Betraying An Ally For Political Gain

On Monday, PJ Media posted an article about the Biden administration’s attempts to free the American hostages held captive in Gaza. While I agree that the American hostages should be freed, I also believe that the effort to free them should also be part of a larger effort to solve the problem of Hamas terrorism. Unfortunately, that is not the path the Biden administration has chosen.

The article reports:

It’s a line we’ve heard in countless movies and TV shows. Get the picture: a terrorist group hijacks a plane, kidnaps an American, or otherwise takes over something on U.S. soil, and the country’s leaders are discussing what to do. Usually, the president or someone else in the administration says that inevitable line: “We do not negotiate with terrorists!”

If we are to believe a report from NBC, that’s not the case anymore. Or, as my colleague Ed Morrissey put it: “Old and busted: America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists. New hotness: We’d rather cut a deal with terrorists than support our ally.

NBC is reporting that the White House is ready to work on a deal to get five hostages back from Hamas along with the remains of three dead hostages while leaving Israel out of the loop:

The article also includes a screenshot of a Tweet illustrating another way the Biden administration is trying to undermine the Israeli government of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The article also notes:

“Not only is this effort from Biden and Antony Blinken despicable, it’s incredibly stupid,” Ed Morrissey wrote. “They want to reward Hamas for the October 7 massacre and want to punish the Israelis for grasping its existential import.”

Add this to the growing list of Biden’s foreign policy failures. “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said of Biden 10 years ago. Make that five decades because his treatment of Israel is shameful and wrong.

Genesis 12:3 states:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)

The Biden administration might want to keep this in mind.

 

Clean Up Your Own Back Yard

The Biden administration is doing some serious meddling in both the internal and external affairs of Israel. Internally they are trying to bring down the Netanyahu administration, externally they are trying to give Hamas a victory in Gaza. Both of these things will create more instability in the Middle East.

To understand the reason behind the Biden administration’s horrible foreign policy, we need to go back to the Obama administration. The Obama administration, for whatever reason, sought to stabilize the Middle East by strengthening Iran and weakening Israel. The foreign policy personnel of the Obama administration are the people dictating the foreign policy of the Biden administration.

On Monday, Legal Insurrection posted an article about the  Biden administration’s latest Middle East peace proposal. The goal of the Biden administration is to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu into agreeing to this proposal. The proposal would be a death warrant for Israel.

The article reports:

I smelled a rat as soon as Biden announced it: “This has all the appearances of Team Biden trying to box Israel into something it did not propose and does not agree to – and dropping it just before the Sabbath so we can’t get a full Israeli response for 24 hrs as Biden continues to build pressure.”

We previously posted about Biden’s publicized statement on Friday, May 31, as Israel was entering a quiet period for the Sabbath, that purported to present a new Israeli ceasefire proposal, Biden Presented Supposed Israeli Ceasefire Proposal Leaving Hamas In Power, But It Was His Own.

The timing was suspicious, as was the substance. Per Biden, Israel had proposed what amounted to a permanent ceasefire not even subject to all hostages (alive and dead) being returned and subject to indefinite negotiations.

The article includes a screenshot of a tweet:

The article notes:

But Israel stopped short of saying Biden lied. In remarks over the weekend, Netanyahu came pretty close to using the “L” word, as Times of Israel reports:

Israeli officials pushed back on Monday on elements of the hostage deal proposal presented by US President Joe Biden over the weekend as an Israeli offer, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that there were gaps between that proposal and Israel’s stance.

“The claim that we agreed to a ceasefire without our conditions being met is incorrect,” the prime minister reportedly told lawmakers.

Netanyahu said in a Knesset meeting that Israel will not end the war in Gaza until it achieves its three war aims, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel: destroying Hamas’s military and civil governance capabilities, securing the release of all hostages, and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.

“The proposal that Biden presented is incomplete,” the premier told MKs at a closed-door meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, according to media reports.

He also reportedly said that there are “gaps” between the Israeli version and Biden’s recounting of it.

If we want peace in the Middle East, we are going to have to deal with Iran. That is the head of the snake. The other countries involved in funding terrorism might reconsider if bad things happen to Iran.

The Deal Offered

On June 1st, Red State posted an article about the peace proposal offered to Israel by President Biden.

These are the details:

Let me provide a little context. Israel has evacuated almost all of Rafah. They have also secured the Egyptian border region and seized the center of the city. There is nothing left to do but clear out the tunnel complexes and finish off Hamas as a military and governing authority. 

With that as the backdrop, Biden is still demanding a “complete ceasefire” and the removal of Israeli forces from Gaza. That would be “phase one” of this stupid proposal, which would allow Hamas to regroup and rearm. What would Israel get in return? The release of “some hostages” and some dead bodies of those murdered by the terrorist group. 

Then there’s “phase two,” which would be a “permanent ceasefire” and an “exchange” for the release of the remaining “living hostages.” Yes, the Biden administration is glossing over the fact that Hamas has executed hostages. Still, the worst part of that line is that Israel would be expected to exchange terrorists who murdered or attempted to murder Israelis even to get those still alive back. 

Of course, “phase three” would be the rest of us paying to rebuild schools that taught Gazan children how to commit terrorist attacks while shouting how much they hate Jews. Isn’t your government great?

Let’s be honest. We all know why Biden put that explainer out minutes before Shabbat took effect (meaning many Israelis wouldn’t see the news). He wanted to try to paint Israel into a corner and force them to accept terrible terms that would ensure Hamas’ continued rule.

