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Joe Biden and His Jell-O-Clad Commitment to Israel

The White House is trying to bend Israel’s strategic warfighting to save Biden’s 2024 campaign.

President Joe Biden’s latest strategy to coerce Israel into handling the fight with Hamas in the Gaza Strip his way has been revealed. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that the administration has paused critical weapon shipments to Israel. How’s that for “ironclad commitment” to an ally?

White House Throws Israel Under the Bus

“Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,” Biden said in a recent interview. “I made it clear that if they go into Rafah – they haven’t gone in Rafah yet – if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem.”

Biden and his national security team have been trying to manage and direct Israel’s fight against Hamas since the horrendous October 7 attack on southern Israel. Remember, this is the same crowd that gave the world that impeccably executed disaster of a withdrawal from Afghanistan. Why should Israel listen to US counsel on how to prosecute its fight with Hamas?

When asked whether the Biden administration was using the proposed hold on weapons promised as a tool to get Israel’s compliance, the White House press secretary verbally dodged and weaved:

“So, look, I’m not going to speak to the — I’m not going to speak to the — the press reportings [sic] out there. What I can say is — and I said this yesterday; you’ve heard this from my NSC counterparts as well — is that our — our support for Israel continues to be ironclad — Israel’s security to be — continues to be ironclad … [We want to know] how they’re going to meet the humanitarian needs of civilians in Rafah — that’s something, as you know, that’s been certainly a concern for us — and how to operate differently against Hamas there, and — and — than any — than they have elsewhere in Gaza.”

While the White House danced around its duplicitous rhetoric toward Israel, over on Capitol Hill, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was spilling the beans. During a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing on May 8, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) said the administration had halted shipments of American-made munitions to Israel, and he asked the secretary if this action sent the wrong message to Israel and emboldened the Iran-sponsored terrorist group Hamas. Austin responded, “First of all, our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad … Again, we haven’t made any decision; we did pause as we re-evaluated some of the security assistance we are providing … Again, as we have assessed the situation, we paused one shipment of high-payload munitions.”

But what were those munitions? It turns out the Biden administration has held up the very precision-guided weapons that allow for the least collateral damage to and loss of Palestinian civilian life: Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), which are highly precise to avoid killing or injuring civilians that might be close to the target. “As a result of that review, we have paused one shipment of weapons last week. It consists of 1,800 2,000-lb bombs and 1,700 500-lb bombs. We are especially focused on the end-use of the 2,000-lb bombs and the impact they could have in dense urban settings as we have seen in other parts of Gaza,” an unnamed US government official told Reuters.

White House and Pentagon Aren’t on the Same Page

It’s not surprising that while the White House spins the press corps in one direction, a key defense agency spins in another. You might remember at the beginning of the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland offered to provide critically needed MIG-29 fighters to the Ukraine Air Force. Secretary of State Antony Blinken “told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan the transfer of the fighters got the ‘green light,'” Liberty Nation reported. Two days later, Secretary of Defense Austin put the kibosh on the deal.

There’s no mystery why the White House has cut Israel loose. There is an abiding belief that the Biden administration can in no way sacrifice its political aspirations for a cause, no matter how noble. Let some Hamas-supporting college students protest and disrupt life on university campuses, and the Biden administration caves like a cheap suit. Apparently, the Biden national security team believes that, no matter the circumstances, war can be fought without civilian casualties. The United States has never been able to do it – or even been required to. The message the Biden administration is sending, not just to Israel but any nation that thinks the United States has its back, is that as long as there is no political blowback, we’re with you 100%. But if something goes wrong, you’ve got our Jell-O-clad commitment.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliate.

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