Saturday, March 16, 2024

Musings on Whether Biden Will Allow Netanyahu to Doom His Reelection Bid

By Rudy Barnes Jr., March 16, 2024

President Biden has allowed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to make him look like a witless surrogate of a militant Zionist who can dictate America’s policy in the Middle East.  Biden has lectured Netanyahu on the need for Israel to sponsor a ceasefire in its war with Hamas, but so far Biden has failed to back up his words with economic sanctions.

Since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the Israeli IDF has killed over 31,000 Palestinian civilians and destroyed many of their homes and civilian infrastructure in Gaza with retaliatory strikes that have violated international humanitarian law.  Even so, President Biden assured Netanyahu that he is a fellow Zionist, and that America has Israel’s back.

After Biden urged Israel to minimize Palestinian casualties, he continued to authorize military assistance to Israel “under the radar” that has exacerbated a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.  Israel is an occupying power in Gaza and has an obligation to provide essential services to Palestinians; but Israel has failed to comply with its international humanitarian obligations.

Biden’s loyalty to Netanyahu and his continued support for IDF’s “scorched earth” strategy in Gaza violates both international humanitarian law as well as the American Foreign Assistance Act.  Apparently Biden doesn’t understand that his deference to Netanyahu’s militant Zionism conflicts with American and international law, and democratic ideals.

With America’s election in November, both parties have chosen presidential candidates that leave doubt whether either can promote America’s national security interests and common good.  Both Biden and Trump have put partisan loyalties ahead of the common good.  Trump is a narcissistic demagogue, and Biden has been in politics too long to discern the common good from party loyalty.  

Israel has received $billions in foreign aid from the U.S. over the years.  It can and should provide safe zones and needed humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza.  An airlift is not required to do what Israel can do with ground transportation; and if necessary the U.S. could assist Israel to provide humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

An open Democratic convention could provide an alternative to Biden as the Democratic nominee for President with no disqualifying loyalties to Israel or Netanyahu; but there has been little support for that option so far.  And there is little evidence that an independent candidate will give voters a choice in November.

America’s democracy has come apart at the seams, with its two nominees for President deferring to demagogues who oppose freedom and democracy.  Trump has told Putin that he can attack NATO allies, while Biden continues to fund Netanyahu’s war against Hamas after killing over 31,000 Palestinians.  With friends like that, America doesn’t need any more enemies.


On Promoting the Common Good as Essential for Political Legitimacy in a democracy, see

On an open convention as A better option for Democrats than Biden, see The Ezra Klein Show, NYTimes, February 16, 2024, at NYT Audio app, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, or Google.

On Biden providing military aid to Israel through a loophole while advocating humanitarian aid in Gaza, see US uses loophole to keep 100 arms sales to Israel under the radar amid Gaza war at, 6 Mar 2024.    

“A day after President Biden asserted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was ‘hurting  Israel more than helping Israel,’ Mr. Netanyahu dismissed Biden’s contention as ‘wrong.’ Netanyahu asserted that his policies “are supported by the overwhelming majority of the Israelis.  Biden said that Netamyahu’s military strategy was ‘contrary to what Israel stands for, and I  think it’s a big mistake.  So I want to see a cease-fire.  Netanyahu] cannot have 30,000 more Palestinians dead as a consequence of his  pursuit of Hamas.’  The president’s comments once again highlighted the delicate position the U.S. has found itself in: arming Israel while at the same time providing humanitarian aid to Gaza. See Biden-Netanyahu Dispute Over Gaza War Heats Up After the president asserted that Mr. Netanyahu’s military strategy has been “hurting Israel more than helping Israel,” Israel’s leader dismissed his contention as “wrong.” at                         

“US aid policy on Gaza has been described as 'absurd' given military support for Israel, according to Michael Fakhri, a Lebanese-Canadian law professor mandated by the U.N. Human Rights Council to document and advise on global food security.  Fakhri warned of chaos as starving people joust for supplies. He called the port and air drops methods of "last resort". "The time when countries use air drops, and these maritime piers, is usually if not always, in situations when you want to deliver humanitarian aid into enemy territory," he said.  Fakhri said such methods made little sense while Washington continues to provide military support to Israel.  He envisages an additional $17.6 billion in new military assistance to Israel as its war against Hamas continues in response to their deadly Oct. 7 attacks.  "That's more than allyship. That's a marriage ... It's almost incomprehensible," he said of U.S. support to Israel, calling the recent aid measures a "performance to try to meet a domestic audience with (U.S. presidential) elections around the corner". "That's the only rational coherent interpretation (for these aid announcements) because ...from a humanitarian perspective, from an international perspective, from a human rights perspective, it is absurd in a dark, cynical way," he said.  Fakhri, who has been critical of Israel on social media, on Thursday told the Geneva Human Rights Council that Israel was destroying Gaza's food system as part of a broader "starvation campaign". Israel's envoy called this a lie and it strongly denies restricting aid into Gaza.  See,%22That's%20more%20than%20allyship.

“Seven Senators have urged Biden to stop arming Israel, citing violations of the Foreign Assistance Act that bars military aid from going to any country that blocks humanitarian aid.  It was the latest bid by Democrats to intensify pressure on Mr. Biden to demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu change his tactics and mitigate the suffering of Palestinians as the offensive in Gaza drags into its fifth month. The senators urged Biden to make it clear to the Netanyahu government that failure to immediately and dramatically expand humanitarian access and facilitate safe aid deliveries throughout Gaza will lead to serious consequences under existing U.S. law,” [not  to mention international humanitarian laws violated by the IDF]. Senator Sanders said it was clear that Mr. Netanyahu’s actions were in breach of the terms of American military aid as set out in the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act, which is part of the foreign assistance law. The act says that as soon as the president is made aware that a country is blocking or restricting the delivery of American humanitarian assistance, no U.S. military aid can be provided. “That’s exactly what Israel is doing; they are preventing U.S. humanitarian assistance from getting to the people of Gaza. They are in violation of the law, and therefore financial aid should be suspended. Last month, the Senate approved an emergency national security aid bill that would send an additional $14.1 billion in military aid to Israel, including $10 billion for offensive weapons for the war against Hamas. “Israel has the right to defend itself,” Mr. Sanders said, “but Israel does not have — in any way, shape or form — the right to go to war against the entire Palestinian people.”  But as the United States finds itself as both the source of offensive weaponry and the provider of relief for those on the receiving end of attacks from those weapons, Biden has failed to circumvent the obstacles preventing assistance from reaching the Palestinian people. See

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and called for new elections in Israel in a speech on the Senate floor on March 14, 2024.  See

On how Netanyahu is making Israel radioactive, Thomas Friedman has said “Israel today is in grave danger. With enemies like Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and Iran, Israel should be enjoying the sympathy of much of the world. But it is not. Because of the way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist coalition have been conducting the war in Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank, Israel is becoming radioactive and diaspora Jewish communities everywhere increasingly insecure.”  And Friedman fears it’s about to get worse.  Netanyahu has broken Israel with his destructive policies but is not seeking to fix the problems he has caused.


On Biden’s Words Over Deeds.  Biden’s misplaced love and loyalty for Israel has prevented him from pressuring Netanyahu to agree to a cease fire that could result in humanitarian aid for Palestinians. See

​​On the conflict between Netanyahu’s militant Zionism and international humanitarian law and democratic ideals, see Musings on Why Criticism of Netanyahu’s Militant Zionism is not Antisemitic at

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