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columnIsrael at War

360 degrees of hostility: The Biden administration and Israel

Why is the United States continuing to hamper the ability of the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza?

Parents of Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip and other activists protest near the Kerem Shalom border crossing in southern Israel against trucks of humanitarian aid that Hamas takes for its own use, Jan. 9, 2024. Photo by Flash90.
Parents of Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip and other activists protest near the Kerem Shalom border crossing in southern Israel against trucks of humanitarian aid that Hamas takes for its own use, Jan. 9, 2024. Photo by Flash90.
Caroline B. Glick
Caroline B. Glick is the senior contributing editor of Jewish News Syndicate and host of the “Caroline Glick Show” on JNS. She is also the diplomatic commentator for Israel’s Channel 14, as well as a columnist for Newsweek. Glick is the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington and a lecturer at Israel’s College of Statesmanship.

The Mothers of IDF Soldiers group led a demonstration last week of army mothers, reservists in the Israel Defense Forces, bereaved families and other concerned citizens outside the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. They demanded that President Joe Biden stop leveraging power to force Israel to resupply Hamas.

The following day, hundreds of Israelis, including parents of soldiers, families of hostages and terror victims gathered outside Ashdod Port. For hours, they blocked trucks laden with supplies for Gaza from exiting the port. Activists have been blocking trucks from entering Gaza via the Kerem Shalom and Nitzana border crossings for more than two weeks.

Speaking to the crowd in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, Shifra Shahar, who runs a nonprofit organization that cares for the needs of soldiers, addressed her remarks to Israel’s leaders:

“Government of Israel, defense minister, IDF chief of staff, get ahold of yourselves!

“No other nation feeds and sustains its enemy! It’s truly an Israeli start-up.

“We had elections last year. I don’t recall voting for [U.S. Secretary of State Antony] Blinken! Blinken is sitting in the war cabinet and protecting the interests of my enemy. … We have sons in Gaza. We have sons fighting. The entry of the trucks endangers them, prolongs the war, increases the number of casualties and delays the return of the hostages!

“They tell me, ‘There are constraints.’ He who is constrained doesn’t win the war.

“They tell me, ‘The Americans are threatening not to provide us with ammunition.’

“To this, I say, if we were besieging them, we wouldn’t need ammunition! The war would end. They’d be screaming for help, returning the hostages and the war would end!”

The rising expressions of rage at the Biden administration from ordinary citizens are a testament to the shock and anger Israelis feel at what they perceive as a betrayal of Israel’s most basic interests by Biden and his top advisers.

Three and a half months ago, when Biden came to Israel, most Israelis couldn’t imagine his warm embrace would transform into a torrent of hostile actions.

At the height of Biden’s emotional visit, he gave a speech to the people of Israel: “I come to Israel with a single message. You are not alone. You are not alone. As long as the United States stands—and we will stand forever—we will not let you ever be alone.”

For the overwhelming majority of Israelis, Biden’s declaration sounded like a bankable guarantee. But for the few with more sensitive ears, it sounded like a threat—that he and his administration would never leave Israel alone to fight the war to victory.

As the weeks and months passed, it turned out that the latter had it right. The administration has never let Israel alone to win the war whose outcome will determine whether the Jewish state can long survive. At every turn, in every quarter, the United States is constraining, undermining, subverting and coercing Israel to make moves that, as Shahar said, are “against the interests of the citizens of Israel.”

Ceasefire agreement

The details of the hostages-for-terrorists-and-ceasefire talks that CIA director William Burns has been overseeing appear to involve Israel releasing from its prisons to Judea, Samaria and Gaza hundreds or perhaps thousands of Palestinian terrorists, including mass murderers. The initial reports asserted that the terms for the deal were 100-250 terrorists for each of the 136 hostages.

These terrorists can be expected to ignite Judea and Samaria and Israel’s major cities in a terror conflagration that would make the Oct. 7 slaughter look like a walk in the park. Terrorists released to Gaza can be expected to rebuild Hamas’s terror empire in the area.

The released terrorists and their comrades on the ground will be able to do these things because, in addition to requiring Israel to free them in exchange for at least some of the 136 Israeli hostages Hamas has been holding since Oct. 7, Burns’s deal requires Israel to end its military operations in Gaza for between one to two months. Based on interviews with Egyptian and Qatari officials involved in the hostage talks, both The Wall Street Journal and Qatari media have reported that the United States is telling Hamas through Egypt and Qatar that the deal is a trap for Israel. By compelling Israel to end its operations in Gaza for such a long period, Burns expects that the Netanyahu government will be unable to reinstate Israel’s operations when the hostages-for-terrorists swap is concluded.

