Politics

Critics charge Biden with abandoning Israel, hostages amid growing tensions with Jewish state

JERUSALEM — The Biden administration’s failure on Monday to veto a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza is putting further strain on the administration’s relationship with America’s closest ally in the region, Israel.

‘The U.S. action at the U.N. has driven U.S.-Israel relations to a low point in their history and left America’s reputation as a credible ally in ruins,’ Caroline Glick, one of Israel’s leading experts on American-Israeli relations, told Fox News Digital. She continued, ‘Israel is engaged in a multi-front war against Iran and its proxies for its survival. In Tehran, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Jordan, Israel’s enemies saw on Monday that the U.S. has abandoned Israel at the height of the war, effectively adopting Hamas’ positions as its own.’

When approached about the U.N. vote and the state of U.S.-Israel relations, a State Department spokesperson referred Fox News Digital to spokesperson Matthew Miller’s remarks during Monday’s press briefing. 

‘The U.N. Security Council resolution that passed today from which the United States abstained, there were … issues with which we had concerns related to that resolution, the fact that it did not condemn Hamas’s terrorist attacks of October 7th; that’s why we didn’t vote for it,’ Miller said. ‘But the reason we didn’t veto it is because there were also things in that resolution that were consistent with our long-term position; most importantly, that there should be a cease-fire, and that there should be a release of hostages.’

The U.S.’ move to not veto the resolution prompted Israel to cancel a high-level delegation to Washington, D.C., to discuss American concerns about Israel’s slated offensive to seize the remaining Hamas-controlled city of Rafah in Gaza. President Biden had requested the meeting.

Miller termed the cancelation ‘surprising and unfortunate.’ The State Department spokesperson added, ‘We believe this type of full-scale invasion would be a mistake. It would be a mistake not just because of the extraordinary impact it would have on the somewhere around 1.4 million civilians who are in Rafah now, but it would also be a mistake because it would harm Israel’s overall security.’ 

‘This withdrawal damages both the war effort and the effort to release the hostages because it gives Hamas hope that international pressure will allow them to accept a cease-fire without the release of our hostages,’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement after the U.S. enabled the alleged anti-Israel vote at the Security Council,

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told Fox News Digital, ‘I think by falsely criticizing Israel and agreeing to a U.N. resolution that does not condemn Hamas nor condition a cease-fire on the hostages being released, Biden has given Hamas a huge diplomatic victory.’

Friedman, one of the key architects in the Trump administration of the diplomatic normalization agreements (Abraham Accords) between Israel and Sunni Gulf countries, added, ‘This is why [senior Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh is in Tehran today celebrating. All of this emboldens Hamas and makes a deal for the hostages far more difficult.’

Friedman continued, ‘I think the last time America betrayed Israel like this was at the end of the Obama administration with UNSCR 2334.’ Obama’s then-Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, abstained in a vote that enabled the UNSC to censure Israel for its construction of residences in the disputed territory of Judea and Samaria. The region is also known as the West Bank. Power is now the administrator for the United States Agency for International Development.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Monday, ‘We get to decide what our policy is. It seems like the Prime Minister’s office is choosing to create a perception of daylight here when they don’t need to do that.’

Israel’s government and the public are determined to root out Hamas terrorists and its infrastructure in Rafah and secure the release of the over 100 hostages held by the Jihadi organization. Netanyahu has the backing of Israel’s population, who desperately want to prevent a reprise of Hamas’ massacre of 1,200 people on Oct. 7 in southern Israel. The bloodbath included sustained rapes of women and the seizure of more than 200 hostages. Israeli officials say that an invasion of Rafah is not contingent on a green light from the Biden administration.

The clash between Biden and Netanyahu is increasing at a fast pace. Domestic elections are fueling the Biden administration’s anxiety about an Israeli operation to defeat Hamas. According to critics, Biden seeks to woo Arab American votes in Michigan — a key swing state in this year’s presidential election — by pushing Israel to accept deep concessions.

Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told Fox News Digital that ‘Biden is becoming the worst president for Israel ever.’ He added that the ‘refusal to veto the resolution is intended to defend Hamas and strengthen Hamas. This is sinister. They are protecting the evil regime of Hamas and the evil regime of Iran.’ Klein claimed Biden is determined to ‘harm Israel.’

Glick, a former adviser to Netanyahu, noted, ‘The administration’s actions at the U.N. Security Council were a betrayal of Israel and of the hostages. By allowing resolution 2728 to pass, the U.S. blocked all paths to a diplomatic deal to secure the release of any hostages. By decoupling what Hamas wants — a cease-fire that will allow it to rebuild its terror army and its control over Gaza and so win the war — from the release of the hostages, Resolution 2728 seals the hostages’ fate.’ 

America’s top U.N. diplomat issued caveats at the Security Council meeting on Tuesday. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told the council that ‘we did not agree with everything’ in the resolution.

The dire plight of the hostages has become a kind of political football, and the grueling conditions in Rafah, where Israeli intelligence officials believe the hostages are being held, will only get progressively worse as time unfolds.

‘The only way to free them now is by rescuing them through direct military action. Hamas made this clear when they changed their position from accepting a swap of 40 hostages for 700 terrorists, (including 100 murderers) to demanding a full cessation of the war and a total withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza,’ said Glick.

Amos Harel, a senior military correspondent for the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz, who has deep sourcing within Israel’s intelligence and defense establishment, wrote on Tuesday, ‘Senior defense officials are very worried about the worsening relations with America and the deterioration in Israel’s international standing. Their fear, which is shared by every key officeholder, is that this is the start of a process that will go on for years and be very difficult to stop.’

‘Netanyahu has repeatedly infuriated the United States and other friendly Western governments in the 15 months since his far-right government was sworn in. The West’s grievances intensified as the war in Gaza bogged down, and especially as Netanyahu refused to discuss postwar political arrangements for Gaza,’ he added.

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