces into Israel’s genocidal project. He wants to close the Rafah border crossing completely. US forces may even force Gazans onto ships to forcibly remove them. We should never underestimate Biden’s capacity for wrongdoing.

    • WillD
      March 11, 2024 at 23:19

      Exactly, the pier is to enable Israel to forcibly ship Gazans/Palestinians somewhere else and to give them access to the offshore oil-fields.

      It is a typically nasty devious underhand scheme by the US to deceive everyone and to make Genocide Joe look good (as if such a thing is possible!).

  7. Bushrod Lake
    March 11, 2024 at 10:21

    The picture leading off this article is certainly revealing. Are these two on the up and up? I sincerely doubt it.

  8. hetro
    March 11, 2024 at 08:15

    Apparently Biden thinks that dropping gestures such as building a port for aid (and whatever additional sinister motives) will clear him as entirely on the side of humanitarian good guy. What’s left out here is the underlying rationale that Israel must be defended in precisely the way it is proceeding, in its wanton slaughter, and cruelty, rendering any such gestures from Biden as contradictory and stupid. Biden might as well be a Hitler figure sending flowers to those he’s sending to the gas chambers. This state of delusion reeks through the SOTU with its stale and self-congratulating rhetoric. Biden is certainly done, but is Trump going to be worse?

    • Ray Peterson
      March 11, 2024 at 11:06

      great image hetro. “Hitler sending flowers to those going to the gas
      chambers.” But no need to ask about Trump, “finish the job” he’s
      worse if that’s possible

  9. Burt
    March 10, 2024 at 23:05

    Is it possible that an ulterior motive for the port could be Gazan energy reserves?

  10. Ray Peterson
    March 10, 2024 at 19:03

    And what to make of Ramzey Baroud’s conjecture
    (interview Palestine Chronicle), that the pier is an
    attempt to concentrate starving to death Gazans to
    be taken “volunteering” to Cyprus, continuing the
    depopulation plan by “humanitarian” means ?

  11. irina
    March 10, 2024 at 17:46

    I think there’s a much longer-term plan in the works, and the ‘temporary’ port is part of it.

    It’s very clear that Gaza is, one way or another, going to be cleared of its current residents.
    Netanyahu probably thought that Egypt could be bribed to open the Rafah crossing months ago.
    That didn’t happen, but apparently Egypt is building some sort of ‘processing center’ on its side of
    the border. It will open when Israel attacks Rafah in earnest, quite soon now. Meanwhile, Israel
    is constructing a road across Gaza, just north of the Wadi Gaza lowlands. This is the preliminary
    phase of the long-planned construction of the Ben Gurion Canal, which you can be sure those who
    need to know about in the US government are fully up to speed on and involved with.

    The ‘temporary’ port is a beachhead for both the canal and for accessing the natural gas fields offshore
    from Gaza, which technically lie in (formerly) Palestinian waters but which Israel has long coveted.
    It’s still true from a practical perspective that ‘possession is 9/10ths of the law’, and once the infrastructure
    is there, further development will not be long in coming. Netanyahu foreshadowed all of this when he
    waved around the map at the UN in September 2023 which showed all of Gaza and the West Bank as
    being incorporated into Greater Israel. In his realm, if you openly show (as he did) the world what you
    are going to do, then you are cleared to go ahead and do it. That’s how it works. Too bad if anyone is
    in the way.

    • Peri Dwyer Worrell
      March 11, 2024 at 09:42

      This is transparently obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention. It’s revolting that the US executive is spinning this pier as a “humanitarian” measure!

      • Vera Gottlieb
        March 11, 2024 at 16:07

        No shame, no integrity, no morals, no principles. The only thing that counts is $$$.

  12. Lois Gagnon
    March 10, 2024 at 16:32

    Biden isn’t making these decisions. His “team” is. To them, Gaza is just another incident to be managed to reflect their version of reality depending on the current circumstances such as a presidential election. These people are the scum of the earth. They have no morals, empathy or humanity.

    • Em
      March 10, 2024 at 20:20

      After viewing Biden’s SOTU address on CSpan, it appeared to me that he was fully compos mentis in his delivery, except for, at times, stuttering and slurring his words slightly, before getting them out. He may be afflicted with mild Dysarthria, related to ageing.
      But does that tell us lay people anything about his intellect? Nothing, nada, zilch!
      In fact he seemed quite agile of mind, in his off-the cuff to and fro banter with some in the audience, as well as when mingling with all the appreciative toadies on his way into the House.
      Therefore, IMO, here’s the kicker: He’s as sly and despicable as I’ve always thought him to be! He’s always been a slick duopoly “team’ player”!
      Do you know, first-hand that “he isn’t making these decisions”.