The United States is intent on reaching a ceasefire because the Biden administration remains committed to its strategic objective of appeasing Iran at Israel’s expense. Over the past several days, the U.S. media has reported claims by U.S. intelligence officials asserting that Iran is not responsible for the war being waged by its proxies Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and the Iranian-controlled Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria. U.S. intelligence officials insist these terror armies are attacking the United States and Israel because Israel is fighting Hamas in Gaza. If Israel were to stop fighting, all the troubles would end.

From an Israeli perspective, the prospect of ending the war without dismantling Hamas is an unacceptable outcome. If Hamas is able to survive after conducting its one-day Holocaust in southern Israel, not only will Hamas be able to proclaim victory but Iran and its terror proxies surrounding Israel will be emboldened to strike Israel even more aggressively on multiple fronts.

Humanitarian Aid

On Jan. 23, Shin Bet director Ronen Bar informed Israel’s security cabinet that 60% to 70% of the so-called humanitarian aid entering Gaza daily either goes directly into Hamas’s hands or is commandeered by Hamas terrorists for their use. Bar’s admission bolstered eyewitness testimonies by Palestinians claiming that Hamas seized the aid trucks and footage from the Egyptian border with Gaza showing Hamas terrorists shooting at civilians seeking access to the supplies.

Under such circumstances, it is clear that the Biden administration’s pointed and ever-escalating demands that Israel permit more or less unlimited entry of supply-laden trucks to Gaza amounts to a demand that Israel resupply its enemy in the midst of war. As Shahar said, the constant supply of food, water, and, most critically, fuel to Hamas has enabled the terror group to maintain its presence in its underground warren of terror tunnels and continue to hold the Israeli hostages. The resupply also endangers Israel’s soldiers, who are forced to fight inside tunnels where Hamas has a tactical advantage.

From a strategic perspective, requiring Israel to resupply Hamas enables Hamas to retain its governing control over Gaza. So long as Hamas controls the supplies entering Gaza, it controls the distribution of those supplies. This compels the population to remain beholden to Hamas and not work with Israel to end the war by turning in Hamas terrorists or helping IDF forces locate and rescue the hostages.

Egyptian Border

The only way to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza without assisting Hamas is to provide them with the same right afforded to those in war zones worldwide: The right to leave the war zone for third countries. From the outset of the war, the Biden administration has strongly opposed Israel’s efforts to persuade the Egyptian government to permit the people of Gaza to leave the area through the Rafah border crossing. In a speech last month in Tel Aviv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reasserted U.S. opposition to permitting Gazans to leave the area.

“The United States unequivocally rejects any proposals advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza,” he exhorted.

It isn’t that the Gazans have nowhere to go. Since Oct. 7, multiple countries, including Chechnya, Turkey, Scotland and Canada have stated their willingness to permit Gazans to seek refuge in their countries. Qatar, which serves as Hamas’s state sponsor, is another option. Rafah is a short drive from El Arish International Airport, where these refugees would be able to fly to third countries.

According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Gazans are currently forced to pay $10,000 in bribes to Egyptian border guards to cross into Egypt for refuge. Moreover, as of Feb. 4, the IDF assesses that Hamas has changed its tactics. Rather than fight IDF forces primarily from tunnels, Hamas is increasingly attacking Israeli units in Gaza and bombing Israel with rockets from within humanitarian safe zones where hundreds of thousands of Gazans are now sheltering.

Given the circumstances, the U.S. position requires Israel to choose between defeating Hamas at a profound cost to civilian lives or being defeated itself.

Weapons Supply

On Jan. 28, NBC News reported that the administration is considering slowing supplies of various weapons, including 155 mm artillery rounds and joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs) to Israel to compel Israel to scale back its ground operations in Gaza and permit more supplies to enter the area.

Although the White House denied the reports, the IDF has been compelled to conserve its ammunition on the ground due to shortages in supplies, indicating that the United States is slow-walking its supply of key armaments to Israel. This is of major concern, particularly given the near certainty of escalation along the northern front, where Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon is moving quickly towards a full-scale war with Israel.

