Political analyst: No strategic change in Biden administration's position on Israel

“Gaza…what next?” Experts and political analysts who spoke on the program agree; However, the statements made by US President Joe Biden regarding Israel do not represent a strategic shift in the US administration's position on Israel, but rather reflect its dissatisfaction with the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

In unprecedented statements criticizing Israeli behavior, Biden described the Israeli response behavior in the Gaza Strip as exceeding limits, and stressed that he is working to reach a permanent end to the fighting.

As for Dr. Laika Makki, senior researcher at the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Biden's statements confirm that he is dissatisfied with the approach taken by Netanyahu, as he wants to continue his war on Gaza , and do not take sensitivity into account. Regardless of the position of the US administration in an election year, this administration has not stopped supporting Israel at all levels.

For his part, Dr. Khalil Al-Anani, professor of political science and international relations, called not to exaggerate about Biden's statements, as they do not represent a strategic shift in the US position on supporting Israel, And as long as they remain a dead letter. They are with practical solutions.

Biden's statements – as Al-Anani says – were the result of extreme frustration, especially after the bad failure of the visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who visited the Arab region within the framework of 3 important files. First, he failed. Regarding the possibility of achieving a greater deal for normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a strong statement. He refused to recognize Israel unless three conditions were met: Recognition of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem. A complete cessation of Israeli aggression against its capital, the Gaza Strip, and Israel's complete withdrawal from the Strip.

Blinken also failed – says al-Anani – to convince Netanyahu that resolving the conflict involved agreeing on a path that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state, because the Israeli prime minister rejects the existence of such a state. In addition, the US Secretary of State's failure to reach a ceasefire agreement, exchange prisoners and follow a path that ends the war in Gaza.

File photo: US President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City, US on September 20, 2023.  Reuters/Kevin Lamarck/file photo
The last meeting between US President Joe Biden (right) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters – Archive)

Dr. Muhannad Mustafa, an expert on Israeli affairs, has linked the US President's latest position to the desire of the Israeli right-wing to rebuild its settlement project in the Gaza Strip, a project that greatly conflicts with US interests and viewpoints.

According to Mustafa, Netanyahu himself comes into direct conflict with the American narrative when he rejects the agreement and declares a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, a key pillar of the American perception of the post-war era.

Rafa operation

Regarding Netanyahu's plan to conduct a military operation in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli affairs expert said that Netanyahu and the rightists insist on this operation and the army has been ordered to develop a plan on this matter. This operation contradicts Egyptian and American positions, moreover it would bring about more internal opposition, as such an operation would lead to the killing of Israeli prisoners held by the Palestinian resistance.

The professor of political science and international relations described the battle of Rafah as a “time bomb” given the dense population in the region, meaning more bloody Israeli massacres against Palestinians.

One issue is also related to the possibility of Palestinians fleeing to Egypt, which would mean burdening an important ally of America.

The White House announced yesterday, Thursday, that it would not support any Israeli plans to carry out major military operations in Rafah, and that negotiations were continuing regarding the release of detainees and the completion of a ceasefire agreement in Gaza.

Biden also revealed that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi initially did not want to open the Rafah crossing for aid to enter the Gaza Strip, but he talked to him and convinced him to open it.

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