      • Lois Gagnon
        March 11, 2024 at 07:12

        Biden was no doubt drugged up to the max to get him through that performance. There’s been too much evidence of his declining mental faculties to believe he is in charge of foreign policy. No doubt, he was coached heavily to deliver a believable speech, but I can’t swallow the Biden is in full position of his mental faculties argument. Reagan wasn’t either, but the masters of manipulation worked hard to make sure the public perceived otherwise. The national security state is run by and for those who reap the profits.

        • Em
          March 11, 2024 at 09:44

          If “the national security state is run by, and for those who reap the profits” and if it’s not the individuals who run it, then who exactly are they, and what is their state of mind/consciousness. Greed and power is a motivation certainly, but to say they don’t know what they’re up to is not logically reasonable either. Can ethically moral minds truly comprehand the depths to which depravity will sink to obtain its goals?
          By any means necessary is the modus operandi. Take the bestial depravity of the Israels as a prime example.
          Why is the world merely looking on as it did during WWII. Israel certainly will not recognize itself in its this mirror>
          Appreciate what you have to say in your commentry!
          Negotiation is the way forward, NOT negation!

          • Lois Gagnon
            March 11, 2024 at 16:04

            I don’t think the whole world is merely looking on. The whole world is stymied by the veto power of the US at the UN. Plucky little Yemen is giving the Israelis and the US hell by preventing their ships from delivering goods to Israel. South Africa continues to bring cases to the ICJ. Countries have booted out Israeli ambassadors. There’s a huge boycott of companies doing business in Israel. People are out in the streets en masse. The media has had to shift its totally Israeli biased coverage to be more inclusive of the plight of the Palestinians.

            This is not going to end well for the US, it’s vassals or Israel.

            • Em
              March 11, 2024 at 20:06

              You are correct, “Why is the world merely looking on as it did during WWII” is not precise enough to truly convey what I was attempting to get at.
              Your response, “The whole world is stymied by the veto power of the US at the UN.” is more on the mark, although “merely looking on” seems to me to be somewhat equivalent to the term ‘stymied’.
              I was contemplating this very notion of veto power in the UNSC.
              The UN is a bought and paid for institution from its inception! Israel knows this and flaunts the fact in its defiance.
              You may be interested to look at the statistics regarding the SC members and how many times each has used its veto vote, and against whom.

        • shmutzoid
          March 11, 2024 at 16:35

          There’s video out there of Biden seated onstage fielding questions from an audience. As two or three questions were simultaneously shouted out, he had some sort of neurological shut-sdwn. — His 1,000 stare into the void went on for at least fifteen seconds before the clip I saw ended – musta’ gone on a bit longer. ——— It was every bit as revealing of his declining mental state as was Mitch McConnel’s ‘freezing’ for an extended time.

          Drugs to keep him able to get thru the SOTU?? who knows – state secret!

      • Tim N
        March 11, 2024 at 17:37

        I believe they gave him some powerful drugs to temporarily combat the senility. Those drugs are too dangerous to be given all the time, which is,why he seems to be completely out of it.

      • michael888
        March 11, 2024 at 18:44

        Biden’s just demented enough that he cannot be prosecuted by his DOJ for his corruption crimes. Convenient.

  13. Renate
    March 10, 2024 at 15:59

    The West has silently watched and funded the human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. Nothing has changed, all Biden does is pretend he cares, he does not. He lies to the public, Netanyahu knows what he says is for public consumption including the hot mic phone call. Used car salespeople are more honest than leading democratic politicians, our leaders are war criminals stepping over dead bodies to get what they want.

  14. DW Bartoo
    March 10, 2024 at 15:03

    Ah, Pier Review.

    Thank you, Jonathan, your assessment is much appreciated.

  15. Steve
    March 10, 2024 at 13:11

    Unfortunately ” the Democratic voters are dumb enough to fall for this charade. ” not that republican voters are any better. If gaza is waiting for the USA to rescue them, they are fatally misguided.

    • Renate
      March 10, 2024 at 16:04

      They know the USA is not about to help them, that is why there is HAMAS, their people.

      • michael888
        March 11, 2024 at 18:56

        While the Palestinians in Gaza voted for Hamas in 2006, they had become Netanyahu’s secret police by 2018, when Netanyahu bragged to friends that Hamas was needed to control the Palestinians. Israel also funded Hamas, to snitch on the Palestinians. As Yasser Arafat noted before he was poisoned “Hamas is a Creature of Israel”. The Egyptians and Israelis knew the Hamas attack to secure hostages for a prisoner exchange was coming, Netanyahu decided to use the attack as an excuse to exterminate the Palestinians instead.

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