Over the last two weeks, dozens of humanitarian aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, against the clear wishes of the Israeli public and government ministers.
The Prime Minister’s Office has claimed that the humanitarian aid is monitored and checked and does not contain weapons, fuel, or other goods that support the murderous Hamas terrorists who are hiding in a tunnel city below the entire Gaza Strip. Also: according to a White House spokesperson, President Joe Biden has been pushing for accelerating humanitarian aid to Gaza, most recently in phone calls on Sunday with Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Biden to Netanyahu: ’Immediately’ Increase Gaza Aid).
On Monday night, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement explaining that “humanitarian aid allows Israel an important scope of action to realize the goals of the war.”
That one was a tad hard to digest unless what they meant was that allowing a steady trickle of aid trucks into Gaza would keep Biden off Bibi’s back so he could continue the operation in Gaza.
President Biden is in an unenviable position with a good chunk of his Democratic Party’s Congressional delegation siding with Hamas in the war over Gaza. Last Wednesday, the House voted 412 to 10 in favor of a resolution declaring solidarity with Israel, and vowing to provide the Jewish State all the security assistance it needs to win the war against Hamas.
Nine Democrats and one Republican voted against the resolution, and six Democrats voted present. This translates into 16 Congressional districts that will not be in Biden’s column come November 2024.
According to the 2020 US Census, there are 3.5 million Arabs of Middle Eastern and North African origins in the country. The 10 states with significant Arab populations include three swing states: Michigan with close to half a million Arabs, Florida with 300 thousand, and Ohio with about 170 thousand, of whom some 10 thousand identify as “Palestinian.”
Now, not all Arab Americans are Muslim, a large segment defines itself as “Lebanese” which often means Christian and anti-Muslim as well. But presidential candidate Biden cannot ignore three swing states, only one of which, Michigan, voted Democrat last time around.
The Republican House this week debates two issues: one is the whopping $14.3 billion special aid to Israel, which could erase three-quarters of its projected war-related deficit; the other is a resolution to censure Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, the only “Palestinian-American” member of Congress, for participating in a pro-Hamas demonstration in DC where she declared Israel was committing genocide.
And so, it stands to reason that Biden must ride Bibi on the humanitarian aid thing, and Bibi must employ his considerable political skill to wink and nudge at his own voters, asking them to look away from the goiter on his neck.
Netanyahu’s office also stated that “the humanitarian aid is not coming from Israel but from international agencies. It includes food and medicine that are physically tested and supervised by Israeli security officials and are passed through Egypt.”
Finally, the Prime Minister’s Office stated that “all shipments are intended for the civilian population – and if it turns out that they are being taken by Hamas, they will be stopped.”
The big question in that regard is, why would Netanyahu start doing to the Hamas-intended shipments what he hasn’t done since 2009?