Why is Biden unable to hear the chants of his people?

Why is Biden unable to hear the chants of his people?

Why is Biden unable to hear the chants of his people?
Though Biden has reportedly lost faith in Netanyahu, he continues to support Israel. (Reuters)
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When the foreign policy of a country as large and significant as the US is governed by a case of cognitive dissonance, terrible things happen.
These terrible things are, in fact, already taking place in the Gaza Strip, where well over 100,000 people have been killed or wounded or are missing and an outright famine is ravaging the displaced population.
From the start of Israel’s latest war on Gaza, the US has mishandled the situation, although recent reports indicate that Biden has read the overall meaning of the events of Oct. 7 correctly. According to Axios, Biden said in an Oct. 8 meeting with special counsel Robert Hur that the “Israel thing” — Hamas’ attack and the Israeli war on Gaza — “has changed it all.” With this comment, he was referring to the fact that the outcome of these events will “determine what the next six, seven decades look like.”
Biden is not wrong. Indeed, everything that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government and war council have done in Gaza point to a similar Israeli reading of the significance of the “world-altering” events.
Netanyahu has proven his willingness to carry out genocide and starve millions of Palestinians because he still feels that the superior firepower of the Israeli army means it will be able to turn back the clock and restore the country’s military standing, geopolitical influence and global position. He is wrong — and more than five months of war and senseless killing demonstrate this claim.
But the American political gamble in the Middle East and the global repercussions of Washington’s self-defeating foreign policy make far less sense. Considering Washington’s historic support for Israel, America’s behavior in the early days of the war was hardly a surprise. It quickly mobilized behind Netanyahu’s war Cabinet and sent aircraft carriers to the Eastern Mediterranean, indicating the US was ready for a major regional conflict.
Media reports began speaking of US military involvement, specifically through the Delta Force, although the Pentagon claimed that the 2,000 US soldiers were not deployed to fight in Gaza itself.
If it was not obvious that the US was a direct partner in the war, American mainstream media reports ended any doubt. The Washington Post this month reported that “the United States has quietly approved and delivered more than 100 separate foreign military sales to Israel since the Gaza war began.”
With time, however, US foreign policy regarding Gaza became even more perplexing. Though, in the early weeks of the war-turned-genocide, Biden questioned the death toll estimates produced by the Gaza Ministry of Health, its counting of casualties is no longer doubted. Asked on Feb. 29 about the number of women and children killed by Israel during the war, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin answered without hesitation: “It’s over 25,000.”
Yet the numbers continue to grow, just like the American shipments of weapons to Israel. “We continue to support Israel with their self-defense needs. That’s not going to change,” John Kirby, US national security spokesman, said last week. 

The number of deaths in Gaza continues to grow, just like the American shipments of weapons to Israel.

Ramzy Baroud

This statement is worth a pause since it came after many media leaks regarding Biden’s frustration and even outright anger over the way that Netanyahu is handling the war. NBC reported last month that Biden has been “venting his frustration” over his administration’s “inability to persuade Israel to change its military tactics in Gaza.” Netanyahu, the outlet quoted Biden as saying, is “giving him hell.”
This is consistent with other recent reports, including one by Politico that claimed Biden has privately “called the Israeli prime minister a ‘bad … guy,’” also over his Gaza war stance. Yet Netanyahu remains emboldened to the extent that he gave an interview last week, in which he openly spoke about “disagreements,” not only between their governments but between the US president “and the entire Israeli people.”
It is glaringly obvious that, without continued US military and other forms of support, Israel would not have been able to sustain its war on the Palestinians for more than a few weeks, thus sparing the lives of thousands of people.
Moreover, the US has served as Israel’s vanguard against the vast majority of world governments who, daily, demand an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the Strip. If it were not for repeated US vetoes at the UN Security Council, a resolution demanding a ceasefire would have been passed.
Despite this unconditional support, the US is struggling to stave off a wider regional conflict, which is already threatening its political standing in the Middle East. Therefore, Biden wants to regain the initiative by renewing discussions — though without commitment to real action — about a two-state solution and the future of Gaza.
Netanyahu is disinterested in these matters, since his single greatest political achievement, from the viewpoint of his right-wing constituency, is that he has completely frozen any discussions on a political horizon in Palestine. For Netanyahu, losing the war means an unceremonious return to the old American political framework of the so-called peace process.
The embattled Israeli prime minister also knows that ending the war would constitute the end for his coalition government, which is mostly sustained by far-right extremists like Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. To achieve his self-serving goals, the Israeli leader is willing to sustain a clearly losing war.
Though Biden has reportedly lost faith in Netanyahu, he continues to support Israel without openly questioning the disastrous outcomes of the war; not just on the Palestinian people but also on the region and the world, including his own country.
Americans, especially those in Biden’s Democratic Party, must continue to increase the pressure on their administration so that it resolves its cognitive dissonance in Palestine. Biden must not be allowed to continue to play this deadly balancing act, privately demanding that the war be stopped while openly funding the Israeli war machine.
Though a plurality of Americans already feel that way, Biden and his government are yet to receive the message. How many more Palestinians would have to die for Biden to hear the chants of the people, “Ceasefire now?”

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and author. He is editor of The Palestine Chronicle and nonresident senior research fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappe, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out.”
X: @RamzyBaroud

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