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Biden's Dilemma: Navigating Netanyahu's Influence as a Potential Obstacle to Peace

Saturday, 18 November 2023 17:52 Lifestyle

"The Ongoing Crisis in Gaza: Biden's Support for Netanyahu Under Scrutiny"

The tragic and unrelenting human suffering in Gaza, stemming from Israel's response to Hamas's actions on October 7, is leaving an indelible mark on the global stage. The consequential damage to the reputation of the United States, particularly its leader, President Joe Biden, and the broader international rules-based order, may prove irreparable.

Despite widespread global revulsion at the devastating impact on Gaza, President Biden has reaffirmed his unwavering support for Israel during a recent address in San Francisco. The ongoing assault in Gaza, resulting in over 11,000 reported Palestinian casualties, has raised concerns about the effectiveness of behind-the-scenes U.S. influence on Israel's leadership. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, appears increasingly resistant to American counsel, especially since the Hamas attacks that claimed around 1,200 lives, mostly civilians. Netanyahu continues to reject any form of ceasefire, insisting on Hamas's defeat and holding Israelis as hostages.

Even in the face of international pressure, Israel dismissed a recent UN Security Council resolution calling for extended humanitarian pauses, deeming it detached from the reality on the ground. Notably, neither the U.S. nor the UK exercised their veto power, indicating a shift in their stance. Recent statements from both countries have taken a more critical tone, reflecting the mounting pressure on President Biden to intervene more assertively. Biden, though initially resistant to the idea of a ceasefire, has started to show signs of flexibility. While he warned of potential future Hamas atrocities, he refrained from challenging Palestinian casualty figures, signaling a nuanced approach.

However, this stance places Biden at odds with public opinion, both in the U.S. and globally. A recent poll indicates that 68% of Americans advocate for a ceasefire, with almost 40% believing that Biden should act as a neutral mediator rather than staunchly supporting Israel. Within Democratic voters, dissatisfaction is particularly evident, as 56% feel that Israel's military response has gone too far, marking a 21% increase in a month. The dynamics of this crisis highlight the challenges faced by President Biden as he navigates the complexities of the situation, balancing diplomatic considerations with domestic and international expectations."

"Biden's Political Quandary: Gaza's Impact on Voter Sentiment and Global Perception"

As the crisis in Gaza unfolds, it casts a long shadow over President Joe Biden's political landscape, with implications reaching beyond America's borders. A critical segment of the electorate, particularly younger voters (under 45) and nonwhite voters, deems Israel's response as excessive – a sentiment that could significantly influence the key constituencies crucial for Biden's 2024 re-election bid, where he is already facing challenges.

The situation is compounded by a loss of Arab and Muslim support in swing states, contributing to internal challenges, including potential staff dissent. These factors collectively pose a threat to Biden's shaky re-election prospects. Public outrage over Gaza reverberates in the domestic politics of America's allies, creating divisions within governments, such as Keir Starmer's in the UK and tensions between France and Germany.

On the international stage, the European Union, akin to Biden, falls back on the familiar two-state solution, despite its track record of multiple failures in negotiations. The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, emphasizes the need to avoid justifying one horror with another but acknowledges the lack of leverage in influencing the situation. Concerns mount over how the Gaza crisis has overshadowed Ukraine's struggle against Russia. Biden's attempt to draw parallels between the two conflicts, portraying them as a common fight against lawlessness and brutality, has been criticized for damaging his moral authority and creating a perceived double standard.

The global south views the West's response through a critical lens, perceiving a discrepancy in the condemnation of civilian deaths in Ukraine versus Gaza. Arab countries express visceral fury at the human toll, branding Israel as a "terror state," while even Gulf regimes that forged ties with Israel face criticism. Post-colonial African countries align with Palestine's struggle, and China and Russia exploit perceived Western hypocrisy.

In hindsight, questions arise about Biden's handling of the crisis. While bound by existing US policy and personal history to support Israel, the President's visit to Tel Aviv, accompanied by a speech and genuine empathy, may have veered into excess. The complex dynamics underscore the challenges Biden faces in navigating both domestic sentiment and the delicate geopolitical landscape, as Gaza emerges as a focal point shaping the trajectory of global opinion."

"Biden's Netanyahu Dilemma: A Liability for Peace"

Despite President Biden's advice not to succumb to rage, his approach to Netanyahu has seemingly given the Israeli Prime Minister a free hand in the ongoing conflict. Netanyahu, a hard-right nationalist and fervent Trump supporter, operates without genuine allegiance to Biden. The U.S. desires a time limit on the war, while Netanyahu pursues an elusive goal of eradicating Hamas entirely, framing it as a "long war" to secure his political survival.

Netanyahu's dismissal of Biden's warnings reflects a determination to maintain control over Gaza, rejecting a two-state solution and eroding trust among Jewish Israelis. While the U.S. has belatedly adopted a tougher stance, as long as Netanyahu remains in power, the struggle in Jerusalem persists, prolonging Gaza's suffering and undermining Western leaders' credibility.

The fear of a wider war looms, with U.S. officials expressing concerns about a potential explosion in the West Bank. Whether addressing Gaza's future, Palestinian statehood, the Iranian threat, or the call for democratic governance, Netanyahu emerges as a liability, further complicating the pursuit of peace. The message to Biden is clear: true peace remains elusive as long as Bibi rules."

"In conclusion, the conundrum posed by Netanyahu's leadership casts a long shadow over the prospects of peace in the region. President Biden's attempts to counsel restraint and navigate the delicate balance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have met resistance from Netanyahu, whose political survival appears intertwined with an extended military campaign. As calls for a two-state solution grow and global leaders take a tougher stance, the persistent defiance from Jerusalem not only prolongs the suffering in Gaza but also jeopardizes credibility at home and abroad. The future remains uncertain, with the specter of a wider war looming. The stark reality is that genuine peace seems elusive as long as Netanyahu holds sway, presenting a formidable obstacle to diplomatic solutions and heightening the urgency for a reevaluation of the leadership dynamics in the region."

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