Biden: Israel Has a Right To Defend Itself

This traditional phrase was repeated by the American president during his phone call on Saturday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S. president also added that he does not see the counterattacks in response to the Gaza rocket strikes as an “overreaction.” Observers, maybe along with the Israeli prime minister, have interpreted this to mean that the Jewish state will be given free rein to deal with the conflict for the time being. The situation, however, is not so simple. The Israeli military turned a Gaza City tower to dust, which housed the local offices of the American AP news outlet and Arab Al Jazeera TV network, among others, even though attacking independent press is contrary to American foreign policy.

President Joe Biden is hardly annoyed by the demagogic attacks from the right. There wasn’t any “peace” in the Middle East under Donald Trump’s presidency either, since Israel was encouraged to create new settlements in the disputed areas after seeing America’s one-sided policy. The most they achieved was a section of Arab nations that are afraid of Iran fleeing to make agreements with the lesser evil, Israel, in hopes of coming under American protection. That’s why the argument that Biden has destroyed the “peace” that Trump has built up for four years is not very convincing.

What is giving the president a headache is that his own party’s progressive wing is drawing a direct comparison between American and Israeli racism. Sen. Bernie Sanders, for example, stated in an article in The New York Times that just like Black lives, Palestinian lives matter. Rep. Ayanna Pressley also referred to the experiences of Black Americans in regard to the Middle East, saying that she is not unfamiliar with police brutality and state-sanctioned violence.

These criticisms are not helped by the fact that the United States sent a mid-level diplomat to negotiate in Israel, nor that Biden called Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. The American president also needs to act urgently because procrastination discredits the direction of a foreign policy aimed at the protection of democracy and human rights, as well as the criticism of Chinese and Russian practices. Moreover, the majority of American Jews are loyal voters of the Democratic Party. Biden would not be president without them, so he can only move carefully against the Israeli government. His only tool is to threaten to shrink their yearly $3.8 billion American aid, which hardly affects Benjamin Netanyahu’s political survival, which he is currently fighting for through military tactics.

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