U.S. President Joe Biden’s statements during his recent visit to Israel were extraordinary. There is no other way to say it.
“To the people of Israel, your courage and commitment is stunning. I’m proud to be here,” he said.
Regarding the false claim that Israel had destroyed a Gaza hospital, Biden stated, “I’m deeply saddened and outraged by the hospital blast, which appears to be done by the other team.” Biden’s National Security Council later confirmed this: The blast was likely caused by rockets fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was appropriately grateful to Biden, particularly for the security cooperation that has ramped up in the past week.
But while statements are good—excellent, even—as was the decision to impose sanctions on “ten key Hamas terrorist group members, operatives and financial facilitators in Gaza and elsewhere including Sudan, Türkiye, Algeria and Qatar,” it appears that the Biden administration’s pre-Oct. 7 political paradigm remains.
The administration’s policies on Iran, the Palestinians, Lebanon and Israel went a long way towards bringing Israel to this catastrophe. When the history of the debacle is written, it will be clear that oil sanctions waivers, unfreezing assets and ignoring the suffering of the Iranian people under the mullahs gave Tehran the sense that it was driving events.
Moreover, the administration’s insistence on a “two-state solution” gave veto power not only to the Palestinian Authority, but also to Hamas. It pulled the rug out from under the Abraham Accords countries, who had agreed that the economic and social future of the region would not be held hostage to intransigent Palestinians. Biden was even willing to sink Israel-Saudi rapprochement with a requirement that Israel provide concessions to the P.A. while requiring nothing from P.A. strongman Mahmoud Abbas.
In addition, the White House announced in July that it was giving more than $315 million to the Palestinians, bragging that it had raised the total to nearly a billion dollars since the administration took office. This gave Hamas and the P.A. the same idea as Tehran: that the U.S. was on their side.
The Biden administration also forced a natural gas/maritime border deal on Israel that ceded resources to Lebanon and signaled to Hezbollah that its position in southern Lebanon was probably safe from Israeli attack.
The White House’s continuous slaps at Israel and propensity for poking its nose into Israeli domestic politics certainly didn’t help ward off the Hamas-Iran terror assault that was coming.