Attempts by America to rein in Netanyahu from destroying the two state solution, expunging the Palestinians and changing the facts on the ground to de facto claim sovereignty over all the occupied territories continues behind the scene, whilst maintaining overt support for its security.
Continued warnings by Biden over an Israeli ground invasion, Egypt’s refusal to allow the Palestinians fleeing from Gaza access through the Rafah crossing, despite Israel’s bombing of the Rafah crossing, as well as the pin pricks and rhetoric stirred by Iran through Hezbollah and other Shia groups, including attacks on American bases through drones in Iraq and Syria, are all aimed to warn Netanyahu of the wider regional consequences if he does not reverse his trajectory towards “Eretz – Greater Israel”, as it collides with established American policy of containing Israel via the two state solution in the Middle East.
Added to this is Biden’s attempt to rupture support within America for Israel, whilst overtly maintaining guaranteed support for Israel’s security in order to maintain the Jewish vote for the forthcoming American elections whilst at the same time eliminating its impact on American moves against Netanyahu.
Consequently, whilst Biden publicly authorised “lethal military equipment” to Israel and sought £106bn dollars for Ukraine and Israel from Congress, with $10bn specifically for military aid to Israel, as public shows of support for Israel’s security. These same actions were designed to provoke divisions in American society and especially within the policy making elite as a warning to Netanyahu that American support to his government is in danger as is American public opinion.
The first warning was the resignation of veteran state department official Josh Paul, who worked for 11 years in the office overseeing US arms transfers. In his resignation letter, after a scathing attack on Israel’s actions and the one sided support from the US administration, he stated with reference to the decision making ;
“The difference here is that in all of those cases — when those within the department and the interagency with human rights concerns had done all the shaping they could — you knew the next step was for the sale to go to Congress where it would be held, debated, even voted against…But with Israel, it’s a blank check from Congress. There’s no appetite for debate. There’s no real debate internal to the administration. And then there’s no one to hand the debate off to.”
This was followed up by revelations by the very influential Huffington Post which published a series of articles exposing serious rifts within the Biden administration and the State Department over uninhibited support for Netanyahu. On 19th October 2023, it reported that there were serious rifts and unrest amongst 400 plus staffers in Capitol Hill over Biden’s blank cheque to Netanyahu.
Then it published the most powerful message to Netanyahu by revealing that a “mutiny” was brewing inside the state department and others against Biden’s policy. The Huffington Post stated,” There’s basically a mutiny brewing within State at all levels,” (19/10/23).
The Huffington Post also revealed that diplomats were in the process of preparing what’s called a “dissent cable,” a document criticizing American policy that goes to the agency’s leaders through a protected internal channel.
Hence, the resignation and letter by Josh Paul as well as the revelations by the Huffington Post of internal fissures are aimed to serve Netanyahu serious warnings of US displeasure at his obstinacy against US policy in the region.
Copyright LCIR 2023