Israel is on a collision course with the US

T. Belman.  US would “under no circumstances” allow the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.”

By taking this position, the US is leaving no wiggle room for Israel. Israel should not play ball and not agree to a ceasefire even if ordained by the US or the UN. She should reject these confines and leave it to the US to do the impossible without Israel’s cooperation. Israel should not commit suicide at their behest. She should reject the confines as unacceptable and put the ball back in the US court.

The government needs to stop playing politics and instead outline a vision for the day after in Gaza.

By YAAKOV KATZ, JPOST  DECEMBER 8, 2023

Is Israel on a collision course with the United States? It might be, and while there is a way to avoid the clash, it is a step that Benjamin Netanyahu will have a hard time taking.

The clash is already identifiable from remarks made in recent days by top administration officials like Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Both warned Israel against the growing civilian death toll in Gaza and said that the US would “under no circumstances” allow the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the architect of the US mission to combat ISIS, went even further, warning Israel of “strategic defeat” if it does not protect civilians and instead drives them into the hands of the radicals.

These statements are not missed by Israeli diplomats or military officers who understand that the diplomatic clock is running out. As a result, the IDF is pushing deeper and more aggressively into Hamas strongholds in Gaza – Khan Yunis, Shuja’iyya, and Jabalya to name some – and with that push, the Palestinian death toll will increase.

While the US has held off so far on calling for a comprehensive ceasefire – instead sticking to calls for “pauses” and breaks to facilitate the release of hostages or the transfer of humanitarian aid – there is little doubt in Jerusalem that such a call is growing closer.

This is obvious from the division of roles right now within the administration. While Joe Biden is sticking to the pro-Israel approach, he is coordinating with Harris, who is taking a more vocal role that is tougher on Israel, with the goal of bridging the democratic divide on the war and bringing back party members who feel that the president has been too soft.

Israel needs to keep in mind that words are not the only way for America to express its displeasure. In 2014, for example, the Obama administration delayed the delivery of Hellfire missiles to Israel after it was upset that the IDF was directly asking the Pentagon for a resupply during the Gaza war that summer.

Imagine more delays in the $14 billion aid package to Israel. Already, Republican senators are fighting with Democrats over the package and connecting it to reforms in border and immigration policy, while some of the more progressive Democrats want to see Biden tie the aid to a change in Israeli military conduct.

There are more subtle ways, such as making it harder for the IDF to access the forward-based arms depot the US maintains in Israel, or mysteriously delaying the delivery of spare parts for Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets. Shipments scheduled to arrive on a Tuesday could suddenly be delayed to the following Sunday due to “technical” reasons.

And then there is the more public option: Biden directly calls on Israel to wrap up the war and Israel refuses, claiming that it needs more time. So far, Biden has refrained from doing so, but – depending on how the ground offensive continues and the climbing death toll in Gaza – that could change before we even know it.

A plan for the ‘day after’

ISRAEL HAS a way to avoid this clash or at, the very least, to minimize it. To do so, it needs to put forward a plan for the “day after” the war with Hamas that includes some sort of diplomatic engagement with the Palestinian Authority, which the Biden administration would like to see empowered and bolstered to be able to one day retake the reins over the Gaza Strip.

This is not something that Netanyahu, who is already in political campaign mode, can do. As evidenced by his recent statements against the PA, it seems pretty clear what Netanyahu’s election campaign is going to be about: a claim that only he can prevent the PA from taking over Gaza while his rivals – Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, and Naftali Bennett – will be weak and more susceptible to US pressure.

This is dangerous and mixes Israeli national security interests with politicking. Instead, what Israel should consider doing is providing the world with a diplomatic vision so that it backs off and gives the IDF the time it needs to degrade Hamas capabilities, eliminate more of its leaders – including the top leadership – and, as a consequence, also improve the conditions for another hostage release or exchange.

If you listen carefully to Netanyahu, there is a way to interpret what he is saying as not just what Israel will not allow, but rather what it will allow. When he says that he cannot allow the PA to move into Gaza since it incites against Israel in its education system and has laws that pay salaries to terrorists, he is essentially saying that if that were not the case, then his position might be different. Due to politics and fear of coalition partners Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, Netanyahu cannot say so publicly, but in private conversations with the Americans, government officials are getting that point across.

Americans need to undergo their own transformation 

The Americans, though, also need to undergo their own transformation. The constant referencing of a “two-state solution” is misguided and creates unrealistic expectations. It shows a profound misunderstanding of what happened here on October 7. In the absence of an Anwar Sadat-like leader on the Palestinian side, Israel will not withdraw from territory in the decades to come, an ironclad condition for the PA. By creating expectations to the contrary, the US is causing more damage than good.

