A source within the Israeli government told Breitbart News on Tuesday that U.S. President Joe Biden’s pressure would lead to Hamas surviving the war intact, rather than allowing Israel to destroy Hamas or remove its military and governing capabilities.
In recent days, the White House has acknowledged that Israel intends to continue fighting Hamas after the current “pause,” sought by Biden to allow the release of hostages, ends later this week.
“The Israelis have been pretty clear that once the pauses are complete and the hostage exchanges [sic] are over that they intend to continue their military operations against Hamas,” White House adviser John Kirby said on Monday (Israel does not hold “hostages”; it is releasing convicted Palestinian terrorists).
However, the White House is no longer clearly stating that it shares that goal. And the Israeli government privately believes Biden is prepared to tolerate the survival of Hamas, despite the fact that Hamas and other terror groups would see that as a victory.
The reason Israel believes this is Biden’s goal is that the U.S. administration is imposing onerous conditions on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) regarding its operations in Gaza, such that defeating Hamas has become almost impossible.
The New York Times described these Tuesday:
The United States has warned Israel that it must fight more surgically and avoid further mass displacement of Palestinians in its war against Hamas to avoid a humanitarian crisis that overwhelms the world’s ability to respond, according to senior Biden administration officials.
American officials have told the Israelis that any coming military operations should not hamper the flow of power and water or impede the work of humanitarian sites such as hospitals and U.N.-supported shelters in south and central Gaza.
Neither the U.S. nor neighboring Egypt — a U.S. ally — has made plans to allow residents of Gaza to leave the area during fighting, nor have any other Arab countries offered to take in Palestinians, meaning Israel alone bears the risk to Palestinian civilians.
Middle East analyst and commentator Caroline Glick went into further detail in a column for the Jewish News Syndicate. She said, for example, that Biden’s opposition to Israeli airstrikes on buildings gave Hamas snipers the ability to kill Israeli soldiers.
She wrote: “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.”
She noted that Biden had originally questioned Hamas’s statistics on civilian casualties in Gaza — which fail to distinguish between Hamas terrorists and true non-combatants — but that he had since apologized to anti-Israel Muslim groups and now uses the faulty Hamas death statistics.
(Arab- and Muslim-American voters in Michigan, a key swing state in the 2024 election, are also threatening to sit out the race, and polls suggest that young voters, who are swayed by negative social media portrayals of Israel, oppose Biden’s public stance.)
Glick added that Israel likely knew the locations in which most of the hostages were being kept, but had been prevented from launching military operations to rescue them because of the high potential cost in civilian lives, which Biden would not tolerate.
Moreover, Glick noted, the Biden administration insists on letting the Palestinian Authority control Gaza after the war, rather than allowing Israel to control security there — a return to the status quo before 2007, when Hamas staged a coup in Gaza.
This, she said, fundamentally placed Israeli security at risk, as did the Biden administration’s opposition to measures such as blockades, which Israel and Egypt were forced to impose on Gaza after Hamas began importing weapons into the territory.
The Biden administration is currently divided over Israel, with many staff members opposed to Biden’s public support for Israel, and pressing for a return to the “distance” of the Barack Obama administration, when the U.S. often sided against Israel.
The U.S. is using Qatar to pressure Israel to accept further pauses in military operations, rather than using U.S. leverage on the tiny Gulf dictatorship to insist that it stop supporting terror. In 2022, Biden designated Qataras a “major non-NATO ally” of the U.S., despite its brazen support for Hamas, whose billionaire terrorist leaders live in luxury in the Qatari capital of Doha.
Glick noted that the U.S. has near-total leverage over Israel because of Israeli dependence on American munitions for resupply. (Iran supplies Hamas and other terror organizations, and Russia supplies advanced weapons systems to the Iranian regime.)
She suggested that the Republican-held House of Representatives hold hearings into the Biden administration’s pressure on Israel.
On Tuesday, after Hamas terrorists violated the terms of the “pause” by wounding three Israeli soldiers with bombs, and Israel failed to respond by ending the truce, Glick warned of a “strategic collapse” in the Israeli government.
If such a collapse happens, critics say, it would be a result of Biden’s pressure — and possibly part of a broader goal inside the administration to make sure that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been effective in resisting U.S. policies in the region in the past, no longer controls his own democratically-elected government.
Israel may also be reluctant to return to fighting because of domestic pressure to free hostages by any means necessary. But there are also Israeli voices — primarily on the right — who argue that if Israel places hostage talks ahead of destroying Hamas, it will let Hamas survive and take more hostages in the future.
Many of the same left-wing groups supported by the Biden administration during protests against Netanyahu’s judicial reforms earlier this year are also active in ongoing protests to free the hostages.
Israeli analysts have described Biden’s recent approach to Israel as a tight hug — one that looks, on the surface, like support, but one that also prevents the Israeli government from moving on its own and doing what it must to defend its own security.
The Biden administration might argue that restraining Israel is necessary to appease Arab allies or the Muslim world. But the implications of a Hamas victory for U.S. security could be like the rise of ISIS in Iraq after Obama’s hasty 2011 withdrawal.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.