Wed 06 Dec 2023 1:58 pm - Jerusalem Time
Washington's hypocrisy: concern for the victims of Gaza and no pressure on Israel
American officials: Washington currently rules out withholding arms deliveries or criticizing Israel as a means to change its methods, “and so far, the administration has shown its unwillingness to use its influence on Israel,” and Netanyahu refuses to discuss the issue of the “day after” the war.
Israeli analysts claim that the administration of US President Joe Biden, during talks with the Israeli government, expressed its concern about the increasing number of civilian dead in the Gaza Strip, which exceeds 16,250 dead, the majority of whom are children and women.
According to these allegations, the Biden administration is trying to pressure Israel to limit the death of Palestinian civilians, but a report published by Reuters today, Wednesday, confirmed that the Biden administration “is not taking any measures that would force Israel to comply, such as threatening to restrict military aid.” This contradicts the claims of Israeli analysts who claim that the United States may back down from supplying weapons to Israel.
The agency quoted US officials as saying that Washington currently rules out withholding the delivery of weapons or strongly criticizing Israel as a means of changing its methods because the United States believes that the current strategy of negotiating unannounced is effective.
A senior American official said, “We believe that what we are doing is moving them,” pointing to the shift in the position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, from refusing to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza to allowing the entry of about 200 aid trucks daily. But this only happened for a few days during the truce, last week. This official added, "This improvement came as a result of intense diplomacy, not threats."
The American official's statements came three days after the resumption of aerial bombardment of southern Gaza, last Friday, as residents continue to recover the bodies of children and adults from under the rubble.
The American official claimed that reducing military support for Israel entails great risks. He continued, "You begin to reduce the aid provided to Israel, you begin to encourage other parties to enter the conflict, you weaken the deterrent effect and encourage other enemies of Israel."
The United States describes its support for Israel as "unwavering." It seems that the Israeli government is not affected by international demands to change its strategy.
Netanyahu's foreign policy advisor, Ofir Falk, said last week, when asked about international pressure on Israel, that "I must acknowledge my feeling that the prime minister does not feel any pressure, and I believe that we will do everything necessary to achieve our military goals."
The director of advocacy at the Middle East Democracy Project, Seth Bender, said that the American support for Israel annually with weapons, ammunition and aircraft gives Washington “significant influence” over how the war on Hamas is managed.
Bender added, "Withholding certain types of equipment or delaying the replenishment of various weapons stocks would force the Israeli government to modify strategies and methods because it would not be guaranteed to obtain more," but he added, "So far, the administration has shown its unwillingness to use this influence.
Biden's campaign for next year's presidential elections believes that any attempt to reduce aid to Israel could harm Biden in terms of independent pro-Israel voters. On the other hand, Biden is facing pressure from a faction of progressive Democrats who want Washington to set conditions for providing military aid to its closest ally in the Middle East, and for Biden to support calls for an immediate ceasefire.
However, a senior Israeli security source confirmed to the agency that there has been no change so far in American support for Israel, saying that “at the present time there is an understanding and there is ongoing coordination.” However, he noted, "If the United States changes course, Israel will have to accelerate its operations and end matters quickly."
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the day before yesterday that Washington expects the Israelis to commit not to attack those areas. Another American official said, "The fact that Israel has become more deliberate in determining the areas that civilians should avoid is a sign that American pressure is bearing fruit."
Israeli officials claim that they are carrying out operations in the south differently, allowing more time for civilians to evacuate combat zones, but they cannot promise to stop Palestinian civilian casualties.
However, the director of Human Rights Watch in Israel and Palestine, Omar Shaker, confirmed that “all indicators and reports indicate the continuation of the same pattern of dropping heavy bombs and using artillery in densely populated areas” since the resumption of the Israeli attack.
Amnesty International also reported yesterday that it found that American-made munitions killed 43 civilians in two Israeli air strikes in Gaza.
Israeli media reported today that a delegation of advisors and assistants to US Vice President Kamala Harris, headed by her National Security Advisor, Phil Gordon, visited Israel this week, with the aim of discussing the “day after” the war with Israeli officials.
The military analyst in the newspaper "Haaretz", Amos Harel, said that this American delegation tried to understand the Israeli plans, "but they are facing difficulty because of the ambiguity that Netanyahu is spreading about it."
Harel added, “The impression among the American administration, and in the Israeli General Staff as well, is that Netanyahu’s steps are all related to internal policy, and that he does not manage the Israeli strategy through sober considerations and refrains from deliberating on the administration’s plans for the ‘next day’.”
He added that Netanyahu "stubbornly refuses to allow the Palestinian Authority a foothold in the Gaza Strip, due to coalitional necessities towards his partners on the extreme right" who threaten to topple his rule if he responds to American demands, which means the end of Netanyahu's political career.