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Biden’s two-faced approach to Hamas is hurting Israel

“Top Story” with Jonathan Tobin and guest Shoshana Bryen, Ep. 130

With the war against Hamas entering its fourth month, the United States is ratcheting up the pressure on Israel to let the terrorists survive, says JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin. He’s joined by Jewish Policy Center senior director Shoshana Bryen, who believes that Washington has been “playing both sides” in the conflict since the Oct. 7 massacres by Hamas in southern Israel. She says U.S. President Joe Biden fears “angering Iran” and doesn’t want Israel to destroy one of Tehran’s proxies.

Bryen also sees the sanctions that the administration placed on four Israeli settlers as part of a series of “ugly threats” against the Jewish state, whose purpose is to demonstrate U.S. leverage and force an end to the war, which is causing the political problems with the president’s left wing of the Democratic Party.

Moreover, the Biden foreign-policy team’s delusions about reviving a two-state solution that would reward Hamas for Oct. 7 is part of their core beliefs about the Middle East. The same, she says, is true of Washington’s efforts to appease Iran by pressuring Israel not to attack Hezbollah, steeped in Lebanon to the north. Still, Bryen is optimistic that if the Biden administration doesn’t sabotage Israel by stopping it from defeating Hamas, the process of normalization with Arab nations via an expanded Abraham Accords will eventually be revived. That is true, she said, whether or not Saudi Arabia joins in the short term.

Turning to the debate about foreign aid in which assistance to Israel has been tied by the Biden administration to its proposal for greater outlays to Ukraine, Bryen says it is a mistake for Jewish groups to go along with this plan since the two causes are completely separate. She points out that while most aid to Israel is spent in the United States and is fully accountable, the same is not true of the far greater sums being lavished on Kyiv. While sympathy for Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression is understandable, she said questions about where the money goes and whether the conflict should continue need to be answered.

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