Biden is the primary obstacle to Israeli victory

Polling shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans support Israel in this war and want it to destroy Hamas; the overwhelming majority of lawmakers from both parties share that view.

 

(JNS) The time has come to discuss the Biden administration’s relationship with Israel. With each passing day, two things become obvious. First, Israel cannot fight the war without U.S. resupply of the Israel Defense Forces. As a consequence, Israel is beholden to the administration’s directives. And second, if Israel follows the Biden administration’s directives, it will lose the war.

Israel’s dependence on the United States was stated bluntly by retired IDF Maj. General Yitzhak Brick in an interview earlier this week.

“All of our missiles, the ammunition, the precision-guided bombs, all the airplanes and bombs, it’s all from the U.S. The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting. You have no capability. … Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.”

Brick went on to explain that President Joe Biden’s demand that Israel permit “humanitarian aid” to enter Gaza means that he is demanding that Israel keep Hamas fully supplied with food, water and fuel.

His demand that Israel minimize Palestinian Arab civilian casualties endangers IDF soldiers and renders the expansion of the ground offensive into central and southern Gaza, where the bulk of Hamas’s force is now located, almost impossible to carry out. Brick suggested various forms of long-term tunnel warfare and other suggestions for how the IDF may be able to defeat Hamas over time while operating within the constraints that Biden and his top advisors are dictating.

At a minimum, it is clear that Biden’s preference for the lives of civilians in Gaza over the lives of IDF soldiers on the ground ensures that far more soldiers will be killed in the fighting than would otherwise. Three weeks ago, the administration began demanding that Israel limit (or cancel entirely) its pre-ground battle aerial bombings. Consequently, in the week that preceded this week’s “humanitarian pause,” the IDF’s battle losses were overwhelmingly the consequence of sniper fire from Hamas terrorists hiding in buildings that the air force did not destroy before the battles, due to U.S. pressure.

Then there is the issue of the hostages. Israel is duty-bound to the hostages, their families and Israeli society as a whole to rescue them. There are two ways to do this. Israel can bow to Hamas’s demands, as it is presently doing by suspending its offensive, and endangering Israel’s soldiers and civilians by permitting Hamas to rebuild and reorganize its forces, and by releasing terrorists from its prisons and retuning them to Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Or it can renew its military operation, locate the hostages and rescue them itself. Clearly, the second option is preferable.

Until Monday, it appeared the reason that Israel had accepted the deal it is currently operating under owed to its inability to locate the hostages. The London-based Daily Express reported on Monday that the real reason Israel is not rescuing the hostages—and instead agreed to the current deal with all of its tactical and strategic costs—is related to the Biden administration’s directive not to harm Palestinian civilians.

Based on Israeli sources, the British Daily Express reported that Israel knows where many of the hostages are located. It has opted not to rescue them because Hamas is holding the hostages among civilians. Rescuing them would involve collateral damage to those Palestinians and risk U.S. resupply, which Israel cannot fight without.

Here it is important to note that the number of actual civilians that have died as a result of Israel’s bombings remains unknown. On Oct. 25, Biden acknowledged that the Gaza Health Ministry’s data on civilian casualties lacks credibility in light of the fact that the Health Ministry is simply an organ of Hamas and reports the numbers it is told to report by Hamas’s terror masters. That data counts every dead terrorist as a dead civilian.

Israelis were thrilled with Biden’s statement. But the next day, he apologized for it. According to Fox News, in a meeting with Muslim American leaders on Oct. 26, Biden apologized for telling the truth.

Since Oct. 26, the administration has embraced as fact Hamas’s casualty counts and uses them as the basis for its demand that Israel minimize Palestinian Arab casualties. The administration’s willingness to ignore the fallacies at the heart of those data indicates that its policy is based on something other than concern for Palestinian Arab civilians, and therefore is not a tactical challenge that Israel may be capable of contending with and still win.

To be sure, Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have all expressed their solidarity with Israel, as well as their revulsion at Hamas’s actions and desire to see the genocidal jihadist terror group defeated. And to be sure, Biden has taken steps to resupply Israel—requesting $14.3 billion in military supplies to Israel (although the assistance has yet to be approved by Congress or signed into law by Biden). These positions and at least partial actions lend credence to Brick’s assessment, shared by the IDF and the government, that the challenge the Biden administration’s position on civilian casualties in Gaza is an operational or tactical challenge and not a strategic conundrum.

But there are additional indications that Biden doesn’t want Israel to win. First, there is the issue of Egypt. Due to the U.S. decision to support Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s determination to prevent Gazans from fleeing to Egypt or to a third country through Egypt, the million or so Gazans who evacuated the northern end of the Strip during the fighting are now concentrated in the south. Among them are the bulk of Hamas’s forces, which Israel must destroy to win the war.

Facing the U.S.-backed Egyptian refusal to permit these civilians to leave Gaza on the one hand and the U.S. directive to keep civilian casualties close to zero on the other, Israel is facing an impossible operational challenge. Brick may be right that a low-key, slow offensive would be capable of achieving the goal. But he may be wrong. Certainly, a more conventional operation would have a much higher chance of succeeding.

First, it must retain permanent military control over all of Gaza.

Second, Israel must seize a buffer zone several kilometers wide on the Gaza side of the border to protect civilian communities and military bases from a repeat of Oct. 7.