This challenge – creating a diplomatic endgame to the war – is not new for Israel. Over decades of peace talks with the Palestinians, consecutive Israeli governments almost never put forward their own plans for what they wanted to happen and instead created a vacuum that was always filled by American and European initiatives. Israel thought it was buying time, but in reality, it allowed for increased diplomatic pressure.

Without creating a plan that is coordinated with the US and some of Israel’s Arab allies, the country will once again be setting itself up for a vacuum that will almost certainly lead to the creation of a plan that will not be best for Israel.

Which is why the government needs to stop playing politics and instead outline a vision for the day after in Gaza. Doing so will help alleviate international pressure, will stave off a clash with the US, will buy the IDF more time to achieve its military objectives, and will – just as importantly – help restore some public trust in our political leaders.

The writer is a senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute and the immediate past editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post.

December 9, 2023 | 13 Comments »

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  1. Katz is a I.S/ and.or British agent. IHere he is acting only as Blinkin and Biden’s emissary to the Israli public, the Israeli government, or both.

    It is true that Israel should have a plan for “the day after.” But it would have to be a plan that would outrage the Biden-Blinken team. An Israeli plan would envidion
    along-term Israeli administration of Gaza once Hamas and company was defeated. During this administration .Hamas and other Jihadist warriors would be segregated from the rest of the Gazan population, most likely in camps in the Negev. There they would be subjected to reeducation. Of course they would also be interrogated about the presense of arms, tunnels, etc. in Gaza. That would be the solution for the terrorist rank and file. A few of the top leaders would be subjected to public trials, a la the Eichmann trial or the Neremburg trials, in which among other things all the video evidence of the atrocities they committed, and the surviving victims , both former hoostages to the horrors they had endured. Perhaps some ex-Hamasniks would also testify, on such topics as whether or not service in the terror squads was voluntary or compulsary, whether or not participation in atrocities was compulary or voluntary for Hamas :draftees, : etc.

    Rank and file terrorists would be permitted either to leave for abroad or rejoin their families in Gaza after 2-3 years of intense “dejihadization” and reeducation in civilized values.

    While the jihadist POWs were being reeducated and were not residents of the Strip., Israel would establish completely new schools in the Strip that would teach teach civilized values. Thre would be civilized education not only for children but compulsary “adult reeducation: for all adults not in reeducation camps. Women would receive equal rights. The Israeli administration would expel UNWRA and all of its non-Gazan employees. The Gazan UNWRA employees would be among the POWs in the Negev reeducation camps. The Israelis would provide employment for non-terrorist men and women by rebuilding Gaza from the ground up with legitimate housing, businesses, factories, etc.

    The practical difficulties in implementing this plan would be enormous because of the opposition of the U.S., the NATO countries and the entire “international communities.” Still, Israel could propose this plan to the Biden-Blinken administration, the other nATO countries, and the “internationalcommunity” via Israel’s delegation tothe UN. It would at least shut up the Biden-Blinken plan about the ‘day after,” and/or publish their own outrageous plan, which aims at leaving Hamas in control of Gaza. My plan, if adopted and publishwd by the Israeli government, would at least make a powerful public relations statement to the entire ointernational community and to the leftists and Arabs inside Israel.

  2. When he says that he cannot allow the PA to move into Gaza since it incites against Israel in its education system and has laws that pay salaries to terrorists, he is essentially saying that if that were not the case, then his position might be different.

    And if pigs had wings, they’d fly, as the saying goes.

  3. The Biden administration is talking out of both sides of their mouth. This past week or so Biden came out as the good cop and Harris starts playing the tough talking bad cop. I don’t see good things ahead. the rest of this week should be infesting to see what develops. During the meantime, GIVE’ EM HELL ISRAEL.

  4. I disagree with the author, when he writes,
    “there is a way to interpret what he [Netanyahu] is saying as not just what Israel will not allow, but rather what it will allow. When he says that he cannot allow the PA to move into Gaza since it incites against Israel in its education system and has laws that pay salaries to terrorists, he is essentially saying that if that were not the case, then his position might be different.”

    I do not think it is reasonable to infer that Netanyahu means that just in case the PA decide to stop inciting the murder of all Jews, they would be fine as leaders in Gaza. That is a perverse interpretation of what Netanyahu said.

    Netanyahu said it simply and clearly: the PA cannot even be considered for leadership in Gaza because they, like Hamas, want to commit genocide of the Jews in Israel and they teach their children this starting in kindergarten.

