ARAB AND WORLD

Sat 02 Mar 2024 2:43 pm - Jerusalem Time

Politico: The airdrop reveals the Biden administration’s weakness towards the Netanyahu government

A report in Politico newspaper said that US President Joe Biden’s decision to airdrop humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip reveals the limits of the American approach towards Israel.


The newspaper explained that when the United States sends military planes to drop food, water, medicine, and other aid to people in need, it usually does so in areas occupied by “terrorist groups” or hostile regimes, not allies, in reference to the Israeli forces.


However, months of pressure on Israel to allow more aid into Gaza - where about 80% of the population has been displaced and famine looms - has yielded limited results.


Even Biden, who refuses to blame Israel for the scarcity of supplies, publicly acknowledged on Friday that more aid must enter the Strip.


Biden announced yesterday that the United States would carry out an airdrop of food aid to Gaza, at a time when hunger is worsening and claiming the lives of more residents of the Strip.


The newspaper says that the step of dropping aid from the sky indicates that Biden cannot convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do more for the suffering of the Palestinians.


It quoted former USAID humanitarian aid coordinator Dave Harden as saying, “We appear 100% weak,” adding that administration officials are only doing this to feel good about themselves.


A drop in a bucket

Senator Chris Van Hollen - a Democrat who supports Biden's decision - said that what can be provided by aircraft alone is "a drop in the bucket of what is needed in order to mitigate the impending famine."


The member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee added in an interview, “It sends the right message, which is that the United States is so fed up with the Netanyahu government restricting humanitarian aid to Gaza that the United States has to do this (airdrop).”


However, the newspaper quoted some critics as saying that the operation was unnecessary.


The newspaper says that the United States has many ways to influence Israeli actions, not the least of which is considering adapting military aid to Israel.


Democrats in Congress have long suggested that Biden halt new arms sales to Israel until Netanyahu addresses the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.


But National Security Council Strategic Policy Coordinator John Kirby, who is aware that the United States is in talks with Israel about delivering new weapons, stressed on Friday that the United States will continue to support Israel's right to self-defense.


Politico quoted an American official as saying that the motive behind Washington's decision to drop aid from the air was the killing of Palestinians searching for aid in Gaza in what is known as the "flour massacre." Kirby said that his country would seek to open a humanitarian sea corridor to send larger quantities of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.


The Israeli army committed a horrific massacre called the “Flour Massacre,” in which more than 100 were killed and more than 250 people were injured, who were waiting to receive aid in the northern Gaza Strip.


Since October 7, 2023, Israel has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip that has left tens of thousands of civilian victims, most of them children and women, in addition to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and massive infrastructure destruction, which led to Tel Aviv being brought before the International Court of Justice on charges of “ Genocide".


Source: Politico

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Politico: The airdrop reveals the Biden administration’s weakness towards the Netanyahu government