columnIsrael at War

Victory is more important than US support

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers must remember that Israel is not an American vassal state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a private meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, Jan. 9, 2024. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a private meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, Jan. 9, 2024. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
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.

At his press conference Tuesday evening, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken showed that contrary to popular belief, the Biden administration is not Israel’s ally. It is the greatest obstacle to Israel’s victory.

Blinken began his remarks by drawing a moral equivalence between the suffering of Israeli hostages and their families and that of the Palestinians in Gaza. The Palestinians in Gaza, who overwhelmingly support Hamas, are just as innocent as the hostages, Blinken insisted.

Blinken said nothing about the torture, rape, mutilation and deliberate starvation of the hostages carried out by Hamas terrorists and its civilian accomplices alike. Instead, Blinken spoke of the “acute food insecurity,” that Gazans suffer from—and blamed that “acute food insecurity” on Israel.

“Israel needs to do everything it can to remove any obstacles from [aid] crossing to…Gaza. Improving deconfliction procedures to ensure that the aid can move safely and securely is a critical part of that,” he said.

The body responsible for distributing “humanitarian aid” in Gaza today is the United Nations, through UNRWA. Blinken ignored completely the documented fact that thousands of UNRWA employees  posted fulsome praise for the Oct. 7 slaughter on social media. He ignored the overwhelming evidence that UNRWA schools and clinics are Hamas military bases. He ignored that UNRWA employees have been credibly accused of holding Israeli hostages and deliberately starving them. And he ignored that UNRWA employees, including all of its regional directors in Gaza, have been credibly accused of being Hamas terrorists themselves.

Burying his head deep in the sand, Blinken cooed, “The United Nations is playing an indispensable role in addressing the immense humanitarian needs in Gaza. There is simply no alternative.

“UN personnel…in Gaza are demonstrating extraordinary courage by continuing to provide lifesaving services in what are extremely challenging conditions.”

Israel, he demanded, must join the United States in giving the United Nations its “full support.”

As for Israel’s military campaign to wipe out Hamas, Blinken said that military operations must take no toll on civilians, even if that means that Israel will lose the war.

“We know that facing an enemy that embeds itself among civilians—who hides in and fires from schools, from hospitals—makes this incredibly challenging. But the daily toll on civilians in Gaza, particularly on children, is far too high,” said Blinken.

The only way to separate the civilians from the terrorists and so protect them is by permitting them to leave Gaza, just as 6 million Ukrainians left their country since the Russian invasion.

Gazans are so eager to leave that the Guardian reported they are paying $10,000 to middlemen to bribe Egyptian officials to let them leave. But the United States will have none of it.

“The United States unequivocally rejects any proposals advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza,” said Blinken with a scowl.

Not only must Israel force the Palestinians to stay in Gaza and care for them, Israel must allow them to return to northern Gaza, thus subverting Israel’s main sustained operational achievement since the ground operation began.

“In today’s meetings” with Israeli leaders, Blinken said, “I was also crystal clear: Palestinian civilians must be able to return home as soon as conditions allow.”

The only way for the now abandoned Israeli towns and villages bordering Gaza to be rebuilt and for their surviving residents to return safely is to block Hamas from rebuilding its terror infrastructure, including its forces in northern Gaza.

Keeping that area unpopulated, or lightly populated, for the foreseeable future is a military imperative.

After demanding that Israel permit Hamas to survive and regroup in Gaza, Blinken moved to the northern front against Hezbollah. There too, the United States demands that Israel lose.

“As I told the war cabinet and other senior officials, the United States stands with Israel in ensuring its northern border is secure. We’re fully committed to working with Israel to find a diplomatic solution that avoids escalation and allows families to return to their homes, to live security in northern Israel and also in southern Lebanon,” he said.

The problem is that the “diplomatic solution,” the United States proposes will make it impossible for Israel to secure its northern border or permit the 80,000 civilians that were forced to flee their homes along to border to return to their homes.

Blinken and the administration are pushing for a deal that will see no decrease in Hezbollah’s forces trained to invade Israel and commit genocide. Their deal will see no decrease in Hezbollah’s missile and drone arsenal, which are capable of destroying strategic targets and civilian populations throughout Israel.

The administration’s “diplomatic solution” requires Israel to surrender sovereign territory to Hezbollah in exchange for the removal of Hezbollah forces from the border area.

There are two problems with the plan. First, it requires Israel to surrender its land to terrorists. And second, the only force capable of pushing Hezbollah away from the border is the Israel Defense Forces, a prospect the deal is geared towards blocking at all costs.

In other words, just as is the case with Gaza, U.S. policy is to enable Israel’s enemies to win strategic victories against Israel by forbidding Israel to defeat them on the battlefield.