Palestinian Statehood

For Israelis, Oct. 7 was an illusion-shattering event. One of the primary illusions shattered was the two-state paradigm. Hamas, which won the 2006 Palestinian elections—the last elections held by the rival Fatah faction’s Palestinian Authority—has maintained the support of the majority of Palestinians in Gaza and Judea and Samaria throughout the intervening years. On Oct. 7, it was Hamas that initiated and led the slaughter of 1,200 Israelis, but thousands of Gaza civilians followed them into Israel and were full participants in the atrocities; including murder, rape, torture, kidnapping and looting.

Avida Bachar survived the massacre at Kibbutz Be’eri, which saw Palestinians murder 130 people, including his wife and son, who were murdered next to Bachar and his daughter in the family’s safe room. Crews who recovered the bodies of the victims in Be’eri reported that 80% of the bodies showed signs of torture.

Be’eri is a kibbutz identified with the secular far-left. Its members included prominent peace activists. The surviving members have been forced to come to terms with the atrocities they suffered.

In an interview last month with Israel’s Channel 14, Bachar explained, “We need to ask if we are capable of coexisting there. The 7th of October showed that the level of evil there means that coexistence is apparently impossible. We can’t do it anymore. Because we gave them everything. They even worked in our community. And in the end, we were proven wrong. … We reached the point where their children burned us alive in our shelters. The older ones shot us through the doors. And anyone who tried to jump out the window—they shot him again. Their elderly, on wheelchairs, and their handicapped arrived at Kibbutz Be’eri, and they looted us and kidnapped us as hostages. We need to understand this situation. And when a person has infinite demands at negotiations, apparently, either we won’t be here or they won’t be here. We mustn’t leave.”

The overwhelming majority of Israelis agree with Bachar. Polls taken since Oct. 7 show that three-quarters of Israelis oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state. 70% of Israelis who voted for opposition parties, which include parties on the center and far-left, the Arab nationalist party and the Islamist party, believe that there is no chance of peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians.

This position places the Israeli people, rather than simply the government, at odds with the Biden administration, which since the outset of the war has insisted that its strategic goal is to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza and Judea and Samaria under the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. The P.A., for its part, not only refuses to condemn the Oct. 7 slaughter but seeks to form a unity government with Hamas. Fatah forces in Gaza participated alongside Hamas terrorists in the slaughter of Oct. 7 and posted videos of themselves killing Israelis on their Telegram pages.

Biden and his advisers state regularly that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people. But the Palestinian people disagree wholeheartedly. According to Palestinian pollsters, 75% of Palestinians support Hamas.

Last week, it was reported that the State Department is considering unilateral U.S. recognition of a “State of Palestine.” Such a move would not merely be an act of hostility against Israel. It would constitute a material breach of the Oslo Accords, of which the U.S. is a signatory. The agreements signed in the 1990s by Israel and the Palestinians under U.S. aegis barred the Palestinians from unilaterally forming a state or using the international arena as a means to settle the Palestinian conflict with Israel. Under the Oslo Accords, all agreements between Israel and the Palestinians must be reached through bilateral negotiations.

Foreign Workers

As Bachar noted, among the participants in the Oct. 7 slaughter were workers who had been employed by the assaulted kibbutzim, in some cases for decades. Those workers provided precise intelligence on the kibbutzim down to the number of people per household, the location of communal weapons stores, and the homes of soldiers and security forces, among other things.

Polling of Palestinians in Gaza and Judea and Samaria found that more than 80% of the Palestinians support the massacres of Oct. 7. Due to the massive levels of public support for the massacres, and the service Palestinian workers provided Hamas as intelligence gatherers, the Israeli government passed a decision barring Palestinians from working in Israel. To replace the Palestinians, the government decided to permit foreign workers from friendly countries, including India, to enter Israel on work permits. Economy Minister Nir Barkat finalized an agreement on the entry of Indian workers with his Indian counterpart.

Last week, the Israeli media reported that the Biden administration has intervened to block the replacement of Palestinian workers with Indian and other foreign workers. According to a report in Israel’s Calcalist, Cindy Dyer, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons wrote a letter to her Israeli counterpart and the Justice Ministry insisting that the use of manpower companies to import foreign workers risks breaching bans on human trafficking and exploitation, and demanded that Israel not import laborers through manpower companies. Since these companies are the primary means to bring in foreign laborers, the impact of the State Department intervention has been to place an insurmountable obstacle in Israel’s path to replacing Palestinian workers who overwhelmingly support the genocide of the Jews of Israel.

