The Biden administration has lost no opportunity to deride and infantilize Israel while pushing the “two-state solution” that, among other things, takes no notice of the fact that there are three governing bodies west of the Jordan River — any two of which might be engaged in bloody warfare at any given time. In addition, the administration has rewarded the Palestinians with money and political legitimacy that is unwarranted.
That’s one hand. (RELATED: SHOSHANA BRYEN And STEPHEN BRYEN: Jimmy Carter’s Mixed Foreign Policy Legacy)
On the other, the administration wants and needs Israel’s participation and cooperation in security matters that could have grave consequences for the United States. Israel supplied intelligence that enabled a convoy of Americans rushing to the Kabul Airport to avoid a Taliban ambush during the bloody, ugly American withdrawal from Afghanistan. And Israel’s security relationship with USCENTCOM has flourished through joint exercises and several visits by CENTCOM Commander Gen. Eric Kurilla to Israel.
In December, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a telephone call with incoming Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen; the “two state solution” was part of the script. But reports (here and here, among others) also indicate that Blinken also gave Cohen a message for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which Cohen then passed on.
Also in December, after evidence emerged that Iran had sold drones to Russia that included stolen/illegally sold American parts, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan held a teleconference with his Israeli counterparts asking for help in exposing Iran’s technology acquisition network.
That’s the other hand.
So, explain this. The U.S.-Israel Strategic Consultative Group met in Washington this week.
National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and Minister for National Security Ron Dermer were in town.
A statement was released by the White House:
“The officials reviewed with significant concern advances in Iran’s nuclear program, and affirmed their mutual objective of further enhancing the longstanding security partnership between Israel and the United States. In this regard, officials pledged to enhance coordination on measures to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to further deter Iran’s hostile regional activities,” the statement said.
“They also reviewed recent joint military exercises between the U.S military and the Israel Defense Forces and welcomed the visit to Israel later this week by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Finally, the officials reviewed efforts to further deepen Israel’s security and political integration into the Middle East region through the Abraham Accords, the Negev Forum, and other formats such as I2U2,” it added. “Mr. Sullivan reemphasized President Biden’s unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security as expressed in the Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration signed during the President’s visit to Israel in July 2022.”
Nice. There was no official State Department statement, but the department said the following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today with Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer and National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi. They discussed the enduring strength of the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship,” Price said. “The Secretary reiterated that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and noted the importance of today’s U.S.-Israel Strategic Consultative Group in advancing mutual cooperation on threats posed by Iran. He also expressed concern regarding the continuing violence in Israel and the West Bank and emphasized the need for all parties to take steps to restore calm and de-escalate tensions.”
Were they in the same meeting?
It would be useful to know how the administration “emphasizes” to the Palestinian Authority (PA) that it should “take steps to restore calm and de-escalate tensions.”
Is by having the U.S. representative in Israel, Ambassador Thomas Nides, visit the homes of families of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists? Or the home of murdered American citizen Elan Ganeles in Connecticut?
Is it by withholding money that is being allocated to the PA in violation of the bipartisan Taylor Force Act? Did it happen to condemn PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash who called Jews, “a grazing herds of humanoids… those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs?”
None of the above.
The Biden administration wants it all ways. To be able to call on Israel’s intelligence and security capabilities when the need arises. To denigrate Israel’s democracy and put itself in the position of “big brother” who knows better — and to whom Israel should listen regardless of the results of free and fair elections.
To cosset and finance the PA even when it incites violence and venerates terrorists killed in the commission of murder. To encourage the Palestinians to believe there is no punishment for terrorism or political intransigence.
There aren’t that many hands.
Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center and Editor of inFOCUS Quarterly.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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