OpinionU.S.-Israel Relations

The Biden administration’s Israel perfidy

The president is meddling with Israel’s war effort in a lame attempt to appease leftist voters.

U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian. Credit: Courtesy.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
Dr. Sheila Nazarian is a Los Angeles physician and star of the Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Skin Decision: Before and After.” Her family escaped to the United States from Iran.

It was recently reported that the Biden administration offered to exchange sensitive intelligence about Hamas leaders, including leader Yahya Sinwar, for an Israeli pledge to limit its military operations in Rafah.

These reports came mere days after U.S. President Joe Biden told CNN that he would halt the shipment of American offensive weapons to Israel if the country moved ahead with these operations.

The news alarmed Americans and Israelis alike, with Israel’s former Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren writing on X that he was “shocked and sickened” by America’s withholding of vital intelligence. “Is the administration still our ally?” Oren asked.

While so-called well-meaning Biden officials would say “yes,” their conduct throughout the Israel-Hamas war paints a very different picture. The truth is that the Biden administration has consistently sought to force Israel to limit its operations in Gaza.

Even in the earliest days of the war, despite public proclamations of support, the administration demanded that the IDF “surge” food, fuel and other aid to Gaza. This forced Israel to break its own siege and resupply its own enemy in the middle of a war. To say the least, this is an uncommon action for any military, especially one whose enemy frequently steals aid for the use of its terrorists.

In February, the administration again asked Israel for an uncommon measure: As the IDF prepared to move into Rafah, the White House demanded Israel make detailed plans to allow Hamas to control convoys of aid and move hundreds of thousands of Gazans out of combat zones.

Of course, the responsibility to protect civilians lies with Hamas, the governing body of Gaza, and not Israel. At the same time, these measures only strengthened Hamas; diverted Israel’s energies away from essential military operations; and made it easier for Hamas, which embeds itself in the very civilian population Israel is called on to protect, to point fingers at Israel if something goes awry.

In April, after Iran launched its first-ever direct attack on Israel, the administration indicated that there would be severe consequences if Israel strongly retaliated. The White House only allowed a counterattack that did not exceed America’s predetermined parameters.

This was part of a familiar pattern. Indeed, Biden administration officials seemingly respond to every Israeli offensive by arranging a leak from “sources inside the administration” mulling whether the U.S. should stop supplying arms.

The administration’s demands change the rules of war. They hold Israel to an ethical standard very different from that normally expected of Western armies. This standard is all but impossible to live up to and hobbles Israel’s ability to act independently in order to defend its own borders.

The administration regularly adds insult to injury with its public narrative. It consistently cites widely debunked Hamas casualty figures and sounds near-perpetual alarms about an alleged famine in Gaza that never happened. This gives credence to terrorist propaganda in a feeble attempt to seem evenhanded.

All of this amounts to a stinging slap in the face from Israel’s apparent ally, which often seems more interested in derailing Israel’s war effort than helping it achieve victory.

Biden’s meddling is nothing new but it should be taken seriously. The administration is clearly alarmed by the pro-Palestinian fervor of college students and voters in places like Dearborn, Michigan. As a result, it is grasping at straws to curry any last shred of favor.

This is bad politics. The Israel-haters denounced Biden long ago for appearing even remotely sympathetic to the Jewish state. The president’s wishy-washy policies will do nothing to move the needle.

What those policies do is signal to onlookers that Biden is willing to abandon an American ally at a time of dire need in order to appease a tiny far-left faction of his party. They also show that the Biden administration views the safety and security of the Jewish state as a political football rather than a principle to which they are committed.

At a time when all Jews’ right to safety and security is of paramount importance, Jewish voters would do well to remember this when they go to the polls in November.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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