Sanctioning Israeli Residents of Judea and Samaria

According to Israel police data from the Samaria and Judea District, in 2023 Palestinians carried out 5,600 terrorist attacks against Israelis. During the same period, Israelis carried out 60 acts of violence against Palestinians. IDF data indicates that violent incidents involving Israelis and Palestinians in October 2023 were down 31% from the same month in 2022 and violent incidents involving Israelis and Palestinians were down 55% in November 2023 from the previous November.

All the same, last Thursday, President Biden issued an Executive Order that imposes sweeping economic sanctions on Israelis deemed by the secretary of state or secretary of treasury to be engaging in so-called “settler violence.” The sanctions, which obviously represent a flagrant violation of Israeli sovereignty and an expression of utter contempt for Israel’s criminal justice system, not only freeze the assets of those accused of acting in a prohibited manner. It bars anyone from having any economic transactions with those sanctioned individuals. The Executive Order was issued against four Israeli citizens who have not been accused or convicted of any felonies. The determination of who to sanction appears to be informed entirely by unsubstantiated allegations presented by Palestinian advocacy groups that do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. All the same, fearful of U.S. sanctions, Bank Leumi and Israel’s postal bank informed two of the sanctioned individuals that they had frozen their bank accounts.

Visiting Yinon Levy, a rancher whose accounts in Bank Leumi were frozen on Sunday, MK Zvi Succot said, “There is no evidence to the allegations, there is no indictment, criminal record or a record with the Shin Bet. All it is is that leftists don’t like that Jews are building a farm.”

Commentator Stephen Leavitt put it succinctly: “Biden cancelled sanctions against Iran and shifted them over to Israel.”

It is worth noting that the Biden administration has placed no comparable sanctions on either Palestinian individuals who engage in actual acts of terrorism against Israelis or on the P.A., which incites, finances and sponsors terrorist attacks against Israel. It has not placed sanctions on the P.A.’s security services whose members have routinely engaged in terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. To the contrary, the administration stopped enforcing the 2018 Taylor Force Act, which bars the United States from funding the P.A. so long as it maintains its “pay-for-slay” policy of paying salaries and annuities to imprisoned terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.

This Jews-only Executive Order works to turn sanctioned Israeli Jews who live in Judea and Samaria into pariahs in their own communities and to criminalize the half-million Israeli Jews who live in Judea and Samaria. But it does something much bigger as well: It advances the slander that Israelis are the moral equivalent of Hamas terrorists and the civilian lynch mobs that accompany them in their slaughter of Israeli Jews.

Application of Leahy Law Against IDF in Judea and Samaria

The week after the Oct. 7 atrocities, ahead of Friday prayers, the P.A.’s Religious Affairs Ministry distributed guidance to P.A.-controlled mosques throughout Judea and Samaria calling for worshippers to attack Israeli communities.

Last week, the IDF killed four Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in Jenin who were planning just such an operation. Their planned attack was one of many the IDF has prevented at the last moment since Oct 7.

Since the Hamas-led invasion of southern Israel, IDF units in Judea and Samaria have killed more than 500 terrorists and arrested thousands more. And they are just a drop in the bucket. The number of active terror cells continues to grow.

Despite the acute danger this terror nexus poses to the lives of the 500,000 Israelis who live in the areas and millions more in Jerusalem and central Israel, the Biden administration is acting to intimidate Israel into ending its counterterror operations in Judea and Samaria.

This week, the Israeli media reported that the State Department has begun investigating IDF units operating in Judea and Samaria for possible violations of the Leahy Law. The Leahy Law requires militaries receiving U.S. military aid to abide by the same human-rights standard that the U.S. military applies in its operations.

The constant allegation made by U.S. officials, spurred by members of the so-called progressive “Squad” of progressive, anti-Israel lawmakers in Congress, is that IDF operations in Gaza are inherently suspect. According to the reports, the State Department sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry a month ago threatening to deny military equipment to several individual units operating in Judea and Samaria. Israel has two months to submit its response to the State Department’s accusations.

