Biden’s ‘help’ at the UN will put Israeli lives at risk

by Jonathan Tobin
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The veto of a U.N. Security Council ceasefire resolution prevented the world body from dictating a Hamas victory. Still, the administration’s alternative is almost as dangerous.

(JNS) Once again, President Joe Biden came to the rescue of Israel at the U.N. Security Council. The administration’s decision to veto a resolution sponsored by Algeria calling for an immediate ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas was condemned by most members of the world body, as well as many in the president’s own Democratic Party. But it was lauded by both the State of Israel and its supporters.

It was the third time since the start of the current conflict that Washington had cast the sole “no” vote on a resolution that would have halted the fighting. Any resolution that forces Israel to stop its counter-offensive into Gaza before the complete defeat of the terrorists who began the current conflict with the largest mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust will enable Hamas not merely to survive but essentially to win the war it started. So, as with the president’s statements supporting the goal of eliminating Hamas, as well as the continued flow of much-needed U.S. arms and ammunition to the Israel Defense Forces, it would appear that Biden truly does have Israel’s back.

But as welcome and necessary as the veto was, no one should be deceived into thinking that Israel can rely on Biden to give it the time it needs to finish the job of defeating its genocidal foe and thus ensuring its security.

A U.S. plan to save Hamas

As the speech explaining the veto (the vote was 13 in favor, one against and one abstention) given by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Greenfield-Thomas made plain, the administration has clearly abandoned its initial stand on Hamas. Greenfield-Thomas said the reason for the veto was because it would interfere with the negotiations that the Americans are pursuing in cooperation with Hamas’s ally, Qatar, for a deal that would grant the terrorists a six-week ceasefire in exchange for the release of the remaining Israeli hostages still being held captive by the Islamist killers.

The release of the hostages would be cheered by Israelis and decent people everywhere. However, as Hamas has said, it will not give them up for anything less than the return of all of Gaza and an end to the fighting. Even assuming that Hamas could be prevailed upon to accept only a six-week pause, the effect might well be the same as the terms the terrorists are demanding. The ambassador repeated Biden’s previous pledge that once a six-week ceasefire was in place, America would work to extend it indefinitely.

That would achieve much the same purpose as Algeria’s proposal since it would leave Hamas in control of part of Gaza. Such a measure allowing a movement of murderers, rapists and kidnappers to grab victory from the jaws of defeat would have a devastating impact not just on Israel’s security but on Palestinian politics.

Should Hamas still be standing when the war ends, it would inevitably achieve even greater popularity among Palestinians, who have repeatedly told pollsters that they support the Oct. 7 atrocities and Hamas’s platform of waging jihad against the Jewish state. The Islamists would have proven that not only was it justified to use violence to promote their aims, but that the international community would be prepared to excuse even the most horrendous of crimes to prevent Israel from prevailing in an armed conflict. What’s more, the American promise to use the end of the war to resume a diplomatic effort to force Israel to accept a Palestinian state in not just Gaza but in Judea and Samaria, as well as part of Jerusalem, would be rightly seen as Hamas having earned not just a reprieve but a reward for their actions.

That would validate the already surging popularity of Hamas and the parallel decline in support for the Palestinian Authority, led by 88-year-old Mahmoud Abbas, even though it has not condemned the Oct. 7 attacks or halted its support for terrorism. The notion that a Palestinian state could be peaceful or trusted not to use its newfound sovereignty to renew the century-old Arab war against the Jews is risible.

Time may not be on Israel’s side

The American position demonstrates the sort of magical thinking that passes for foreign-policy expertise in the Biden administration.

It’s safe to say that there will be no peace deal in which the Palestinians are given a state alongside Israel. That’s not just because the overwhelming majority of the Knesset and the Israeli people are not willing to place themselves in peril of countless more Oct. 7 attacks that would result from such a deal. It’s also because the Palestinians have repeatedly demonstrated no interest in a two-state solution in the last few decades. Support for Hamas, along with that of other radical Palestinian political movements, including the supposed “moderates” of the Fatah Party, is rooted in their rejection of peace if it means living with a Jewish state.

The American proposal was indeed better than the Algerian resolution. Instead of mandating an “immediate” end to the war allowing Hamas to recover and rearm, the U.S. document says the ceasefire should happen “as soon as practicable.” And it does demand the release of the hostages, whose fate is obviously of no concern to the countries that voted for the Algerian alternative, or in the case of Britain, disgracefully abstained.

