Sloan: Biden’s betrayal of Israel in war with Hamas

By Kelly Sloan | Special Contributor

Back in October, in the stunned aftermath of the worst collective massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, Presideent Joe Biden told the Israelis and the world that the U.S. would stand by them.

He pledged American support, including armaments. It was a good moment, one civilized nation pledging its solidarity with another in the face of barbarity.

Five months later, Biden informed the Israelis that they were essentially alone.

On March 25, the UN Security Council voted on yet another morally bankrupt resolution calling for a unilateral and unconditional cease fire in the war in Gaza, and this time the United States abstained. In all previous iterations of this and other UN resolutions like it, which stop just short of calling for the Israelis to dismantle their nation and march into the sea, the U.S. had come to the defense of Israel by using its veto on the Security Council to slap down such foolishness. Not this time.

True to UN form, the resolution supported by such stalwarts of international peace, order and civilized governance as Russia, China and Algeria mentioned not a word of even mild approbation against Hamas for the infamy they committed on Oct. 7, 2023. Nor did it condition this “cease fire” on Hamas releasing the hostages they took that day and are still holding in captivity.

There is a clause calling on the terrorists to let go whichever of their Israeli captives may still be alive, but is entirely unmarried to the insistence on a cease fire, rendering it as meaningful as the right to lead an opposition party in Russia.

The Biden administration, for its part, swears up, down and sideways that this does not reflect a change in policy, but it requires some pretty impressive intellectual gymnastics to arrive at any other conclusion. Never mind the gradual rhetorical retreat that Biden and his team have been engaging in pretty much since the day the President landed in Tel Aviv and embraced Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the simple act of abstaining and thus allowing
this resolution to pass rather than veto it is a marked and unmistakable departure.

In fact, about the only way one could even come close to making an intellectually honest claim that it was not a change in policy is if one concedes, as Matthew Continetti does in National Review, that the administration has no discernable policy.

Feckless indeciperability has, indeed, been the defining thread running through what has passed for an American foreign policy since the Obama era – unmoored to any identifiable strategic goal or principle, a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-collective-trousers hopping reactively from one situation to the next. Pick a place of concern to Americans on the planet – North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, Israel’s war of defense in Gaza – America’s response has been halting, confused, weak, malleable or a combination of all the above.

Granted, a UN Resolution is unbinding, and one can argue that like most things emanating from the UN it is rather useless. But for Hamas it is at least a moral victory, and could metastasize into something more consequential if it catalyzes further international pressure on Israel.

The Biden administration has been gradually working up to this point, as the President has consistently acquiesced, a half-note at a time, to the capitulationist forces on his left, acquiescence first hinted at when he admonished the Israelis to exercise “restraint” early in the war, and building to a crescendo as the necessity of an Israeli assault on the last Hamas strongholds in the Southern Gazan city of Rafah draws nearer. Vice President Kamala Harris even warned the Israelis of “consequences” if they pursued their offensive into Rafah.

This threatened American abandonment comes at a rather crucial time. Israel just completed their most successful operation of the war – a follow-up raid on Al Shifa hospital which netted 200 terrorists killed and another 500 captured – and a (presumably) Israeli missile strike in Damascus which killed several top Iranian military leaders.

Forget about Gaza for a moment, if you can; think about Iran. The Iranians are the ones calling the shots, and commanding the Hezbollah Brigades which continue to fire rockets into Israel unabated. The Biden administration seems to have forgotten that this whole thing is a proxy war being fought by Tehran; but the Israelis haven’t, and the focus of the conflict may soon shift to Israel’s northern frontiers.

If the current trajectory out of Washington holds, the Israelis may have to face that threat on their own, just as they face the prospect of achieving victory in Gaza – the one thing that will bring peace and relieve to the people of Gaza – under American-sanctioned isolation. But they’ve been alone before.

Besides, the Israelis know their history, and are therefore unlikely to put themselves in the same position as South Vietnam and Afghanistan found themselves in, whatever further betrayal they receive from Washington.