When questioned about civilian deaths in Gaza’s conflict-torn region , US President Joe Biden responded in this manner. Israel’s bombing of the besieged enclave had already claimed thousands of Palestinian lives, and UN representatives were calling for a quick ceasefire in the face of a worsening humanitarian disaster. But rather than urging Israel to exercise greater restraint, Biden, a staunch ally of Israel cast doubt on the number of deaths in Gaza.
On October 25, he declared, “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed.” The conversation was only one of several instances since the start of the conflict on October 7 that, according to analysts, demonstrated an unprecedented degree of US military and diplomatic backing for Israel.
Defining Strategic Interests
Both Democratic and Republican administrations have left the two nations with close connections throughout the years, and the US provides Israel with at least $3.8 billion in military aid annually. But as the Biden administration pushes for more arms sales and funding to Israel, despite grave human rights concerns about its military operation, resentment over US foreign policy has peaked throughout the Gaza war.
UN experts have warned that there might be hunger and genocide in Gaza, where more than 26,000 Palestinians have lost their lives. More than a dozen specialists, human rights activists, and former US government officials discuss the many reasons behind Biden’s current behavior and his “unwavering” support of Israel. The topic of “why does Israel continue to enjoy exceptionalism in US foreign policy” is one that I don’t think has a simple response. stated Raed Jarrar, the head of advocacy for the Washington, DC-based think group Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).
The Power Of Lobbying
In this second installment of a two-part series, we look at how the Biden administration’s actions are influenced by history, internal politics, and US Middle East policy. In the first section, we look at Biden’s relationships, both personal and professional, to Israel and how his stance on the Gaza War may impact his electoral prospects. About US-Israeli relations, Jarrar remarked, “It is very deeply entrenched.”
He claimed that despite the carnage in Gaza, Israel has essentially created “a very well-oiled machine” that can endure pressure from both the inside and the outside. Over the course of its decades-long relationship with the United States, Israel has received several accolades. It has been referred to as a “miracle,” a “unbreakable” companion, and a “ironclad” comrade. It continues to be the “primary worldwide beneficiary” of US military aid abroad, as stated by Biden’s State Department. Israel has benefited from “some of the most advanced military equipment in the world” and a 2008 legislation requires the US to preserve its “qualitative military edge.”
Experts like Harvard University professor of international affairs Stephen Walt say that puts Israel in a class by itself. Walt said , “There’s nothing like the US relationship with Israel.” The unique connection between the United States and Great Britain is a topic of conversation. Even tighter than that is the US-Israeli alliance.
The fact that “the United States has provided such consistent and generous support – and nearly unconditionally – to a state of eight, nine million people” is “no comparable case anywhere in American foreign policy,” Walt said. Walt clarified that historically, the US’s strong connections with Israel have been supported by two key ideas. First, in a turbulent region of the world, Israel serves as a “strategic asset.” The second claim is that Israel “shares the same values as the US because it is a heroic democracy and the only democracy in the Middle East.” But both of those stories have been called into doubt by critics.
Proponents have long maintained that Israel is not a true democracy because of laws and policies that discriminate against Palestinian and Jewish residents of the country. Prominent human rights organizations including Amnesty International have said that Israel upholds an apartheid-like system of control intended “to oppress and dominate Palestinians.”
In conclusion, experts and researchers, such as University of Southern California lecturer Fayez Hammad, have also questioned Israel’s worth as a “strategic” US ally in the Middle East. According to Hammad, he finds it difficult to see how the US can benefit from its ongoing backing of Israel, especially as public anger over its bloody assault in Gaza grows. Since the start of the Gaza conflict, thousands of demonstrators have gone to the streets around the Middle East, with some holding their demonstrations in front of US embassies. Recently, Houthi rebels in Yemen have fired missiles at US ships in the Red Sea, supposedly in support of Gazans, while US soldiers have been attacked in both Syria and Iraq.