Leaving aside the administration’s slavish commitment to establishing Iran as the regional hegemon by empowering the regime and its terror proxies, the expressed goal of the administration’s effort to induce an Israeli defeat is to establish a Palestinian state.

As the administration sees things, the main obstacle to this goal is Israel, and specifically, the Netanyahu government, which represents the people of Israel.

To push this obstacle aside, the administration is working to overthrow the Netanyahu government. On Sunday, 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 Otzma Yehudit 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.

In other words, Netanyahu needs to choose between the Israeli public, which elected him to office as the head of a right-religious governing coalition, and Washington, which rejects the will of the Israeli people.

During his visit Tuesday, Blinken took the unprecedented step of meeting privately with Minister Benny Gantz and Knesset member Gadi Eisenkot. In the wake of the Oct. 7 invasion, Gantz and Eisenkot brought their leftist opposition party into the government to form an emergency unity coalition. The administration has been all but explicit about its intention to use these men and their party to overthrow the Netanyahu government.

Immediately after their meeting, reports began to stream in that Gantz’s inclination to leave the government is growing. Blinken and the administration see two scenarios for Gantz to seize power. Either Gantz can incite a revolt in Likud that can lead to Netanyahu’s ouster and the formation of an alternative government led by Gantz in the current Knesset; or by working with the administration, Gantz can force Netanyahu to accept pro-Palestinian policies that will compel Smotrich and Ben-Gvir to bolt the government. If they leave and Gantz remains in the coalition, Netanyahu will become completely dependent on Gantz to remain in power.

Under both scenarios, the administration believes that it will be in a position to force Israel to crown the terrorist Fatah-led Palestinian Authority as the new leader of Gaza. That in turn will set the stage for a massive pressure campaign to coerce the Gantz-controlled government to make massive strategic concessions to the P.A. in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem that will facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Blinken’s statements on the topic were nearly bereft of diplomatic niceties.

“As I told the prime minister, every [Arab] partner that I met on this trip said that they’re ready to support a lasting solution that ends the long-running cycle of violence and ensures Israel’s security. But they underscored that this can only come through a regional approach that includes a pathway to a Palestinian state,” he said.

“To make this possible, Israel must be a partner to Palestinian leaders who are willing to lead their people in living side by side in peace with Israel and as neighbors,” he continued, adding, “and Israel must…stop taking steps that undercut Palestinians’ ability to govern themselves effectively.”

Doubling down on his practice of slandering Israelis as the moral equivalents of terrorists, Blinken then libeled the half million Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria as well as IDF forces operating in these areas.

“Extremist settler violence carried out with impunity, settlement expansion, demolitions, evictions all make it harder, not easier, for Israel to achieve lasting peace and security,” he said.

Finally, echoing Tapper’s report, Blinken took a shot at Israel’s leadership, stating that, “If Israel wants its Arab neighbors to make the tough decisions necessary to help ensure its lasting security, Israeli leaders will have to make hard decisions themselves.”

Blinken made his remarks during the primetime news hour. Before he spoke, commentators from left to right insisted that Blinken is a friend and an ally in Israel’s war. After his diatribe, they sheepishly changed their tune.

Blinken, they admitted, presented demands that would foment Israel’s defeat. The only way for Israel to rout its enemies and enable its citizens to return to their homes in southern and northern Israel is to do precisely the opposite of what the United State demands. Israel must end the farce of “humanitarian assistance” to Gaza. It must stop providing electricity and fuel to Gaza. It must fully control the distribution of food and water to the population. It must block the return of the population to northern Gaza. And it must open the Egyptian border with Gaza to permit the Gazans to leave or permit them to exit through Israel.

As for Hezbollah, the government must stop participating in the destructive farce of U.S. diplomacy. Instead, Israel should strike missile stores and terrorist barracks and be prepared to carry out a ground operation in the immediate term.

Israel must defeat Hezbollah. It is the only way Israelis in northern communities will be able to live safely in their homes.

If the United States retaliates by placing a weapons embargo on Israel, then Israel must make do with what it has and what it can produce. Use of imprecise missiles will expand collateral damage, but it will also win the war faster at less risk to IDF soldiers.

Since entering office, the Biden administration has treated Israel with colonialist contempt. Rather than respect Israel as an independent ally, Biden and his aides have acted like imperial overlords barking orders at a backwater, troublesome province.

Despite the pressure, Netanyahu and his ministers must remember that Israel is not a vassal state. We are a successful regional power. It is Israeli power, not U.S. charity that has sustained us to date. And it is Israeli power, not U.S. largesse that will bring us victory in this war for our survival. If forced to choose between support from Washington and victory, the choice is an easy one.

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