The US and Israel’s war on Gaza: The art of double-tongued diplomacy

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“I am coming here to Israel as a Jew." On the eve of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, Antony Blinken pronounced these words upon his arrival in a shaken Israel. The US Foreign Secretary’s choice of these particular words cannot be a coincidence, and the connotation they carry for his Jewish audience both inside Israel and worldwide will not fade away very soon, at least if Blinken is handling Israel’s war on Gaza on behalf of the US.

Here, Blinken was not late to proclaim where he stood the moment he addressed himself to the unfolding situation in Gaza. He is a faithful interlocutor for Israel. The next day, after Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, the US Secretary of State enmeshed himself very deeply in this crisis. Glossing over the horrific atrocities committed in Gaza, he decided his priorities would be as follows:

  • Endorsing Israel’s illicit claim to self-defense, thus dismissing international law. As an occupying power, Israel cannot claim the privilege of self-defense in the face of legitimate armed resistance by the Palestinian people subjected to its illegal military rule for more than 65 years.

  • After forcefully advocating for Israel’s policy of mass expulsion of Palestinians, Blinken decides to ignore the fact that Israel has been committing war crimes according to international law.

  • Pressuring that the war in Gaza would not widen to involve other parties, thus exclusively monopolizing this privilege of third-party intervention for the US and Western European countries

  • Engaging regional actors, mostly Arab nations, to prepare the stage for what the Secretary refers to as “the day after," meaning who would govern Gaza when the Israeli massive war on the strip concludes. The obvious objective here is to write off Hamas and the entire Palestinian resistance that has been engaging the occupying power militarily. In this context, Blinken has been toying with the idea of creating a sham Palestinian body to be a representative of the heroic and resilient people of Gaza. Of course, this scheme is meant to establish another mini-Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in Gaza, beholden to its benefactors: Israel and the US.

  • Demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli prisoners and other detainees held by Hamas and other armed parties.

    Blinken carried out those tasks on behalf of his country for the benefit of Israel, though with variable success. This dual role turned out to be a not-so-difficult task. For America and Israel, until a few weeks ago, they were acting in complete harmony with a common strategic outlook, namely, protecting Israel’s interests in the war, whose sole objective is the complete liquidation of the Palestinian armed resistance against Israel, depriving the people of Gaza`s legitimate, independent and effective representation and installing in its place a bogus, dependent, docile one.
اضافة اعلان

Enforcing this U.S. course of action, President Biden's administration has made sure that the UN Security Council will not be able to assume an effective, meaningful role in this crisis.

As the 2024 elections’ clock began ticking in Washington with concerns about America`s international image and moral standing that have been extremely tarnished as a result of America`s complete and unreserved military, political, economic, and diplomatic support of the destructive Israeli onslaught on Gaza, Biden began to feel the heat coming from different directions. The abhorrent scenes of destruction and mass killing of civilians, including women and children, have shocked millions of people around the world. Persistent mass protests in many countries demanded an immediate ceasefire of the war. The protests mainly occurred in American prestigious colleges and universities.

Protests about America’s partiality occurred in Blinken’s own backyard. Many senior US diplomats found their own boss’s approach to the situation in Gaza to be so myopic. The war has been raging for weeks in a horrific fashion, and the US’ involvement has continued to mostly explain away what is unmistakably an act of genocide against the Palestinian people. Evidently, the explicit and unrestrained backing of the Israeli aggression brought a lot of criticism and condemnation for President Biden and his team.

Yielding wide domestic and international protests, President Biden sought slightly to deescalate what previously was direct and heavy involvement in the escalating war against Gaza. He distanced himself from Netanyahu’s outrageous and unyielding position. Leaks about the estrangement between the two leaders regarding battle tactics began to surface.

Lately, President Biden made several statements in which he expressed some divergence between the US position and that of Israel’s regarding the conduct of war, targeting of Palestinians, mass murder, schemes of forcible expulsion, ethnic cleansing, acts of genocide, and erasing the future of Gaza. America’s agenda is Israel’s: spurious Palestinian representation, mass expulsion of the Gazan population, demonizing Palestinian armed resistance, Israel’s claim for absolute security, Abrahamic accords, etc.

However, all such statements have been articulated in a vague, equivocal, and noncommittal fashion where the US views would appear to be distinct from those of Israel, without contradicting or opposing in any way Israel's fundamentally radical outlook on those same issues.

In an effort to present a genuine stance, President Biden delegated the task of supporting Israel's interests, including its actions in Gaza, while maintaining the appearance of independence.

Recalling his words about his genealogy and listening to his statements on the subject at hand, I believe that Antony Blinken would not find a better candidate for this kind of task, which demands an underhand to put the diverse threads and knots of this riddle of US policy regarding the multidimensional Israel-Arab-U.S. relationships in a particular mode of motion without movement.

Mousa Braizat is a former Jordanian diplomat.

Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Jordan News' point of view.

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