Biden Oddities

Even with the Biden administration’s notorious imprecision with its Middle East pronouncements, they plainly outdid themselves these past few days.


Most unexpectedly, Biden’s ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew, led the charge against logic with a lame and plainly inaccurate message delivered with much fanfare to HaRav Hillel Hirsch in Israel, that the President had no choice but to come down hard on Israel because the Gaza war Israel was mounting was “very unpopular” in the U.S. Of course, the implicit threat was that it was in Israel’s best interests not to be seen as seeking to pressure Mr. Biden into acting to accommodate the Jewish state at America’s expense:

“It’s not easy because it’s very hard war and it’s not a very popular war in the United States – Very unpopular…. President Biden’s trying to make his position clear while being able to help Israel accomplish well it needs to accomplish – and when he needs to, saying when he thinks Israel needs to do some things differently – as friends must.”

But the problem is, based on a new poll recently released by the prestigious Harvard CAPS Harris group, an overwhelming majority of Americans believes that Israel should go ahead with the Rafah offensive in order to end the war against Hamas. 72% said Israel should move forward with the operation and 28% said Israel should back off and allow Hamas to keep ruling Gaza.

And Ambassador Lew also insisted that despite all of the talk of a U.S. arms embargo against Israel, only “one set” of munitions has been held back and that “everything else keeps flowing.” Lew was emphatic that the president only had in mind that huge, 2,000-pound bombs should not be used in Rafah in heavily populated areas and that it would be a mistake to think that anything has fundamentally changed in the U.S./Israel relationship.”

In point of fact, however, Mr. Biden said that if Israel moves into Rafah “we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells that would be needed for such an operation.”

But Lew’s remarks were only part of the problem. According to the Times of Israel, in a report to Congress last week, the Biden administration said that while it found “no hard evidence” that Israel had used American-supplied weapons in Gaza in ways that were inconsistent with international law obligations, given the large number of civilian casualties, it was “reasonable” to assess that they did.

If all of this sounds inconsistent and confusing, it was, especially since even the Biden administration freely concedes that Hamas uses human shields for protection.

Then came the most extraordinary news of all. According to the Jerusalem Post, the Biden Administration has now offered to give Israel “sensitive intelligence” on the whereabouts of senior Hamas leaders and tunnel locations if it agrees to hold off on the much-touted major military in Rafah.

The Washington Post quoted four unidentifiable sources as saying that the United States “is offering Israel valuable assistance if it holds back, including sensitive intelligence to help them militarily pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find the group’s hidden tunnels.”

Think of what this means. The Biden administration has been withholding information from Israel that would have facilitated Israel’s taking out Hamas’ leadership and tunnel network.

But wouldn’t that have enabled Israel to reduce civilian casualties and shorten the war, the ostensible Biden agenda?

Significantly, we have heard nothing from the President explaining this stunning news.

We have also heard nothing from Mr. Biden regarding the UN’s revising its estimates of civilian women and children deaths in the Gaza fighting, downward by half. The original estimates had been based on information provided the Hamas-controlled ministry of health. Yet those inflated figures were cited uncritically by President Biden in his State of the Union address in March.

Experts in statistics had long derided the possibility of any accuracy to those figures. Yet they continued to be relied upon by the Biden team in its Israel pile-on. We’ll now see if the UN’s revisions will inform President Biden’s decision-making going forward.

All of these disparate and somewhat inexplicable developments suggest that Biden has a plan lurking in the background. Indeed, we are reminded of President Barack Obama’s Cairo “reset” speech delivered soon after his election:

“I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based on upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles….”

Is President Biden pursuing the fulfillment of his former boss’s wish list? It is certainly looking more and more like it.

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