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Joe Biden’s Political Future Is Not Israel’s Problem

Political needs first?

The Biden administration is pushing a deal in Gaza that doesn’t seem to solve any problems. Hamas wants a permanent ceasefire so that it can reconstitute its fighting forces and continue to attack Israel, while the Jewish state wants a pause in the fighting to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and to accede to the wishes of Washington for secure distribution of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian refugees in Gaza. But does President Joe Biden’s deal help anyone but Joe Biden?

Biden Puts His Political Needs First

After the White House’s constant meddling in the war between the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and the terrorist group Hamas, Biden’s team has little to high-five about. Running up the flagpole now is a three-phase plan the president announced on May 31:

  • Phase one establishes a six-week “full and complete” ceasefire, including withdrawal of the IDF from populated areas of Gaza. It calls for “a release of a number of hostages – including women, the elderly, the wounded – in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.” The hostages would include Americans.
  • Phase two would include the “release of all remaining hostages, including male soldiers; Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza.” Then came the notably naïve comment: “… as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments,” the “temporary ceasefire would be permanent.” Remember, on October 7, 2023, a Hamas barrage of 6,000 rockets and missiles combined with a murderous ground attack that left more than 1,200 innocent Israelis dead took place during a ceasefire to which Hamas had agreed.
  • Phase three would involve “a major reconstruction plan for Gaza.”

The Biden team has been pushing the plan hard, putting pressure on neighboring Arab countries and other Middle Eastern nations to support it. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was on the phone with his counterparts in “Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Algeria, according to the State Department,” reported the Associated Press, but so far the persuasion blitz has had an unremarkable impact.

Biden seems to willfully ignore that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists “that Israel will not stop fighting in Gaza until Hamas’s governing and military capabilities are destroyed.” Whether Netanyahu has faith in the Biden administration at this point is also questionable. The NYT explained that “political complications have given rise to questions about where the Israelis truly stand on the ceasefire plan outlined by Mr. Biden — even though the president has described them as the plan’s author.”

More likely, the Biden proposal is wishful thinking. Or, as The Wall Street Journal noted, the White House is trying to “box both Israel and Hamas into talks on halting a war that neither side seems in any rush to end.” Further, in a recent Time magazine interview, when asked if he thought that Netanyahu was prolonging the war to shore up his “own political self-preservation,” Biden obfuscated: “I’m not going to comment on that. There is every reason for people to draw that conclusion.”

The Wall Street Journal noted: “For Biden, the continuing war in Gaza is a political liability before presidential elections in the fall, dividing his base, which has criticized him for supporting Israel too much or too little.” What the WSJ is essentially saying is that the president views nearly every issue through a political lens. Setting the timetable for the disastrous retreat from Afghanistan in 2021 is a good example. The president initially wanted to make September 11 the withdrawal date. When it became apparent that the 9/11 anniversary was garnering a politically questionable response, he moved the date to August 31 – another bad decision.

The long eight months of the Israel-Hamas war have dampened the enthusiasm of the Biden administration to support the IDF objectives. Pushing for a ceasefire without the elimination of Hamas is simply setting the stage for continuous terrorist violence against Israel.

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

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