In Minnesota yesterday, President Biden called for a “pause” in the Hamas-Israel war. I don’t think Biden himself explained the rationale. The AP supplied this explanation: “In his comments, Biden was exerting pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give Palestinians at least a brief reprieve from the relentless military operation that’s left thousands dead and mired the 141-square-mile strip in a roiling humanitarian crisis.”
The AP also drew on NSC spokesman John Kirby’s comments to explain Biden’s remark yesterday: “White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said earlier on Wednesday that Biden’s newly confirmed ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew, would soon be dispatched to the Middle East and would be tasked in part with ‘supporting U.S. efforts to create the conditions for a humanitarian pause to address the worsening humanitarian conditions facing Palestinian civilians.’”
Actually, it’s a bad idea. It is unnecessary for any bona fide purpose. There’s a war going on. A ceasefire would benefit Hamas and undermine Israel’s operation. It will increase the risks to which the IDF is exposed.
Forgive my resort to the clichéd formulation, but only clichés come to mind. I’m so old I can remember when Biden expressed unqualified support for Israel’s self-defense following Hamas’s October 7 exercise in mass murder. Biden expressed such support in his October 7 statement, just a little over three weeks ago. We knew he didn’t mean it and that the statement carried a short shelf life.
The Biden administration is separately undermining Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Leaks to Politico are the administration’s chosen weapon: “Joe Biden and top aides have discussed the likelihood that Benjamin Netanyahu’s political days are numbered — and the president has conveyed that sentiment to the Israeli prime minister in a recent conversation.”
I should like to think that Biden is projecting and that his political days are numbered. As it is, however, this seems to me an entirely gratuitous assault on an American ally of in a time of supreme crisis.