Biden and his advisers oppose both of these goals. Not only do they completely oppose Israeli military control over Gaza and the establishment of buffer zones inside Gaza, they demand that in a post-war settlement, Israel end its maritime blockade of the Gaza coast, and permit everything and anything to enter Gaza from the sea. In other words, the U.S. position is to permit terrorist forces whether they call themselves Hamas or anything else—to rebuild their capabilities unfettered in post-war Gaza.

Even worse, the administration’s position is that Gaza must be ruled by the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority after the war has ended, and that Gaza be united with Judea and Samaria in a post-war era, and together receive full sovereignty. In other words, the administration’s war goal is to establish a Fatah-dominated Palestinian state in these areas. On its own, this position is antithetical not only to an Israeli victory in the war. It represents an existential threat to Israel’s continued existence.

Fatah—and the P.A. it runs—is a terrorist organization and regime. The P.A.’s U.S.-armed and funded security forces are Hamas’s junior partners in terror. As Eugene Kontorovich and Itamar Marcus reported in The Wall Street Journal this week, P.A.-controlled Fatah terrorists from Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group posted videos of its members in Gaza participating in Hamas’s Oct. 7 slaughter. Fatah terrorists killed, tortured and kidnapped Israelis, and took videos of their actions.

Israel’s dependence on U.S. weapons makes it impossible for the Netanyahu government to publicly air the strategic threat the administration’s policies pose to its war effort and its long-term ability to survive in the post-Oct. 7 Middle East. Israel cannot risk additional stress to its position vis-à-vis the Biden administration and wants to avoid exposing the rift to its enemies already emboldened from Gaza to Lebanon, Yemen to Iran.

As the humanitarian pause is extended to secure the release of additional hostages and before the Christmas recess, House Republicans and like-minded Democrats should open hearings to compel the administration to explain its policies. Specifically, it should be asked to explain how Israel can defeat Hamas given the constraints the administration is placing on IDF operations.

Lawmakers must understand the source of the Israeli government’s fulsome praise for Biden. They should then take action to prevent the administration from maintaining its policy of paying lip service to an Israeli victory while preventing Israel from achieving one.

 

Caroline B. Glick is the senior contributing editor of Jewish News Syndicate and host of the “Caroline Glick Show” on JNS. She is also the diplomatic commentator for Israel’s Channel 14, as well as a columnist for Newsweek. Glick is the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington and a lecturer at Israel’s College of Statesmanship.

November 30, 2023 | 8 Comments »

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  1. @Israel770_N0aO6

    can’t israel make it’s own weapons, can’t it buy from other countries?

    The time to prepare for such changes is before a war begins, and doing so in the midst of war would be highly hazardous, or so I would argue.

    I have some knowledge regarding manufacturing and what is required for mass production, and for instance, the production of thousands of ventilators during the Covid scam by the US military was a notable feat to accomplish in the time they accomplished it, and just as noteworthy is the number of ventilators which failed to perform as intended after being pushed thru at speed. Quality and quantity must be carefully optimized, or you wind up getting DNA fragments left in fake vaccines, as also happened during the Covid scam.

    One major problem with changing the source of weapons is the proprietary nature of the weapons systems which IDF already have on hand, with which the IDF is well trained, and is well aware of the pitfalls and nuances of the systems on which they have trained. This is particularly an issue for the IAF where the F35s, for instance, are well known to need constant and steady replacement parts each time it lifts off.

    Another issue, specifically regarding Israel possibly manufacturing its own weapons, is actually creating something from nothing. Of course, Israel does do some arms manufacturing, but they lack the capacity to produce at scale the needs of the nation overnight. This is why they went to the US to acquire M16s rather than using their own manufactured rifles, because it would have been impossible to produce a couple hundred thousand rifles overnight for the war which could not wait the months to years to upscale their industry to meet their needs.

    Another issue, specifically with regards to purchasing weapons from another country, is having a client nation which has the stockpile available for sale, and with a steady flow of replacement parts and munitions ready at the drop of a hat at quantity. As with the scenario of Israel producing their own weapons, the client state would not have months to years to upscale production. Also, having a steady, secure flow of arms from the client state could become an issue if Iran were to target the shipments of arms coming to Israel with a drone attack for instance.

    Even if Israel could switch to another source of weapons, the lack of familiarity with the new weapons would likely affect efficiency on the battlefield and cost lives, to one degree or another. Things would improve over time, of course, but it would be expected that there would, or at least could, be hiccups along the way, and with an army deployed in the field, well, it would be less than ideal at best.

    Additionally, if the US and Israel went thru with a divorce so to speak, how would that affect the US air defense which is currently acting to keep the war from widening against Israel as well as keeping Israel from widening the war against Iran. Furthermore, the US has a vested interest in keeping the Mullahs in power, and this is not a small part of the US interests in the region. Should such a divorce take place between Israel and the US, it is not reasonable that the US would allow Israel to act with impunity to smite the Persian menace without interacting in some manner to prevent Israel’s success, even if this only meant supplying Iran with intel on any incoming Israeli attack, which is notably something which the US has done before, more than once.

  2. The big question no-one seems to be able to pose is: what does Biden really want? His declared objectives indicate that the state of Israel is superfluous. His blabbering indicates that he couldn’t care less.
    At the end of the day, it may be that he simply doesn’t know and it is a nice game to play as long as Hunter isn’t in the headlines.