OpinionIsrael at War

The zombie foreign-policy establishment can’t process Oct. 7

Two-thirds of Israelis reject Biden's demand to end the war.

A home in Kibbutz Be'eri after Hamas terrorists attacked civilians of all ages, Oct. 25, 2023. Photo by Edi Israel/Flash90,
A home in Kibbutz Be'eri after Hamas terrorists attacked civilians of all ages, Oct. 25, 2023. Photo by Edi Israel/Flash90,
Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli-born journalist who writes for conservative publications.

Behold the latest genius idea from the foreign policy establishment:

“Last month, Richard Haass, the former longtime head of the Council on Foreign Relations, approached top officials in the Biden administration, including Vice President Kamala Harris, with an audacious plan for changing the politics around the Israel-Hamas war,” reported Politico.

“Haass believed that Joe Biden needed to separate himself from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose military campaign was hurting U.S. credibility abroad and the president’s popularity at home. And he proposed that Biden do so by going to Israel to deliver a speech—possibly to the Knesset, the nation’s parliament—where he’d lay out his vision directly to the Israeli people,” the report continued.

“But by January, Haas was taking his advocacy a step further. Though he did not speak directly to Biden, he did pitch a Knesset-like speech to, among others, Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, according to two people familiar with the discussions but not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

“The senior officials reacted coolly to his proposal, according to those two people. A White House official confirmed Thursday that there had been no discussion of scheduling a trip to Israel.”

Biden officials know that Obama already tried that stunt, but a better question is what vision would be pitched here to the Israeli people?

Haas is pushing a zombie foreign policy recapitulating the usual responses to Islamic terrorism against Israel, which was to double down on the two-state solution and then offer the Israelis a speech about Rabin and the future of peace. Nobody has believed that stuff since the oughts, and after Oct. 7, it’s the equivalent of Chamberlain showing up to deliver a “Peace in Our Time” speech while the Nazis were bombing London.

This pernicious nonsense was bad enough in 2002 or 2012 or even 2022, but after Oct. 7 it’s the product of a mind that is either unable or unwilling to come to grips with what happened.

What message does Haas want to pitch to the “Israeli people”? Israelis have already rejected that message.

“About two-thirds (66%) of Israelis say they do not think Israel should agree to U.S. demands to shift to a phase of the war with a reduced heavy bombing in populous areas. 75% of Jewish Israelis oppose meeting the demands, compared to only 21% of Arab Israelis,” according to the Israel Democracy Institute.

That’s the reality in Israel.

Oct. 7 was an Israeli 9/11. How would Americans have reacted to a speech a few months after 9/11 telling them to get over it and hug it out with Al Qaeda?

Even Biden’s people know that Haas is an idiot. And that’s saying something.

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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