Biden’s apologists may say these details make all the difference. Anything that prevents an immediate end to the war is to Israel’s advantage. And should Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government use the time granted by the current stalemate for the hostage talks to finish off Hamas, then no harm would be done to its efforts to foreclose any possible revival of the terrorist’s hold on Gaza.

But time isn’t necessarily on Israel’s side.

If the IDF is given the weeks or even months it needs to methodically root out Hamas forces in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and clear the remaining tunnels in their hands, then the terrorists’ doom is certain. Still, the international community considers the suffering imposed on the Gaza civilians by the Hamas leadership they support to be far more pressing and awful than any of the other conflicts in which much larger numbers of people have been killed or made homeless in places like Syria or the Congo—never mind Ukraine—that have happened in recent years. Sympathy for the Palestinians outstrips that which is given to any other population, despite the fact that they were the aggressors of the current conflict and that their goals are to destroy the country they attacked, and all Jews who live in it.

An antisemitic double standard

The double standard involved in this dramatic priority given to Palestinians has only one reasonable explanation: antisemitism rooted in Islamist supremacism and left-wing ideologies that falsely demonize Israel as an “apartheid” and/or “settler/colonialist” state of whites oppressing people of color. What passes for enlightened opinion among the chattering classes in the United States and the international community simply exhibits no concern for Israelis. That’s true whether they were killed, raped or kidnapped—or if they are among the hundreds of thousands forced to flee their homes in the south due to Hamas and the north due to Hezbollah until the threat of violence is over. Apparently, only Palestinian suffering, which is the direct result of a culture that values hatred for Jews and an urge for their genocide, seems to count.

The U.S. role at the Security Council has provided Biden with more leverage over Israel to force it to accept a disastrous return to the pre-Oct. 7 status quo in which Gaza is an independent Palestinian state in all but name, or even worse, part of a larger and more dangerous entity.

A large part of the explanation for Biden’s two-faced stance is purely political. The president is desperately worried about the open revolt among Democrats against even his half-hearted support for Israel. More and more, he is folding under pressure from progressives inside the administration and his campaign, as well as from Michigan Democrats under the sway of pro-Hamas, Arab-American politicians like Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud. Biden seems to think that he must end the war if he is to avoid a situation in which left-wing voters either don’t vote or support third-party candidates in November, which will effectively hand the election to former President Donald Trump.

Equally important is this administration’s devotion to the United Nations itself. As Anne Bayefsky of Touro College and Human Rights Voices rightly points out, the problem is the idea that the world body is the proper venue for settling this or any dispute. The American resolution “denies the Jewish member state its U.N. Charter legal right of self-defense,” said Bayefsky.

It also “purports to create a ‘maritime corridor’ to Gaza and foil Israel’s ability to thwart the Iranian weapons supply chain to the terrorists killing Jews,” she continued. But more importantly, the willingness of the United States to let the United Nations be the arbiter of this conflict inevitably works to Israel’s disadvantage. “It buys into the lie that the U.N. is playing the role of do-gooder in this conflict, instead of telling the truth that it is encouraging lethal antisemitism—murdering Jews inside Israel and beyond. It is simply dead wrong for the United States to use the U.N. as a sword of Damocles hanging over Israel’s head.”

The United Nations isn’t merely an institution that is linked to antisemitism and prejudice against Israel. It is the mainspring of a campaign of defamation and lawfare involving its agencies—like the International Court of Justice—that are being weaponized to aid Hamas’s propaganda campaign aimed at making Israel an international pariah. Playing the role of Israel’s half-hearted defender in these forums, in which Washington concedes Hamas’s talking points about the cruelty of the war to defeat them and in which preventing Palestinian casualties caused by the terrorists’ actions becomes the primary goal, shouldn’t be interpreted as proof of the administration’s devotion to the alliance with the Jewish state.

To the contrary, every time Washington treats these discussions as legitimate, rather than debates in which the deck is always stacked against Israel and which discards any notion of fairness, it only serves to help Hamas and its international cheering section. To treat Biden and his foreign-policy team as heroes for merely postponing a disastrous ceasefire is to judge them by an absurdly low standard. The vast majority of Americans support Israel and want it to win its war over Hamas—not be forced into allowing a genocidal foe to survive to go on murdering more innocents. Far from ensuring that Israel is allowed to ensure its security, the U.S. stand at the United Nations is preparing a path towards further appeasement of the terrorists and their Iranian sponsors that will inevitably lead to more bloodshed.

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