“President Biden’s Support for Israel Wanes as Israeli Forces Expand Assault on Southern Gaza”
For the past two months, President Biden has firmly supported Israel’s right to defend itself, especially in light of the recent terrorist attack by Hamas. However, as Israeli forces advance into southern Gaza, questions are arising around when President Biden’s backing will be exhausted.
While the Biden administration claims to have influenced Israel’s actions to a certain extent in recent weeks, discussions between Washington and Jerusalem have become increasingly tense. Additionally, messages from top administration officials have grown sharper in the past few days.
The US State Department has imposed visa bans on Israeli settlers in the West Bank who have committed violence against Palestinians, which has been interpreted as a rebuke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although Israel continues to receive support from the Biden administration, the friction between the two is becoming more evident.
As the military conflict continues, President Biden has been cautious with his words, leaving it to his subordinates to express tougher messages in public. Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken have both emphasized the need for Israel to protect innocent civilians. However, Biden’s measured responses have drawn criticism from both ends of the political spectrum.
A former Middle East special envoy, Martin S. Indyk, interpreted the administration’s public campaign as a sign of underlying concerns that haven’t been effectively communicated in private. Critics of Biden’s handling of the situation suggest that despite his vocal support, the Biden administration has not taken substantial action to halt the conflict.
In the midst of these tensions, President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu continue to maintain regular communication, with Biden sending a parade of officials to meet with Israeli officials. However, the two leaders are at odds over the long-term plan for Gaza, with Biden advocating for a revitalized Palestinian Authority to take over the area while Netanyahu insists that only Israel can ensure Gaza remains demilitarized.
As Israeli forces continue their offensive in southern Gaza, many lives have been lost, emphasizing both the human toll of the conflict and the immense challenges in safeguarding civilians. The Biden administration stresses that their strategy has yielded tangible results, including preventing Israel from widening the conflict, reopening Gaza to humanitarian aid, and curbing civilian casualties.
In the coming days, the pressure on President Biden to address the escalating situation in Gaza is likely to intensify, with repeated calls for the US to make concrete efforts to end the bloodshed and establish a path towards peace.