US support for the Israeli government is becoming increasingly tense as Arab states demand a ceasefire

Smoke rises after an Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, seen from southern Israel, Thursday, December 1.  7, 2023. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

(Leo Correa/Associated Press)

US support for the Israeli government is becoming increasingly tense as Arab states demand a ceasefire

Tracy Wilkinson

Dec. 9, 2023

While Israel expands its borders


In Gaza, now in its third deadly month, Biden administration officials are struggling to shore up support for Benjamin Netanyahu’s government even as it appears to ignore US advice and Arab anger grows worldwide.

I have Friday

n New York at the United Nations and in Washington, where a high-level delegation from six Arab states or entities held meetings with American leaders, calls for a ceasefire were louder than ever

on Friday

which keeps the US afloat

anything but almost

only in his opposition.

That, despite what U.S. officials now acknowledge, is Israel’s reluctance to heed repeated pleas

led by van

President Biden

and others in his government

to minimize civilian casualties as Israeli tanks, troops and air forces storm parts of southern Gaza, where more than a million Palestinians fleeing the north have sought precarious refuge.

In his most direct public criticism of Israel yet, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said there is a gap between what Israel promised to do and its actions in southern Gaza, which have steadily increased.


death is great.

“Nearly a week into this campaign in the south, it remains imperative that Israel places a premium on civil protection,” Blinken said Thursday. And a gap remains between the intention to protect citizens and actual results. that we see on the ground.”

Blinken has made four trips to Israel since October. Israel says Hamas militants have attacked southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, kidnapping another 250 and committing torture and other atrocities.

I civil servants


The Israeli retaliation, aimed at destroying Hamas, has razed entire neighborhoods and killed more than 17,000 Palestinians, almost three-quarters of them women and children, according to the Israeli newspaper The Guardian.

Hamas Gaza Government H



inistry. About 90 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the fighting, Israel says.

Despite his intense and often rancorous conversations with Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials, Blinken has only been able to work things out.

letter or

limited concessions. These included importing some food, water and small amounts of fuel into the defeated Gaza Strip.

They are Israeli officials

also agreed to a short humanitarian pause rather than a ceasefire, which Israel claims Hamas would use to regroup, and fighting stopped for a week.

help introduced

and 100 hostages were released. But last Friday it collapsed,


with each party accusing the other of breaching the agreement. The US blames Hamas and says it has refused to release a final group, mainly young people

feminine women


Blinken’s most recent demand to Israelis, during meetings in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem last week, was that the destruction of the northern part of Gaza would not be repeated.


the offensive in the south, and that Israel complies with the requirement of international law to take better precautions to prevent civilian casualties.

His comments coincided with similar statements from Vice President Kamala Harris in Dubai and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin


who warned that deliberate killing of civilians only fuels militant groups.


Biden called Netanyahu on Thursday and stressed that much more aid is urgently needed in the Gaza Strip and emphasized the crucial need to protect civilians and separate them from Hamas through human escape corridors and other means.

the White House said.

Israel and the US also disagree on the ultimate goal of the war. Israel wants to eradicate Hamas, a task some experts believe


impossible, and Washington advocates removing Hamas as a governing force in the Gaza Strip so that it no longer poses a threat. The US government also insists that any permanent resolution must include an independent, sovereign state for the Palestinians, which Netanyahu and many in his right-wing government reject.

On Friday, the United Arab Emirates presented a resolution at the UN calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. E

e movement

came a day after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres invoked a rarely used power that would allow him to convene the Security Council on an issue seen as a threat to world peace. Israel objected, saying Guterres was siding with Hamas.

“There is no effective protection of civilians,” Guterres told the Security Council on Friday. “The people of Gaza are told to move like human pinballs bouncing between smaller and smaller pieces of the south, without any basis for survival. But nowhere in Gaza is safe.”

Thirteen countries in the 15-member body approved the measure, while Britain abstained. But the US vetoed it.

It’s not about isolation, Robert Wood, deputy US ambassador to the UN, told reporters. ‘We can’t just snap our fingers and the conflict will stop.

In Washington, foreign ministers from countries belonging to the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation met with Blinken and other senior officials


driving home


their demand for a strike

fire and resistance against Israel’s actions.

Israel has already suffered a strategic defeat, Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister, said at a conference at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank. Israel defies the whole world, even the United States.

And the United States, Safadi added, has not yet gotten to the point where it can say, “Enough!”

Jordan is a close ally of the United States and until recently one of only two countries in the Arab world to recognize Israel. There are many such ties




and may never return to their former cordiality.

Both Israel and the United States say maintaining civilian life in Gaza is complicated because Hamas operates from these areas


neighborhoods and public institutions.

The Biden administration has fully endorsed Israel’s right to defend itself, but has added nuance to that message as the war continues.

The question is how long Biden and his advisers can bridge the differences.


Because not only the Arab opposition is growing, but also domestic protest.


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