Let Them Eat Ice Cream

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

On Monday evening, February 26, 2024, and in line with his age-related puerile behavior,  Joe Biden was interviewed in an ice cream parlor. With a cone crowned with a copious three-scoop serving in his left hand and a smirk on his face, he fabricated an announcement about an impending ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Monday night’s callous display was a cheap and pathetic Genocide Joe PR campaign stunt.

That his handlers chose Monday evening’s  “Late Night with Seth Meyers” segment to orchestrate this ghoulish display of banality is an insult to the 2.3 million dead, dying,  homeless, wounded, destitute, and starving Gazans who, because of Joe’s shameless, obsessive, and passionate love affair with Israel,  are being savagely murdered, wounded, maimed,  and ethnically cleansed from their homes and refugee camps – some for third and fourth time – in a five-month genocidal killing spree. It is also an insult to Palestinians everywhere, and especially to the Arab and Muslim Michiganders who are witnessing the systematic slaughter of family members – knowing full well that their tax dollars are supporting Genocide Joe’s love affair with forever wars.

Hoping to woo Michigan Arabs and Muslims to vote for him on  Michigan’s Tuesday Primary, Genocide Joe, as  he has repeatedly done, lied to the newsman that his “national security advisor tells [him] that we’re close, close [to a ceasefire] but not  yet done.”

Proving that Biden is a habitual fibber (on a smaller scale than Trump), Hamas and Israel have both denied that an agreement is in the offing, or even close.

Tired of his deeply rooted antipathy (bordering on xenophobia)  towards Palestinians, his repeated lies, his disregard for Palestinian lives, and his open-ended  14 billion dollars worth and counting of the most sophisticated arms in the US arsenal, 101,436 (13.2%)  Michigan Arab and Muslim voters delivered a forceful message: Joe Biden, If you want our votes on November 5, 2024, stop the Israeli genocide by calling for a durable and permanent UN Ceasefire.

Some media  headlines ran as follows: “Fox News Freaks out over Biden’s ice cream”; “Fox News has Jesse Watters react to Biden eating ice cream in public”;  “Watch: BIDEN MUNCHES ICE CREAM while telling press Israel-Hamas could have CEASEFIRE come Monday“; “CNN host taken aback by Biden’s ‘big announcement’ from ice cream shop”; and  “Late Night chides Biden for talking about Gaza while eating ice cream.” The most poignant comment was made by Daily Show host Michael Kosta:  “Joe Biden had delivered his response ‘in the most Joe Biden way possible’ – that is while eating an ice cream cone.”  Kosta states that while Biden was gleefully munching on an ice cream cone, it was “Not the most dignified way to deliver world-changing news. … I’ll tell you what, if I was a politician, I would always have an ice cream with me, just to cram in my mouth just in case I got asked about Israel-Palestine.”

Mairav Zonszein, an Israeli American journalist, stated: “This appears to be both irresponsible, and with the ice cream cone, tone deaf and tactless.” And Greg Carlston, the Economist’s Middle East correspondent, “agreed. ‘Nothing says we’re taking this seriously’ like talking about war that has killed – 30,000 people with an ice-cream cone halfway to your mouth.”

Could 81-year-old Genocide Joe’s age have anything to do with this foolish skit?

In November 2020 I reluctantly, and because of the alternative, voted for the Jim Clyburn groomed Joe Biden. And a recurrent theme during his 2020 campaign was the painful and sorrowful memory of his first wife and 13-month-old daughter Naomi’s death, coupled with Biden’s repeated references to the death of his 46-year-old son, Beau, from a brain tumor.

So, while Gaza’s Palestinian children are starving to death, in a staged theater of the absurd (directed by Netanyahu and assisted by Joe) framed in macabre and sardonic irony, on 2/26/2024 Joe Biden was feasting on a large ice cream cone crowned with 3 generous scoops of vanilla ice cream. And from his childish demeanor, he appeared to be gleefully enjoying the attention he received.

That he would lie about a Gaza ceasefire during his kiddish act is an insult to the 2.3 million Palestinians crying out to the world for help. Israel’s genocide, sanctioned, abetted, and fully supported by Biden, has resulted in the malevolent destruction of 80% of Gaza’s private and public structures. Schools, churches, mosques, historic and cultural sites, universities, and hospitals are being pulverized for the sole purpose of ethnically cleansing Gaza of its inhabitants. That aid trucks are not allowed to deliver much-needed food and medicines adds heaps of heinous insults to heaps of contemptible injuries goes against Talmudic, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu values – which, across the globe – are declining and are currently in short supply.