The article includes a screenshot of Israel’s response:

I believe that Hamas crossed a line on October 7th. Hamas may be able to manipulate world opinion to some degree, but Israel remembers October 7th and still awaits the return of the hostages. To release terrorists in exchange for hostages (or the dead bodies of hostages) and allow Hamas to regroup would be folly. Most sensible people realize that. To return Gaza to the control of those who support Hamas would only pave the way for another October 7th style attack. My prayer is that Prime Minister Netanyahu will stand strong to preserve the safety of Israel.

The Problem With The Statement

This is President Biden’s Statement regarding the attack on Israel (from Townhall):

Earlier today, Iran—and its proxies operating out of Yemen, Syria and Iraq—launched an unprecedented air attack against military facilities in Israel. I condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms.

At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week.  Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles. 

I’ve just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel.  I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks – sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel.

Tomorrow, I will convene my fellow G7 leaders to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.  My team will engage with their counterparts across the region.  And we will stay in close touch with Israel’s leaders.  And while we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people.

There are a few problems with the statement. First of all, the attack was not simply against military facilities–it was also against civilians.

The article also notes that President Biden is demanding that Israel refrain from a military response to the attacks. What other nation in the world would be asked to do that?

Some Common Sense From The State Department

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article about a recent statement of policy by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The article reports:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared today that the U.S. does not regard Israeli settlements on the West Bank as illegal. He thus reversed the position taken by former Secretary of State John Kerry in the dying days of the Obama administration.

Pompeo explained that, after carefully studying the issue, he concluded that President Reagan got it right when he found that the settlements are not illegal. Reagan had reversed the position taken by the Carter administration.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Benny Gantz both support this move.

The article also notes:

Caroline Glick views Pompeo’s statement as a diplomatic turning point. She writes:

Pompeo’s statement is first and foremost an extraordinary gesture of support for Israel and the rights of the Jewish people on the part of President Donald Trump and his administration. But from a U.S. perspective, it also represents a key advance in Trump’s realist foreign policy.

Since taking office, Trump has worked consistently to align U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond to the world as it is, rather than to the world as “experts” imagine it to be. In the Middle East, this realignment of U.S. policy has provided the nations of the region – including Israel and the Palestinians – with the first chance of reaching genuine peace they have ever had.

I doubt that the Palestinians have any desire for genuine peace, and therefore doubt that Pompeo’s statement will move the parties closer to such a peace. However, I agree with Glick that Pompeo’s realism (and President Trump’s) about West Bank settlements is a prerequisite for real progress in any meaningful peace process.

Another thing that needs to be considered is that the ‘settlements’ are not really settlements–they are thriving communities that include hospitals, schools, and infrastructure. We have learned from experience that when the so-called Palestinians are given territory they do not built infrastructure–they use whatever financial aid they are given to build terrorist tunnels and buy rockets and ammunition. Until that changes, I see no point in negotiating to give any territory to them.

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Speech At The United Nations

Here is the link to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations.

Here are a few highlights:

I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. I’ve come here to speak about the dangers we face and about the opportunities we see. I’ve come here to expose the brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country and against the brave soldiers who defend it. Ladies and Gentlemen, The people of Israel pray for peace. But our hopes and the world’s hope for peace are in danger. Because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam.

Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it’s rapidly spreading in every part of the world. You know the famous American saying: “All politics is local”? For the militant Islamists, “All politics is global.” Because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world. Now, that threat might seem exaggerated to some, since it starts out small, like a cancer that attacks a particular part of the body. But left unchecked, the cancer grows, metastasizing over wider and wider areas.

…In the past, outrageous lies against the Jews were the precursors to the wholesale slaughter of our people. But no more. Today we, the Jewish people, have the power to defend ourselves. We will defend ourselves against our enemies on the battlefield. We will expose their lies against us in the court of public opinion. Israel will continue to stand proud and unbowed. Ladies and Gentlemen, Despite the enormous challenges facing Israel, I believe we have an historic opportunity. After decades of seeing Israel as their enemy, leading states in the Arab world increasingly recognize that together we and they face many of the same dangers: principally this means a nuclear-armed Iran and militant Islamist movements gaining ground in the Sunni world. Our challenge is to transform these common interests to create a productive partnership. One that would build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East. Together we can strengthen regional security. We can advance projects in water, agriculture, in transportation, in health, in energy, in so many fields. I believe the partnership between us can also help facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Many have long assumed that an Israeli-Palestinian peace can help facilitate a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab World.

But these days I think it may work the other way around: Namely that a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And therefore, to achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere. I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries, those that are willing to provide political, material and other indispensable support. I’m ready to make a historic compromise, not because Israel is occupying a foreign land.
The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel.
History, archeology and common sense all make clear that we have had a singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years. I want peace because I want to create a better future for my people. But it must be a genuine peace, one that is anchored in mutual recognition and enduring security arrangements, rock solid security arrangements on the ground.

Because you see, Israel’s withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza created two militant Islamic enclaves on our borders from which tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel. These sobering experiences heighten Israel’s security concerns regarding potential territorial concessions in the future. Those security concerns are even greater today. Just look around you. The Middle East is in chaos. States are disintegrating. Militant Islamists are filling the void. Israel cannot have territories from which it withdraws taken over by Islamic militants yet again, as happened in Gaza and Lebanon. That would place the likes of ISIS within mortar range – a few miles – of 80% of our population. Think about that. The distance between the 1967 lines and the suburbs of Tel Aviv is like the distance between the UN building here and Times Square. Israel’s a tiny country.

Thank God for a leader who tells the truth.