Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
President Joe Biden, joined by fellow-traveler, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, July 14, 2021.

This will be one ping, one ping only, and a short one on the subject.

There’s a distracted and incorrect belief that President Biden and Senator Chuck Schumer are truckling to the immigrant anti-Israel vote in Michigan (and to some extent, potentially, in other states, where similar concentrations of immigrants amplify the impact of a voting bloc).


The media have been pushing the narrative about this, and many people have been accepting that vote-seeking is the motive behind Biden’s threats to deny arms sales to Israel (Democratic senators already urging that), along with his cease-fire demands in U.S. diplomacy and the UN, his insistence that it’s a non-starter for Israel to enter Rafah in order to drive out Hamas, etc., etc.

The same is said of Schumer’s public statement that Prime Minister Netanyahu is bad for Israel and needs to be removed in a new Israeli election as soon as possible (double-down here).

I’m not here to say that our leading Democrats’ behavior is not about the battleground-state vote in November.  By that narrative, interventions against Israel’s war and security policy are meant to impress U.S. voters who protest vociferously against Israel and demand Israel’s demise (the meaning of “from the river to the sea”).  Biden is said to be conditioning U.S. policy on these matters to garner votes in particular districts in a handful of states.

But that lets Biden and Schumer off the hook.  The real apparent motive, and the real problem, is that everything they do and advocate is designed to ensure Israel can’t finish winning the war in Gaza by pushing out Hamas and guaranteeing Hamas can’t come back.

They’re fighting the war from D.C., trying to keep Israel from winning.  They’re actively agitating against Israel achieving a better peace out of this war.  They especially don’t want Israel to have or exercise any latitude in its follow-on policies that is not under the direct constraint of the Biden administration and its preferred Middle East actors, such as Iran and Qatar.

The media are helpfully reporting on all this against the reality on the ground, which is that Israel has made significant headway against Hamas.  The media describe this as “devastating Gaza,” yet what is right before our eyes is that Hamas can no longer operate as it once did in the parts of Gaza where its rule has been disrupted.  The terrorist group could not now restore its status quo ante – controlling the population, controlling the activity of NGOs and the UN, diverting all the aid flowing into Gaza to the creation of military infrastructure –  quickly or with ease.

The truth on the ground is that Gaza is already changed, and is now closer to Israel’s desired end-state than to a reversion to the old Hamas-ruled status quo.  The media’s attempts to depict this as failure for Israel, rather than success, are cynical and misleading.  (The shift of the media theme to an allegation that Israel has no valid plan for post-combat operations in Gaza is properly read as recognition that it’s useless at this point to insist Israel has made no headway.  Dogging the situation with an aura of pessimism, to discourage Israel from finishing the job in Rafah, must take another tack.)

Evidence also continues to refute the claim that Israel’s operations have left over a million Gazans on the brink of starvation.  Indeed, Israel is engaging vigorously in moving aid into Gaza, while Hamas shows up at aid distribution sites in order to shoot Gazans.

Outside parties (Biden, Qatar, NGOs, the EU) angle to establish their own footholds in Gaza using aid distribution as a pretext.  The Battle of the Piers and Meals-on-Keels is a maneuver campaign in that regard.

The rhetoric coming from Washington – attempts to defame Israel’s careful combat tactics; poisoning the infosphere about Israeli intentions and impact; threats from Biden to Israel and to Israeli confidence in U.S. partnership; demands for a regime change in Israel – are all meant to undermine Israel’s campaign in Gaza.  It’s all meant to have an impact on the war itself, not just on the U.S. election in November.

The Biden administration is pushing for too many concrete measures to be merely trying to affect the U.S. vote.  Planning to put in a pier in Gaza, with Qatar’s participation, isn’t just an expensive gesture to impress a few thousand voters in Michigan.  It’s a real, concrete measure to open a physical pipeline into Gaza that effectively ends Israel’s 15-year maritime blockade of Gaza and establishes a political presence going forward there for the U.S. and Qatar.

Likewise U.S. calls for a lengthy cease-fire, for Israel to give up on taking Rafah, and for no political objective to be acceptable other than a “two-state solution.”  The Biden administration is trying to dictate the goals and conduct of Israel’s war against Hamas.

That is the Biden administration’s purpose.  I urge readers not to be deceived by the media coverage that keeps emphasizing the marginal vote in pockets of the United States.  That coverage is increasingly paper-thin and perfunctory.  The media have a nice echo chamber going, and they aren’t putting much into it now, even as the measures Biden and the Democrats argue for in Gaza — and Israel — become more and more alarming to much more important constituencies:  American evangelical Christians and Jews.

It’s time to see clearly and acknowledge that most of what “Biden” does and says is designed to keep Israel from pushing Hamas out of Gaza and thereby changing the calculus of Israeli security for the better.  It’s readers’ choice how to interpret that.  One key factor that must not be overlooked is Biden’s affinity for the radical regime in Iran.  Of all the actors in the Middle East, the mullahs of Iran would be the most inconvenienced by an end to Hamas’s rule in Gaza.

But the good news is that those anxious for Israel’s security can stop imagining that Biden’s hostile policy toward Israel is “about” the vote in Michigan.  It’s not that silly and petty.  Biden’s hostile policy, based on its persistent character and the lengths his administration is going to thwart Israel, is about thwarting Israel.  Take that on board and all your reflections and conclusions on the matter will be much more useful.

{Reposted from the author’s site}

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