And the West, silent during the Holocaust years, is exposing the paucity of its moral principles. Germany stands out as a prime example. But then did the West, beginning with the Crusades and culminating with its colonization of the world, ever possess a moral compass? And the vast majority of those who suffered during the Holocaust are now advocating for a Final Gaza Solution to their cousins, the destitute people of Palestine. The few Jewish voices of conscience who’ve spoken out and stood up in words and deeds to the Gaza carnage are those who’ve taken their religious teachings seriously. They are the ones who will inherit the earth.

In the West, the silence is deafening.

So, Mr. Joe, from where I stand, I see you as a doddering senior citizen whose callous disregard for the more than 13,000+ children crying from their graves and the countless thousands from under the rubble is abhorrent. I also see the hypocritical, xenophobic, banal, and hateful side of your character. And the hundreds of thousands of surviving children who’ve been forced to shelter in tents and shacks, with no heat, clean water, health care, or nourishment, Mr. Joe, will remember you as the heir to Hitler’s legacy. You’ve helped create 2.3 million emaciated, starved, and anemic children and adults with life-long traumas that will haunt them for years to come.

Killing people standing in line to receive meager food rations (if they are lucky), bombing ambulances, holding up and bombing trucks laden with food, medicine, much-needed diapers and feminine hygiene items, and looting vacated homes is a daily occurrence. That Israeli soldiers are sending selfies of their blowing up structures in a jovial manner is abhorrent. In a video clip and prior to blowing up the entire  Gaza University campus structures, an Israeli soldier invites the viewer to observe the result of his action: pressing a detonator, the footage shows how the entire campus is blown up and collapsed to rubble. Bragging, the soldier then tells his viewers “Now, this is an open university.”

Mr. Joe, during the past 8 years you’ve repeatedly cited the tragic death of your first wife and infant daughter and made numerous references to your son Beau’s battle with cranial cancer. And in a January 2020 MSNBC interview, you stated: “You’d be surprised at the number of people who come up to me … I mean hundreds of people over time. They’ll throw their arms around me, men and women and say ‘ I just lost my son, I just lost my father, I just lost my wife’… hundreds of people … throw their arms over me to tell  about the loss of their sons, daughters.”

Today, Mr. Joe, 2.3 million destitute Palestinians are telling you that amidst a landscape pocked with deep craters, collapsed concrete and rebar, and a ravaged landscape, they are losing newborn babies, infants, toddlers, teenagers, mothers, fathers, grandparents, entire families, and entire bloodlines numbering in the hundreds. They are telling you that some 110 Journalists have been deliberately killed lest they expose your complicity in the daily carnage and the misery inflicted on medical staff as tanks shatter large hospital compounds and as scores of doctors, nurses, and health professionals are arrested, humiliated, tortured, and often killed.  Surely the US drones you’ve sent over the Gaza skies relay footage of Israeli tanks running over dead bodies and running amok in cemeteries, digging up and desecrating the remains of the deceased buried during 76 years of occupation and humiliation.

And to Right to Lifers and Christian Evangelicals, especially the rabid American stripe, do you even care that pregnant women are delivering dead fetuses and losing their newborn babies after their first gasp of air? Are you bothered by the daily images of babies and children, draped in white plastic bags and deposited in mass graves?

Hunger, thirst, starvation, homelessness, disease, and the stench of death emanating from human corpses left to decompose as maggots lay waste to what was once a life but is now left to rot while competing dogs are eating the remains of the Gaza Palestinians, noble men, women, and children who’ve been dealt an egregious sentence by history, their Jewish cousins, and the corrupt, theocratic, and tyrannical Arab (with just a few exceptions) so-called brothers, and the so-called civilized world.

The many exceptions in the American and world Jewish communities, including many in Israeli society, stand head and shoulders above those who profess to follow Christ.

Mr. Joe, your son Beau died from cancer caused by the Iraq burn pits, a war for which you voted wholeheartedly. Please stop and think what a war you refuse to stop is doing to 2.3 million beggared, dispossessed, and pauperized human beings and their relatives in Gaza, the West Bank and around the world. And please especially think about the 1.2 million suffering Gaza children on whom you turned your back.

And finally Mr. Joe, in his powerful painting, The Scream, the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch poured his heart out and voiced the anguished agony of millions of destitute human beings across time and geography.

Walking into the distance on the boardwalk that stretches into the background is a nicely dressed couple oblivious to the anxious, tormented, distraught, traumatized, and distorted human figure whose scream is the prototype scream of all the oppressed, brutalized, tormented human beings of the world, especially in Gaza.

In the 4th chapter of Genesis God admonishes Cain with the following: “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

Mr. Joe, while Gaza’s blood cries out from the ground….. Enjoy Your Ice Cream.


“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

Raouf J. Halaby is a Professor Emeritus of English and Art. He is a writer, photographer, sculptor, an avid gardener, and a peace activist. halabys7181@outlook.com