The underlying assumption at the base of the accusations is even more dire than the allegations themselves. The United States demands that Israel account for every operation posits that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is inherently illegitimate, and that so are its counterterror operations in the areas. This view, which accords with the administration’s demand that no Palestinian leave Gaza and that Israel seize no buffer zones in Gaza to protect the Western Negev, stands at the base of the administration’s refusal to reconsider the strategic logic, viability and morality of its demand that Israel support the formation of a Palestinian state in its heartland, whose leaders and citizens are unified in their commitment to Israel’s annihilation.

Practically speaking, Washington’s wielding of the Leahy Law against IDF units in Judea and Samaria intimidates IDF commanders, who now need to be concerned that they will be sanctioned for their efforts to defend their country and its citizens against Israel’s enemies. 

Undermining Israel’s Political Stability

Speaking last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Blinken insisted that the key to peace in the Middle East is the establishment of a Palestinian state. Despite the fact that Palestinians are near-universal in their desire to annihilate Israel and their rejection of the U.S. goal of a two-state solution that would see the formation of a Palestinian Arab state living in peace with the Jewish state of Israel, Blinken insisted that “Arab leaders, Palestinian leaders” have prepared their people for Palestinian statehood. “I think the challenge now, the question now is: Is Israeli society prepared to engage in these questions? Is it prepared to have that mindset?”

Israelis, of course, have engaged in the question of Palestinian statehood. After the atrocities that the Palestinians carried out on Oct. 7—and the full mobilization of Palestinian society in Gaza, and Judea and Samaria, on behalf of Hamas’s war of genocide—Israelis recognized that there was no prospect for peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians. As Direct Polls revealed last month, 81% of Israelis, including Arab Israelis, say there is no prospect for peace with the Palestinians. A whopping 88% of Israelis do not trust the Palestinian leadership.

Blinken, however, has no interest in Israeli public sentiment. He places the blame for Israel’s unwillingness to accept a Palestinian terror state in its heartland not on the genocidal nature of Palestinian society, but on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Since Netanyahu opposes the transfer of Gaza to the Hamas-supporting P.A. in any postwar scenario and opposes Palestinian sovereignty, Blinken, the president and the administration as a whole are keen to see Netanyahu ousted from power.

On Jan. 7, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that an administration official told him that Netanyahu has to choose between his coalition partners from the nationalist Religious Zionism and Jewish Power parties led by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, respectively, and his ties to President Biden and the United States.

This leak is simply a restatement of Biden’s remarks to Jewish donors on Dec. 12, in which he excoriated Ben-Gvir for his opposition to Palestinian statehood and implied that Netanyahu needs to choose between Ben-Gvir and likeminded ministers in his government and U.S. support for Israel.

A week after Tapper’s report, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported that, in light of Netanyahu’s rejection of the administration’s efforts to end the war with a Palestinian state, “Three senior U.S. officials say the Biden administration is looking past Netanyahu to try to achieve its goals in the region.”

Mitchell wrote, “The Biden administration is trying to lay the groundwork with other Israeli and civil society leaders in anticipation of an eventual post-Netanyahu government. In an attempt to work around Netanyahu, [during his visit to Israel] Blinken also met individually with members of his war Cabinet and other Israeli leaders, including opposition leader … Yair Lapid.”

Forcing Netanyahu to choose between his governing coalition and ties with the United States is a recipe for political chaos and military defeat. If Netanyahu betrays his coalition partners and accepts the U.S. demand for appeasement and defeat in war, then his government will fall and Israel will find itself in an unprecedented national security crisis at the height of a pre-election period of political turmoil and domestic rancor.

Given the threat level, the administration’s effort to dismantle Israel’s government endangers Israel’s very existence.

Lebanon

This week, presidential envoy and U.S. interlocutor with Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon Amos Hochstein arrived in Israel in yet another bid to prevent Israel from removing Hezbollah forces and missiles from Southern Lebanon, where they pose an existential threat to Israel through military means.

For the past four months, Hochstein has been seeking to force Israel to accept a “diplomatic solution” to Hezbollah’s military threat. Hezbollah, with its tens of thousands of battle-hardened terrorists perched along Lebanon’s border with Israel and its arsenal of 150,000 missiles, rockets, drones and mortars poses such a clear and urgent threat to Israel that immediately after Hezbollah began shelling northern Israel without provocation on Oct. 8, the government rightly removed 80,000 Israeli residents from border communities in the north. They have been living in hotels ever since.

