The title of this article reproduces a headline from Globes, Israel’s financial daily, published the day before US President Joe Biden delivered remarks at the White House indicating that rather than giving Israel a free hand, he considers the United States a full and active partner in its systematic destruction of the Gaza Strip.
Even by US standards, it was an extraordinary speech. Hamas, according to Biden, exists for the sole purpose of killing Jews, and he placed Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge firmly in the context of the Holocaust and ISIS, thereby denying any relationship between the Palestinian offensive against Israel and Israeli policies towards the Palestinians with which he is all too familiar.
Biden devoted a substantial portion of his remarks to denouncing attacks against civilian non-combatants, or rather Israeli civilians and them alone. The mass killings of Palestinians civilians and razing of entire Gazan neighborhoods with high explosives was waved away with the claim that, unlike Hamas, Israel “upholds the laws of war”.
Before concluding with an anecdote about Golda Meir which seemed to suggest both he and she were fully aware of Egypt and Syria’s impending launch of the October War, Biden made a number of statements emphasizing that during the current crisis there is no daylight between the White House and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich have, as predicted, been normalized.
Biden emphasized that Israel will get all the high explosives and support it needs, without any strings of any sort attached, to achieve the objectives its leadership chooses. This was received in Israel as a license to not only continue but to escalate yet further, and it is inconceivable the White House is not fully aware of this. Predictably, that same evening the Al-Karama neighborhood of Gaza City was vaporized, with rescue teams indicating the scale of the destruction had thoroughly overwhelmed their capacities.
Yet, as Israel shut off the food, water, medicine, and electricity supply to the Gaza Strip, and Israeli leaders issued increasingly genocidal threats, their torment of Gaza’s long-suffering population failed to conceal their colossal military ineptitude, even from Biden. Washington’s dispatch of an aircraft carrier group to the eastern Mediterranean to deter Hizballah from opening a second front in solidarity with the Palestinians demonstrates that Washington too has concluded Israel is no longer capable of defending itself without massive foreign participation.
[This article was first published in Middle East Eye]