Source: In Defence Of Marxism

The term “to shed crocodile tears” derives from the fact that crocodiles have been noted to shed tears as they consume their victims. According to the Collins Dictionary, the meaning of the saying is “to pretend to be sad or to sympathise with someone without really caring about them.” Crocodiles do indeed produce tears, but they serve to keep the eyes clean and lubricated and are in no way connected to emotions. Today, we have many crocodiles in human form – they are called Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Secretaries, newspaper editors, and so on. But Biden stands out clearly as the Chief Crocodile.

His shedding of fake tears is worse than the behaviour of a real crocodile. In the case of Biden, the tears are a calculated ruse to fool the world that he somehow cares about the plight of the Palestinians. He clearly does not. But it is not just a case of not caring. To state that someone doesn’t care implies they are indifferent to the plight of the victims. But Biden is not indifferent. While he goes through the motions of a man who cares, he cynically and actively collaborates in Netanyahu’s genocidal war, providing much of the weapons that are being used to carry out the butchery.

The Biden administration has been making a lot of noise about avoiding a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, where there is a real risk of mass starvation, particularly in the north. We have all seen the US aid airdrops on our TV screens, as well as news of plans to construct a temporary port on the coast of Gaza to allow deliveries of aid by sea. This is nothing but a show for media consumption, portraying an image of someone who cares.

The latest act in this theatre is the resolution passed by the UN Security Council yesterday, which calls for an immediate ceasefire. However, it is worth noting that, in the course of drafting the resolution, the word “permanent” was dropped from the text at the specific request of the US, with the ceasefire call being only until the end of Ramadan, which is 9 April, i.e. a mere two weeks. Adding insult to injury, Matthew Miller, a US State Department spokesperson made a public statement that as far as the US administration is concerned, the resolution “is a non-binding resolution”. But we all know that even if it were, Israel has openly flouted UN resolutions many times in the past, as the UN is a toothless body with no means of imposing any decisions it may take.

Biden’s concerns are not about the death and destruction in Gaza, nor the real suffering of the Palestinians. His concerns are more about his own electoral prospects in the United States. Opinion polls show that, on top of the erosion of his support that we had already seen prior to 7 October, he has lost a lot more support recently due to his handling of the crisis in the Middle East – something he can ill afford. Furthermore, he and his advisers are concerned about the growing destabilisation of the whole of the Middle East and the further weakening of the position of US imperialism in the region.

Pretending to care, continuing to kill

The situation faced by the Palestinians of Gaza is truly drastic / Image: Fars Media Corporation, Wikimedia Commons

The situation faced by the Palestinians of Gaza is truly drastic. Aid, especially food supplies, needs to urgently get into Gaza in much larger quantities than are presently being allowed by the Israeli government. But the much-discussed temporary port is not going to be built overnight. According to Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder, the works could take up to 60 days to complete. And even when completed, deliveries of aid via air and sea will come nowhere near to compensating for truck deliveries by land.

Aid groups working on the ground in Gaza have calculated that, as things stand at the moment, at least 1,300 trucks of supplies are needed on a daily basis. But Israel is blocking the delivery of aid, especially to the northern part of Gaza, while at the same time cynically trying to shift the blame onto UN agencies, such as UNRWA, claiming that it is they who are failing to deliver the aid.

If Biden was serious about his ‘humanitarian concerns’, he would have cut off all supplies of arms to Israel long ago, and demanded that it reopen all the border crossings into Gaza to allow all necessary aid to be delivered. But that is not what crocodiles do.

All the talk of getting aid in is mere theatre, with no concrete action to back it up. The delivery of weapons to Israel, however, is not theatre; it is real and without limits. The amount of military aid and weapons sales the US has provided Israel since 7 October is huge, with around 100 arms sales in total.

Crocodile Biden has not limited himself to massively ramping up military aid to Israel. He has also led the other crocodiles, Sunak, Macron, Scholz, Meloni and many more, in cutting off urgently needed aid to the Palestinians. The US, together with a number of other countries, had already temporarily frozen donations to agencies such as UNRWA – which we have previously dealt with in some detail.

If Biden was serious about his ‘humanitarian concerns’, he would have cut off all supplies of arms / Image: public domain

Now, however, the pressure on the Palestinians has been ratcheted up even further. UNRWA is a key lifeline for the Palestinians, and yet last week, precisely in a moment of dire need, the US Congress passed a bill that totally defunds the agency until March 2025. Note that the US has been providing the agency with $300 million to $400 million annually. The same bill also contains a clause which guarantees the continuation of the $3.8 billion dollars in military aid that the US provides to Israel every year.

Here, in a single bill, we find the utter cynical hypocrisy of Biden fully encapsulated: no money for the starving Palestinians, but billions of dollars to pay for the bombs that are killing them every day. The contrast between the haste to get weapons to Israel and the drip-feeding of tiny amounts of aid to the Palestinians is glaring.

But there is another twist to the bill that was passed last week. It is self-evident that the Israeli military has been committing what even international bourgeois law defines as ‘war crimes’. Unarmed civilians have been killed in cold blood. Desperate people seeking food from the few trucks allowed in have been shot at and killed. Hospitals and schools have been bombed.

“Dripping from every pore with blood and dirt”

What we have here is Biden brazenly telling the Palestinians that they have no right to any kind of justice / Image: ISM Palestine, Flickr

A serious investigation would no doubt reveal many more such crimes. But the same bill that defunds UNRWA contains a clause that specifically threatens a cut in aid to the Palestinian Authority in the future (beyond March 2025) if “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) judicially authorised investigation, or actively supports such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.” The Senate approved the bill last week and it was then sent to Biden to sign it into law.

What we have here is Biden brazenly telling the Palestinians that they have no right to any kind of justice, that they have no right to seek redress for criminal acts carried out by the Israeli military. Once this war is over, they are being told that they must not even dare attempt to open such investigations if they wish to continue receiving aid. So the next time you hear Biden talking about humanitarian aid, putting on a tearful show of sadness, remember that you are looking at a crocodile.

These are the people who rule over us today, cynical, cold-blooded, calculating butchers, who have only one concern: to protect the profit-making machine called capitalism, to preserve the wealth and privileges of the billionaires, whatever the cost they deem necessary to humanity. If it means wading through the blood of innocent civilians, of women and children, to achieve their aims, they will not flinch from doing so. And Biden and Netanyahu are both drenched in the blood of the Palestinians.

In Volume One of Capital, Marx stated, “If money… ‘comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,’ capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.” This is even more true today than when those words were first written.