Opinion | Biden’s bear hug worked with Israel

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If only President Biden had heard Questions from the left There is little chance of forcing aid to Israel, publicly condemning its war activities, or demanding an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages, or an increase in humanitarian aid. Biden understood two things that his critics (including anti-Zionists) did not.

First, despite the assumptions of Israel’s critics (including those Mischaracterizing the government in the historic homeland of the Jewish people as a “Colonial ruler”), the United States does not have the power to command Israel as a vassal state. Israel will do whatever it takes to survive. Even without US approval, its government has conducted military operations that it deems necessary for national security. In contrast, like every other country on the planet, Israel acts in self-defense, violating the interests of its allies. (The difference between Israel and many of America’s other allies is that it has a first-rate intelligence apparatus and a military capable of carrying out advanced operations independently.)

Second, any Israeli government, No matter how arrogant, Israeli public opinion should be worried. If the Israeli people trust and embrace the American president, they will be inclined to support his views on the environment and his strategic thinking. A self-interested American president can convince Israelis that they would be better protected if their government cooperated with the United States. (Remember him bragging that he could take over the US alone. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once said., America is a moving thing, just move in the right direction. Hamas to compete in the election) came under gentle pressure from trusted American presidents.

Given those two factors, Biden knows better than any world leader, most Republicans and even some Democrats, that there is a real way to influence Israeli decision-making. Republicans mistakenly think that encouraging Israel’s grandiose and aggressive tendencies is the way to bring about peace. Some Democrats think that a public crackdown on Israel will bring peace (misunderstanding the tendency to double down until Israel’s security is felt).

The current situation confirms the wisdom of Biden’s tactics, based on decades of foreign policy experience and during his time as vice president (which happens most often during his presidency). Unproductive public conflicts with the Prime Minister of Israel).

Remember how the past few weeks have gone. After the October 7 pogrom, Biden immediately jumped to Israel’s defense. While warning that Israel must abide by the laws of war, he condemned the barbaric act and defended Israel’s right and duty to root out Hamas. He He emphasized that the Palestinians are also victims And made it clear that a Underlying the solution of the conflict between Palestine and Israel It will be necessary to prevent further attacks. He also He went to Israel during the war (of Only the President can do that.). Unsurprisingly, The Israelites made him a lion..

Then a slow, steady, careful two-track approach began. Publicly, Biden has not shied away from supporting Israel’s cause for war. Biden joined the message of support, however, with a second part of the message: Palestinians are victims of Hamas. That is. More care It had to be taken to minimize civilian casualties, get humanitarian aid to Gaza, and achieve Palestinian self-determination. And he flat He warned of Israel’s permanent occupation of Gaza.

Privately, meanwhile, Biden He used that political capital To force Israel to pause and step up Humanitarian aid. He has deployed an experienced team to provide full support. Although it is unclear whether Israel has changed its strategy because of Biden, the constant threat of civilian casualties has weighed heavily on the minds of Israeli commanders and politicians. Coupled with his admonishment to Israel, Biden has made as many calls as few US presidents can. in Continuous communication with Qatar and Egypt And with a fully empowered negotiating team working out the details, he forced all parties to pause and agree to release the hostages.

Few Middle East experts believe that Netanyahu agreed to a pause in the absence of all hostage releases. If not for Biden. (Thanks to them, families of hostages and many organizations, millions of people and a 200,000-strong march to Israel He continued to push for a hostage agreement.) Likewise, it is expected that there will be no hostage exchange process. Saturday night is back on the road If not for Biden’s intervention.

Critics have argued that if Biden had called for a ceasefire earlier, it might not have been successful. And his effectiveness in pushing for a pause and hostage release was over. While he has little credit domestically, his willingness to ignore unrealistic demands from left-wing lawmakers and groups has been important to him. Diplomatic success.

Although the US mainstream media, as it often does, can view the weeks of diplomacy only in terms of partisan, horse-riding politics (Democrats are divided! Biden is losing young people.!), Biden was doing what progressives wanted: an end to the war (however brief) and the return of the hostages, both of which are essential to ending the war.

Biden has once again exceeded expectations. He understands Netanyahu and the Middle East movement better than the left wing of his party.

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