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Is Israel losing its biggest ally?

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Picture: X (twitter.com) / POTUS / via Wiki Commons / Taken October 18, 2023 – President Joe Biden, left, meets with Bejamin Netanyahu in Israel. Recent comments by Biden have been the most critical of Israel since October 7. Following mass public pressure by the people of the United States, Biden expresses major disagreements with Netanyahu’s policy, the writer says.

By Natalia Marques

US President Joe Biden warned in an address to donors in Washington that it appears the world has turned against Israel. “They’re starting to lose that support,” said the President. Comments made by Biden on Tuesday, December 12, are the most critical of Israel since the October 7 Al-Aqsa Flood operation.

“One of the things that Bibi understands,” said Biden, “is that Israel’s security can rest on the United States. But, right now, it has more than the United States. It has the European Union, it has Europe, it has most of the world supporting them. But they’re starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place.”

Biden also urged Netanyahu not to “make the same mistakes”, that the United States did in the wake of the September 11 attacks, referring to the long war in Afghanistan. “There’s no reason we did so many of the things we did,” Biden said.

Also on December 12, Netanyahu posted a video in which he referred to disagreements he has had with the United States regarding “the day after Hamas”. The US has been pushing for the Palestinian Authority to take leadership in Gaza should Hamas be defeated. Netanyahu expressed staunch disagreement with this, saying in his video that he “will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate for terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism”.

“Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan,” he said.

Somewhat contrary to the sentiment expressed in Biden’s sharply critical comments, Netanyahu claimed in his video that “following an intensive dialogue with President Biden and his team, we received full backing for the ground incursion and blocking the international pressure to stop the war”.

However, it is important to note that Netanyahu is acknowledging the massive movement of public pressure to stop Israeli aggression in Gaza across the globe.

Israel, supplied with arms from the United States, has slaughtered over 18,000 Palestinians in Gaza, with over 7,000 being women and over 5,000 being children. The Zionist state has come under fire across the globe for targeting journalists, medical workers, and writers, such as poet and scholar Refaat Alareer, who was a powerful voice against both Israel and US support for the occupation.

It has also been harshly criticised for the systematic and targeted assault on hospitals and schools, often where thousands have taken refuge as such institutions are meant to be protected under international law.

Mass protests have taken Western countries by storm, even those with governments most friendly to Israel. Netanyahu himself recently lamented this, stating, “We need to apply counter-pressure … There have been disagreements with the best of our friends.”

Biden himself has come under intense scrutiny by the US public, with demonstrations following him wherever he goes and the Palestine solidarity movement labelling him as “genocide Joe”, in part for his repeated pushes to arm Israel as it carries out its genocide in Gaza. The US recently bypassed Congressional rules to send 13,981 tank shells to Israel.

Also on December 12, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of a humanitarian ceasefire, a move which had been blocked by the United States in the Security Council last week. 153 countries voted in favour, 23 abstained, and 10 voted against, including the United States and Israel.

“It’s undeniable that Israel is becoming pretty much isolated on the world stage, and it’s dragging the US down with it, which the White House is not willing to accept,” said Layan Fuleihan, who has led and organised mass protests within the Shut It Down for Palestine coalition, including the November 4 March for Palestine in Washington, DC. “We’ve had all of these massive mobilisations. Even the polls are saying that 61 percent of Americans support a ceasefire, and that’s not being reflected in any of the White House strategy, they’re not acting on this strong demand.

“I don’t think that this is a moment where the US is willing to give up on Israel, but I do think that they are considering giving up on Netanyahu,” Fuleihan told Peoples Dispatch.

“They’re still pushing for billions of dollars of aid, they’re still selling weapons, they’re still blocking concrete international pressure for a ceasefire. Overall, I think we should be alert and aware of the cracks in the friendship between the US and its imperial project, Israel.”

Natalia Marques is a writer at Peoples Dispatch, an organiser, and a graphic designer based in New York City

This article was first published on Peoples Dispatch