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The Biden administration is throwing Israel under the bus

Opinion: Biden administration's non-veto of cease-fire resolution is deterioration in US-Israel relations; Terror groups are main beneficiary of vote; measured response could involve reevaluating American involvement in Israeli decision-making processes

Dr. Omer Dostri|
The United States' choice not to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution advocating for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza conflict, even without the release of Israeli hostages by Hamas, marks a notable deterioration in relations between Washington and Jerusalem. This move also signals a notable shift in the Biden administration's stance since the onset of the Gaza war.
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ג'ו ביידן, חיילים בעזה, בינימין נתניהו
ג'ו ביידן, חיילים בעזה, בינימין נתניהו
U.S President Joe Biden; Israeli soldiers in Gaza; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photos: REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz, דובר צה"ל, REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Initially, U.S. President Joe Biden staunchly supported Israel's right to self-defense and its efforts to dismantle Hamas both militarily and politically. However, as the war progressed, the administration's approach evolved. The deliberate abstention in the UN Security Council, likely orchestrated by the Biden administration, serves as a warning to Israel. It suggests that if Israel persists in its demands regarding hostage negotiations, and continues its preparations for a military operation in Rafah, the U.S. is prepared to take further actions, even if it means deviating from established political norms in the bilateral relationship. The recent action taken by the U.S. in the UN Security Council could potentially foreshadow more drastic measures, such as reducing or halting the shipment of weapons and ammunition to Israel.
For decades, the U.S.'s influence within the UN Security Council has served as a crucial leverage point, exerting pressure on Israel while also providing a diplomatic shield for the state. However, these dynamics are shifting, as evidenced by this recent move, which challenges the traditional framework of unwavering U.S. support for Israel.
Despite occasional tensions and complexities in their relationship, particularly concerning the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the United States has historically maintained certain boundaries and refrained from altering its stance toward Israel. This has remained the case, with the exception of a shift at the end of the Obama administration in December 2016.
Monday's move by the Biden administration severely undermines a Western democratic state's struggle against extreme Islamic terrorism. Rather than aiding in the outcome of the war, the U.S. decision risks prolonging it.
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מועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
מועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
The United Nations Security Council votes to approve a cease-fire resolution
(Photo: UNTV)
The primary beneficiaries of this shift in American policy are Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza. They are emboldened by Washington's support, which sustains their resolve to continue fighting Israel and holding captives. Hamas is unlikely to agree to a compromise in hostage negotiations or rein in its terrorists when Israel's most significant ally and the world's largest power appears to be abandoning its support for it and adopting the narrative of a murderous Nazi-style terrorist organization.
The U.S. decision is particularly egregious considering the numerous concessions Israel has made at the Biden administration's request. These include facilitating humanitarian aid and even reducing the intensity of military operations, all of which undermine Israel's ability to effectively wage war and endanger the lives of IDF soldiers.
Nevertheless, considering the power dynamics between the two nations and Israel's reliance on American assistance and support for weapons procurement, defense aid (as evidenced by the recent $3.3 billion security aid package approved by the U.S. Congress), and ongoing diplomatic and political backing (even after the Biden administration's recent decision), Israel must exercise restraint and avoid acting hastily based on fleeting emotions.
A measured response could involve reevaluating the extent of American involvement in the Israeli decision-making processes. Since the onset of the Gaza conflict, Israel took a perplexing, historical and unprecedented measure by involving official American officials in its war decision-making. For example, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken participated at least twice in the discussions of the Israeli War Cabinet. Israel should now convey to the Biden administration that, while coordination and synchronization between the two nations regarding the conflict will proceed as usual, Israel will no longer permit the direct involvement of American officials in its sovereign decision-making process.
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 פעילות צוות הקרב של חטיבה 7 בהשמדת יכולות ייצור הטרור של חמאס
 פעילות צוות הקרב של חטיבה 7 בהשמדת יכולות ייצור הטרור של חמאס
IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Moreover, there is a need for a unified stance within Israel's political system. Both coalition and opposition parties should convey a clear and unified national message to Washington. This message should express Israel's rejection of the U.S. abstention at the UN Security Council, while also expressing gratitude for the political and security assistance received from the U.S.
Simultaneously, Israel should initiate a comprehensive information and influence campaign within the United States and globally to accurately portray the events of October 7, 2023. While such efforts were made immediately following the Hamas attack, they have since waned. Presently, the media, public figures, influencers and decision-makers are predominantly exposed to a one-sided narrative emanating from Gaza, based on Hamas propaganda.
Dr. Omer DostriDr. Omer Dostri
Moreover, Israel should capitalize on the current situation to launch a military operation in Rafah aimed at dismantling Hamas' four battalions in the region or, alternatively, initiate a military campaign targeting remaining Hamas forces in the central Gaza Strip. It is imperative for the United States to recognize that this equation has two sides, despite overwhelming power and generous assistance by one party to another.
Israel is not a puppet state dictated by foreign interests, as erroneously suggested by U.S Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who advocated for the ousting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The U.S. government, in its entirety, must acknowledge the consequences of throwing Israel under the bus for its own security, especially after Israel's numerous concessions and coordination efforts with Washington.
  • Dr. Omer Dostri has a doctorate in political studies. He is a military strategy and national security expert, and a researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS) and the Israel Defense and Security Forum-Habithonistim
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