WATCH: Ted Cruz Grills Biden Official Who Claims Israel Cannot Defeat Hamas ‘By Military Means’

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf told the Senate on Tuesday that the Biden administration did not believe that Israel could destroy Hamas through military action alone.

Leaf made the admission in response to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who pressed a strident line of questioning, asking Leaf whether the billions of dollars in sanctions relief granted to Iran by the Biden administration had led to instability.

Leaf described recent turmoil in the Middle East as “a series of black swan events,” rather than as the outcome of administration policy. She admitted that Iranian oil exports had risen from 300,000 to 2 million barrels per day under President Joe Biden.

Cruz asked Leaf about Israel’s war against the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and whether the administration supported Israel’s goal of destroying the group. Leaf said that the administration did support that goal. Cruz then asked Leaf why, if that were so, the administration is backing a ceasefire deal.

Leaf said that the administration did not believe that “military means alone” would destroy Hamas.

“It is the position of this administration [that it] is impossible, by military means, to defeat Hamas?” Cruz asked.

“Yes, it is,” Leaf answered.

She did not state what the other “means” would be.

Cruz also said that the the administration’s policy of pushing for a Palestinian state would be a “reward” for October 7.

Leaf denied that it would be, saying that since Hamas did not support a two-state solution, it would not benefit from a negotiated agreement to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

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 recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the 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.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.