Latest News 06-03-2024 12:02 6 Views

Biden under fire for Middle East policy; critics charge he’s preventing ‘Israel from winning’

JERUSALEM — President Biden was noncommittal Tuesday when asked about his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying it's 'like it’s always been.' Yet many, including former President Trump, claim Biden is deserting Israel.

Asked earlier in the day by 'Fox and Friends' anchor Brian Kilmeade if he believes Biden is 'in the process of abandoning Israel,' Trump said, I 'do believe that.' 

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have seemingly ramped up pressure on Israel over the last few weeks to accept an immediate six-week cease-fire with Hamas in exchange for the release of the over 130 hostages held in Gaza. 

'Biden has been advancing a policy that prevents Israel from winning — and so guarantees Israel is defeated — almost since the outset of the war,' Caroline Glick, an Israeli-American expert on the Middle East told Fox News Digital.

The, 'Two steps he took at the very early stages placed enormous obstacles before Israel. First, he blocked Israel from taking the most effective action, laying siege to Gaza. Had Israel blocked all food, water, fuel and medicines from entering Gaza, the people of Gaza would have turned on Hamas within a few short weeks.'

Hamas terrorists invaded Israel Oct. 7 and slaughtered 1,200 people, including over 30 Americans. The jihadi terrorist movement kidnapped more than 240 people and transported them to the Gaza Strip.

Many Israeli military experts see a six-week cease-fire as dangerous because it could be part of a slippery slope toward a permanent stoppage of Israel’s war campaign and leave Hamas in power. Netanyahu has told the Israeli public his aim is 'total victory' over Hamas.

'The hostage deal is in the hands of Hamas right now because there's been an offer, a rational offer,' Biden said Tuesday of a cease-fire. 'The Israelis have agreed to it.' He added that the Israelis are cooperating, and he is pushing to 'get more aid in Gaza.' Biden’s goal is reportedly to secure a cease-fire before Ramadan begins next week.

When asked about Harris’ strongly worded speech Sunday calling for an immediate cease-fire, Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Fox News Digital, 'The vice president’s comments were only marginally different than what the president himself has been saying about the urgency of reaching a hostage-for-prisoners ‘temporary cease-fire.’ 

'More importantly, I don’t see the administration turning anti-Israel, even as the chorus of concern about the close U.S. support for Israeli war operations continues to get louder in American politics.'

Satloff noted that the campaign in Michigan to win over Muslim Arabs to vote undecided in the primary was hyped beyond the reality of the numbers who voted 'uncommitted' to send Biden a message about his support for Israel. 

'A dispassionate look at Michigan shows that the ‘uncommitted’ campaign was not nearly as successful as its advocates wanted and that was for an easy primary vote, not a November election vote that will have real significance for the future of the country.'

'Could the administration adopt a tougher approach on Israel, especially as regards the prospect of a Rafah campaign, as spring comes and summer approaches? It’s certainly possible, but my view is that the five months of stalwart support — far longer than Ronald Reagan gave Menachem Begin in 1982 or George W. Bush gave Ehud Olmert in 2006 — earns him the benefit of the doubt,' Satloff said.

The reported clash between Biden and Netanyahu over Israel’s desire to defeat Hamas is heating up but it is unclear if there will be a similar showdown between Biden and Netanyahu along the lines of former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who chastised the then U.S. senator for threatening to stop aid to Israel in 1982. 

The quote attributed to Begin states, in part, 'Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history.'

Glick continued her criticism of the Biden administration, noting that it refused to 'oppose Egypt's policy of preventing Gazans from fleeing Gaza through the border with Egypt. Had the Gazans been allowed to flee, there would have been no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and the war would have ended months ago with a total Israeli victory.'

Egypt said Tuesday the cease-fire talks have largely collapsed. Hamas has refused to provide a list of the hostages and rejected the proposed cease-fire package.

'Biden has been advancing these policies, which are effectively pro-Hamas and hostile to Israel, primarily because his administration's policies are crafted by officials who hate Israel and have a history of support for Hamas,' Glick claimed.

Adding to the friction between Biden and Netanyahu, Israel’s main opposition leader and war cabinet member, Benny Gantz, met with Secretary of State Blinken on Tuesday in Washington, where according to a State Department readout, the two discussed the hostages, humanitarian aid and the implementation of a humanitarian plan by Israel before any IDF operation into Rafah should occur. Israeli media reported that Netanyahu had not approved Gantz's trip to Washington and was said to be infuriated by it. 

During Tuesday's State Department briefing, spokesman Matthew Miller reiterated the administration's support for 'Israel’s objective of defeating Hamas militarily.' He also underlined the Biden administration's support for a two-state solution, noting that, 'We believe the ultimate way to resolve the longstanding conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with real security guarantees for Israel, and that’s what we’re working to try to achieve.'

David Wurmser, a former senior adviser for nonproliferation and Middle East strategy for former Vice President Dick Cheney, told Fox News Digital that 'deep down, Biden still has some residual liberal views of Israel that are generally favorable.'

Wurmser, a keen observer of the personnel factor within the Biden administration's Mideast policy, said, 'Biden is swayed by people around him' and that he is a 'pliable' person.  

'The real issue is everybody else,' he warned. 'Staffers who are not pro-Israel and would sell out Israel.' 

Wurmser noted that progressive control of the Democratic Party’s structure 'is convincing the political leadership of the Democratic Party to abandon Israel or at least distance itself from Israel. The administration is moving toward throwing Israel under the bus.'

The State Department did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital questions by publication time.


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