    Those insisting that Netanyahu MUST have a plan for the day after otherwise Israel will be on a collision course with the US also seem to me to be implying that there must be an Israeli plan that will not clash with the demands of the US.

    It isn’t clear to me that Netanyahu must come up with a plan that meets the expectations of the US. The US has been protecting and supporting and enriching Iran since the days of Jimmy Carter. In fact, the US fought a war in Iraq in order to allow Iran to run it! That was the ultimate outcome of all the blood and treasure destroyed there. The Biden administration has been NAKED in its support for Iran since day one.

    Why do you think the US sponsored an Oslo peace agreement that put an Iranian asset, i.e. Yassir Arafat’s PLO on the high ground of the West Bank INSIDE ISRAEL, when they already knew that Israel could never defend herself should there be an enemy force there? That was to make sure Israel could not defend herself.

    Why is the Biden administration using whatever political capital it has to tell Israel to stand down as soon as possible? To ensure that Israel is not able to destroy Hamas.

    That is the goal: a crippled Israel that can never defend herself properly and can always be attacked from all sides.

    After 10/7 Israeli leaders must have the courage to go it alone if necessary, and just say “no” to Washington. They are going to have to win this war, and fight every force that comes at Israel, whether that be the PA, Hezbollah, or Iran. And they have to attack before Iran gets the nuclear weapon so time is short.

    Yes she may have to get weapons from elsewhere. It would not be the first time Israel accomplished this.

    But for Israel there can never again be a world in which she allows herself to be boxed in and destroyed by enemies. The US government is not a friend to Israel. It is an adversary. Words don’t count. Actions do. The US has shown in actions that their ally is Iran, their enemy is Israel.

    Jews in America need to wake up! You’ve been indoctrinated in propaganda for too long. Compare the funding of the US to Iran with the funding to Israel. You will find out the funding to Israel is 1/20th of what the US gives to Iran ($60 billion for Iran, $3 billion for Israel).

  5. Sabasarge… folding is not an option no matter what… Just my humble opinion. We in Diasporaland will have to learn to take our lumps and even fight back if necessary.

    Ted and Linda G. I’m all in for this. One other thing… Israel has to deal with the ugly leftists in the land. As I may have mentioned before, I believe that Israel was so distracted by the hatred shown in the anti-Bibi marches that it missed the ball (so to speak) on what became the 10/7 massacre. If the left doesn’t like anything about Israel (sounds like the US) they should move into the land “vacated” by the “palestinians”.

  6. Today, Israel needs a Menachem Begin moment. Forty years ago, on June 22, 1982, Joe Biden was just a Senator from Delaware, and threatened to cut off aid to Israel during his Senate Foreign Relations committee testimony. Begin shocked the world with his impassioned response:

    Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.

    People forget another famous remark by Menachem Begin, “Israel is still the only country in the world against which there is a written document to the effect that it must disappear.”

    History is a great teacher. Appeasement did not work for England against the Nazis in WWII, and it will not work for Israel against Hamas. Land for peace has not worked, and the two-state solution is the final solution that will end Israel. No politician, including Biden and Blinken, has the right to insist Israel commit national suicide. War on Israel is a neverending war of attrition, and every time Israel capitualtes to political pressure, it empowers and emboldens Israel’s enemies. The horrific savagery and barbarity of the Hamas October 7, 2023 attack on Israeli civilians is proof of the escalating depravity of Hamas violence. The civilized world must never accept or expect Israel to tolerate Hamas terrorist savagery as justifiable. Netanyahu must fight this war to win. The choice is between Israeli survival and Israeli extinction.

    Am Yisrael Chai!

  7. Enough of this the US HAS FALLEN FORGET ABOUT IT ANCIENT HISTORY ITS TIME ISRAEL DID WHAT IS IN ISRAELS INTETEST AND LET THE WORLDS ANTI JEWS GTH

  8. Having layered chatters is SOP.. Obama is good at it. Meanwhile. Israel controls the ground. Must solidify positions and not talking. After Hamas is militarily subdued. Press the reset button. By February zhe US election run will be on.

  9. T. Belman. “US would “under no circumstances” allow the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.”
    By taking this position, the US is leaving no wiggle room for Israel. Israel should not play ball and not agree to a ceasefire even if ordained by the US or the UN. She should reject these confines and leave it to the US to do the impossible without Israel’s cooperation. Israel should not commit suicide at their behest. She should reject the confines as unacceptable and put the ball back in the US court.”

    That’s a lot of “shoulds” Ted. What do you think the chances are that we will adhere to those shoulds, or will we fold in the end?
    Personally I’m not optimistic.