How can Biden be fair to Israel if he treats Hamas as a tolerable belligerent?
Except for a passing reference in a New York Times article, May 26, about the threat of a U.S. veto of a Security Council resolution critical of Israel in connection with the recent round of fighting between the Jewish state and Hamas, this writer would not have known that the U.N. was meeting on the subject. (The Times article, "U.S. Is Looking to Rebuild Ties to Palestinians," suggests that a Security Council resolution on the Hamas-Israel fighting had not been drafted.)
But indeed, the Security Council met, as did the General Assembly, on the recent round of fighting between Hamas and Israel — with the media taking scant, if any, notice. The press release on the General Assembly meeting stated:
With the Security Council unable to respond to the worst round of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in years . . . speakers in the General Assembly today demanded . . . intensified efforts to restart peace talks that advance a two-State Solution to a conflict nearly as old as the United Nations itself.
(The conflict is nearly as old as the United Nations itself because the U.N. has a habit, more than seven decades old, of pulling the belligerent Arabs' chestnuts out of the fire.)
The press release for the General Assembly was inaccurate; the fighting was between Hamas, controlling Gaza, and Israel, not between Israel and the Palestinians, who 1) control the West Bank and 2) are fierce rivals of Hamas. That General Assembly call to "restart peace talks" leading to a "two-state solution" ignores the reality of the Hamas charter, which opposes negotiations with Israel and is committed to jihad (that is, holy war) against the Jewish state.
This writer was also struck by a description, in the long Security Council press release on its May 16 meeting on the fighting between Israel and Hamas, of the representative for the Palestine Authority — appearing for "the State of Palestine." It would seem, therefore, that the United Nations bureaucracy has already come up with its own version of a "two-state solution."
There was some mention at these U.N. meetings of the Hamas practice of firing missiles against the civil population of Israel from missile sites that place Gaza's civilian populations in harm's way, but the focus was on Israel — to stop killing civilians in Gaza, to stop causing disproportionate deaths.
This writer is particularly surprised that the New York Times did not cover the Security Council and General Assembly meetings on the latest round of violence, set off by the Hamas attack on Israel. Previously, some years back, the Times had a bureau covering U.N. news; apparently, no more. But 620 Eighth Avenue is just near the western side of 42nd Street, with the U.N. headquarters across town at First Avenue and 42nd Street. It would not be difficult for the Times to send a reporter across town to cover U.N. debates on fighting between Hamas and Israel. Perhaps the Times has concluded that U.N. debates on the Middle East are a waste of time.
According to the U.N. press release on the Security Council meeting on the Hamas-Israel latest military round, Linda Thomas-Greenfield called on the "parties" to avoid incitement, violence, and "evictions — notably in East Jerusalem — and settlement construction east of the 1967 lines." Here Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was drawing her focus, and directing no little pressure, on Israel. Her remarks, as summarized in the press release, did not mention, much less condemn, the Hamas policy of making Gaza's civilian population fodder for the purpose of anti-Israel propaganda. By her reference to "evictions," the Biden administration has signaled that ordinary rules for holding real property do not apply to "Palestinians" in East Jerusalem; they are immune to otherwise ordinary rules of rental tenancy that include monthly rent payments. Apparently, for the quick-to-find-fault-with-Israel crowd, good-faith evictions of Palestinians by Jewish landlords are violations of international law — as is this newly developed concept that deaths resulting from retaliatory attack must be in proportion to the losses caused by the belligerent.
It is unclear how the proportionate formula is to be applied. It would seem clear, however, that had it been applied to protect Germany and Japan in World War II, that terrible conflict might still be ongoing.
The Biden administration seems intent on rewarding Hamas for its commitment to jihad, not negotiations, concerning Israel. Notwithstanding this description of Hamas, from Thomas L. Friedman, in the New York Times, May 19: Hamas was "an Islamo-fascist organization without a shred of democratic fiber that is dedicated to destroying the Jewish state and imposing a Tehran-like Islamic regime in Palestine."
And yet, in this column, "For Trump, Hamas and Bibi, It is Always Jan. 6," he suggests a moral equivalency of the former president and Israel with Hamas. Does this reflect invidious blindness or the immature innocence of a babe? One must wonder if the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would call Hamas "Islamo-fascist "and undemocratic.
The account in the New York Times, May 26, on the Biden administration's intention of becoming "a more neutral mediator" between Israel and Hamas and the Palestinian Authority does not augur well for a lessening of Mid-East tensions. The Times report noted that secretary of state Antony Blinken emphasized the tragic loss of life of Gaza children. Unmentioned was the Hamas practice of putting civilians, including children, in harm's way, as propaganda fodder. The Times also reported that Biden administration "will help finance an enormous reconstruction effort in the Gaza Strip[.]" The administration will apparently do this notwithstanding the likelihood that Hamas will divert this "enormous reconstruction effort" to restore tunnels for aggressive use against Israeli civilians.
The secretary of state was also reported as announcing the reopening of a consulate in Jerusalem to deal with Palestinian affairs and restoring "humanitarian" aid to the Palestinian Authority. In brief, Biden is reversing all the measures by the Trump administration that contained Palestinian revanchism and encouraged the Arab world in general to make peace with Israel.
What next: rescission of U.S. recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights? The current U.S. diplomatic documents on the Middle East will not be available until 2026 — for 25 years if practice is observed. That means the likely disclosure of the Biden administration's sharp tilt toward Israel's enemies will not be disclosed till some of us observers pass on. But the evidence of such a tilt does not require the immediate publication of the current documents on the Middle East conflict, documents marked "Top Secret."
Consider: Biden, more than four months into his presidency, has yet to name an ambassador to Israel. This failure cannot be blamed on diplomatic oversight. Is he using, as a lame excuse, the unsettled nature of the composition of Israel's Knesset? Or is Biden taking his time in naming as his ambassador to Israel someone who is agreeable to the Blame Israel First crowd?
That Times May 26 front page headline says it all: "U.S. Is Looking to Rebuild Ties to Palestinians." The subhead declares: "A Shift in Policy Risks Tensions with Israel." This, certainly, is how AOC and her totalitarian-minded friends would have it.
Poor Joe Biden, held captive by The Squad. And that's not malarkey!
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