Father Lobbies Blinken During Condolence Call

Suspend aid to Israel, John Flickinger tells secretary of state
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2024 7:05 PM CDT
Father Lobbies Blinken During Condolence Call
This undated photo provided by John Flickinger shows Sandy Leclerc, left, and Jacob Flickinger with their son, Jasper. Flickinger was one of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers unloading food from their vehicles when they were killed by Israeli airstrikes April 1 in Gaza.   (John Flickinger via AP)

Antony Blinken was on the receiving end of a bit of intense lobbying when he made a condolence call to the father of a humanitarian worker killed in Gaza by an Israeli strike. "If the United States threatened to suspend aid to Israel, maybe my son would be alive today," John Flickinger told the secretary of state, the AP reports. Jacob Flickinger, 33, was one of seven World Central Kitchen workers who died in the airstrike on April 1. His father said Blinken did engage with him Saturday on the issue.

Flickinger said Blinken assured him that President Biden made clear to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the allies' relationship could change unless care is taken to protect the civilians in Gaza. "I'm hopeful that this is the last straw, that the United States will suspend aid and will take meaningful action to leverage change in the way Israel is conducting this war," Flickinger said. Blinken also spoke to Sandy Leclerc, Jacob Flickinger's partner, per the Guardian. They have a 1-year-old son, Jasper. John Flickinger described Jacob, who had dual US-Canadian citizenship, as larger than life. "He died doing what he loved, which was serving and helping others," his father said. (More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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