I was planning to write about the Rules of War today, so that Israel’s right to protect herself is properly understood. But I am going to table that until my next posting, coming very soon. What I write here, a short detour, is highly relevant.
This is from a statement Barack Obama made on Monday, October 23:
“The Israeli government’s decision to cut off food, water and electricity to a captive civilian population [in Gaza] threatens not only to worsen a growing humanitarian crisis; it could further harden Palestinian attitudes for generations, erode global support for Israel, play into the hands of Israel’s enemies, and undermine long-term efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region.”
This is a vile bold-faced threat to Israel, an attempt to get us to back off and not complete our very necessary mission against Hamas.
Obama was president during part of the time that the US was involved in military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some 100,000 civilians were killed during those operations. But that apparently was OK.
He was no friend to Israel during his presidency and his comments come as no surprise. But why do I mention him now when he has been out of office for almost seven years?
The answer – the all-important answer – is that Joe Biden was Obama’s vice president and today reflects Obama policies.
“Even before United States President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, many anticipated the Middle East could prove to be the most volatile foreign and security-policy theater for his administration.
“This prediction was based on Mr. Biden choosing to implement policies virtually identical to those of former President Barack Obama (2009-2017).” (Emphasis added)
He has brought in anti-Israel Obama staff to serve in key positions in his own administration (I expect to address this more fully soon). Broadly recognized as being less than fully competent, less than capable of making his own decisions, he takes instruction on what to say and what policies to adopt. It is believed that a great deal of that instruction comes from Obama or Obama staffers. (Did you know that presidents always move out of Washington DC when their term of office expires – except for Obama, who is close at hand?)
Biden, however, has not been as overtly anti-Israel as Obama showed himself to be in the citation above. That would have been a political mistake.
After the nightmare of the Hamas massacre, the president professed a great love and sympathy for Israel, even coming here to offer support. It occurred to many of us, however, that while he hugged Netanyahu, he had been snubbing him for months prior, declining to invite him to the White House. Although it was easy to get caught up in enthusiasm (gratitude?) for Biden’s initial support for Israel, all was not as it seemed.
The title of my previous posting, “That Damned Double-Edged Sword!!” goes a long way towards explaining this: the man is playing both ends against the middle. His actions serve his own political agenda and do not reflect a genuine concern for Israel. As is becoming increasingly obvious, quite the contrary is the case.
Yes, he professed sympathy and support for Israel. He would have alienated those members of the electorate who are pro-Israel had he not. And he provided material assistance to Israel, assistance that – while it was genuinely important and much appreciated – also served the purpose of making Israel beholden to him. This point should not be missed.
Biden’s ultimate interest is in scoring diplomatic successes – what he sees as diplomatic successes – that he hopes will secure him an electoral victory just a little over a year from now and assure him a positive legacy.
The first thing he is looking for is an agreement with Iran. Even now, an agreement with Iran. Thus, he cannot afford to alienate Iran. Not once has he pointed a finger at Iran, in spite of the fact that there is abundant evidence that Iran – which funds Hamas, provides assistance and guidance and instruction to Hamas (via the Revolutionary Guards) – is the ultimate instigator of the massacre.
Please see comments on this by law professor Eugene Kontorovich:
A key goal of Biden’s current policies is the containment of the current war Israel is waging on the Iranian proxy Hamas. Thus, Biden cautions Israel about not “over-reacting” to Hamas’s massacre. Thus, as well, the presence of US warships in the Mediterranean serves to discourage an expanded war, which would pit Israel against the Iranian proxy Hezbollah.
What is becoming increasingly obvious is that Biden is seeking to styme Israel’s intention of taking down Hamas. His tone is shifting to one that is no longer remotely supportive of Israel.
Under pressure from the US, Israel permitted thirty-seven trucks of goods – allegedly humanitarian goods – to enter Gaza from Egypt via the Rafah gate in two days. We don’t really know what was in those trucks, claims of inspections by Egypt notwithstanding. There is near certainty that a good portion of these goods will come into the hands of Hamas.
But what is Biden saying? On Tuesday, October 24, he declared that goods were not going into Gaza fast enough.
And Blinken, at the UN Security Council, declared that Israel should consider “humanitarian pauses” in the war.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was queried about rising anti-Semitism. This in the face of horrific, shocking rallies on campuses supporting Hamas. Her answer:
“We have not seen any credible threats.
“But look, Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks. And certainly President Biden understands that many of our Muslim, Arab, Arab-American, and Palestinian-American loved ones and neighbors are worried about the hate being directed at their communities and that is something you heard the president speak to.
“I’m not going to get into what’s happening across the country and at different universities. Peaceful protest is really part of our democracy, being able for folks to be able to express their feelings. I’m not going to get into any specifics on that…”
So we know where this is going, folks, and it is not pretty.
It is not just Iran that Biden is playing to, but also a host of Arab nations, most notably Saudi Arabia.
Our troops, some 300,000 in number, are still at the border with Gaza, still undergoing preparation and training. While we are bombing Hamas sites inside of Gaza heavily, softening the enemy, we still have not gone in. The IDF says there are operational considerations.
The tension felt inside of Israel is horrendous. Are there legitimate reasons for delay from the Israeli perspective? Or, as is widely suspected, is the delay a reflection of American efforts to prevent us from moving? The reasons offered by the Americans for the need for a delay are not consistent: more American troops must be brought into the area first, more relief must come into Gaza first, additional efforts must be made to bring out hostages.
The hostages. Monday night, two more were released by Hamas via the Rafah crossing and then into Israel: Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85. Israeli citizens, without dual citizenship; they are from Nir Oz. Their husbands are still in captivity.
Hamas is still holding some 220 hostages.
What is being suggested is that the chances of bringing out more hostages would be diminished by a ground operation. To say that this is not a tenable way to move forward is an understatement. Waiting for two hostages to be released every few days would mean a ludicrous wait of over a year for a ground operation – the end of a very necessary military operation.
Please see this excellent statement by Australian Senator Jacqui Lambi, and share very broadly:
She reminds the world of what it is too ready to forget: The unspeakable horrors of what Hamas did to innocent Jews.
They must, must be taken out, even if the world chooses to ignore the core issues.
Pray for Israel and the strength of our leaders.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.