U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hates the question in all forms. "Do Jewish lives matter more than Palestinian and Muslim lives?” he was recently asked on a global stage. "No, period,” he replied, visibly startled.

His response evidently satisfied nobody. "Do we have a double standard? The answer is no,” he had to answer yet again this week, while launching his department’s annual report on human rights. It documents violations across the world, including abuses committed by both Hamas and the Israeli Army.

The reason these awkward questions keep coming is that much of the world simply assumes that the administration of President Joe Biden does have a double standard — according to which the U.S. condemns or punishes abuses by adversaries, such as Russia, but ignores or excuses those by friends, such as Israel. Correct or not, that perception is widespread not only in Muslim countries and the Global South but also closer to home. It’s why American students are protesting on college campuses — for both sides, but disproportionately for the Palestinians.