Israel demands that Hezbollah abide by the terms of the ceasefire set out in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 at the end of the 2006 Second Lebanon War. 1701 requires Hezbollah forces and missiles to be located north of the Litani River, 30 km north of the border with Israel. Rather than join Israel in insisting on Hezbollah compliance with the U.S.-sponsored resolution, Hochstein is offering Israel an unenforceable deal that would see Hezbollah remove its forces to just a handful of kilometers north of the border.

In its latest iteration, Hochstein’s “deal” would be implemented in two stages. In the first stage, Hezbollah would move its forces 8-12 km from the border and be replaced by UNIFIL forces and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Israeli residents of the border communities would then return to their homes.

In the second phase, Israel would agree to discuss the surrender of its sovereign territory along the border with Lebanon to Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. The areas under discussion include strategic points from Rosh Hanikra on the coastline in the west to Mt. Dov along the Syrian border in the east.

There are three fundamental problems with the deal the U.S. is demanding that Israel accept. First, the LAF is completely beholden to and operates in the service of Hezbollah. UNIFIL does nothing without Hezbollah’s permission. This is the reason Hezbollah has been able to operate in complete breach of Resolution 1701 since 2006. As a consequence, it is absurd to believe that they would be in a position to enforce the agreement or would have any interest in doing so.

Given the weakness and complicity of UNIFIL and the LAF, the only party capable of enforcing the deal is the IDF. And the U.S. offer precludes an Israeli military operation or presence in Southern Lebanon. Since the proposal cannot be enforced under its terms, the 80,000 Israeli refugees from the border communities will not be able to return home with even a modicum of safety.

Second, Hezbollah’s territorial demands are completely frivolous. The areas in dispute were never Lebanese territory. The administration’s adamant insistence that Israel concede to Hezbollah’s demands for its sovereign territory, including Mount Dov, which controls all of northern Israel, is a hostile position. Israel cannot accept it.

Finally, just as the administration’s positions vis-à-vis Gaza foresee and indeed require Israel to accept defeat in war, so its “diplomatic solution” for Lebanon requires Israel to accept strategic defeat at the hands of Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah.

Iran

Since Oct. 7, the Biden administration has been insisting that it has no evidence that Iran had prior knowledge of Hamas’s attack. As Iran’s other regional proxies—Hezbollah, the Houthis, the Iranian-controlled Shi’ite militia in Iraq—have joined the war against Israel and the U.S., the Biden administration has maintained its stubborn refusal to acknowledge that Iran is the head of the snake. But facts are stubborn things.

Iran controls all of its proxies. Ahead of Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists received training for their mission of slaughter in Iran and Lebanon. In the months before the Oct. 7 invasion, Hamas terror-masters met in Beirut at least twice with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leaders and their Hezbollah counterparts. Iran funds, arms and trains all of its proxies. An Iranian spy ship in the Red Sea is directing all the Houthi missile and drone attacks against Israel and commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

While directing its proxies’ operations, Iran itself is sprinting towards the entrance to the nuclear club. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has massively expanded its near-bomb-grade-level uranium enrichment and has effectively become a threshold nuclear state.

These realities present Israel with an unacceptable threat environment that it must counter militarily or risk its physical destruction. For the Biden administration, these realities present an opportunity to force Israel to agree to lose in Gaza and Lebanon and establish a Palestinian state or lose U.S. support and be compelled to stand up to Iran and all of its proxies on its own with insufficient weapons and no diplomatic backing from Washington.

Addressing his government at its weekly meeting Sunday, Netanyahu noted the discord with the Biden administration.

“Israel is a sovereign state,” he began.

“We greatly appreciate the support that we have received from the Biden administration since the outbreak of the war: In weaponry, at international institutions, in sending forces to the region and more. This is not to say that there are no disagreements among us but as of today we have succeeded in overcoming them with determined and balanced decisions.”

He went on, “As a sovereign state that is fighting for its existence and its future, we make our own decisions; even in those instances where there is no agreement with our American friends.”

Seemingly with each passing day, the Biden administration announces a new initiative aimed at undermining Israel’s ability to defend itself, either by limiting its military options, constraining its diplomatic maneuvering room, empowering its enemies or inducing domestic discord and social cleavages. At a certain point in the not-so-distant future, Netanyahu will need to say “no” to the administration. It can only be hoped that the vast majority of Americans, who stand with Israel against its enemies, will stand with Israel when we arrive at that point.

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