The Biden Administration’s Outmoded Response to Terror Attacks in Israel

In December 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that, without first securing peace with the Palestinians, “there will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world.” Kerry was proved wrong by the Abraham Accords, which effectively neutralized the Palestinian “veto” over peace agreements between Israel and Arab countries. Ellie Cohanim argues that the recent spate of terror attacks against Israeli civilians, timed to coincide with a summit between the Jewish state and its new allies, demonstrates the determination of Palestinian and Iranian leaders to “destroy this burgeoning peace.” But the Biden administration hasn’t learned the lessons of the recent past:

The historic Negev summit, hosted by the Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid and also featuring Lapid’s Bahraini, Egyptian, Moroccan, and Emirati counterparts, was a significant step forward in advancing the Abraham Accords. The optics of four Arab foreign ministers intertwining hands with Israel’s Lapid and America’s Blinken were powerful. Powerful too was the agreement to make the summit a “permanent forum” with “shared capabilities.”

That same [day the summit began], March 27, Blinken met with the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas. In remarks following their meeting, Blinken created a moral equivalency between Israel’s supposed “settlement expansion, settler violence, home demolitions, [and] evictions” with the PA’s “payments to people convicted of terrorism [and] incitements to violence.”

These equivalencies pose a danger to Israeli lives, as they signal to Palestinians that their terror and violence will be met with American statements about Israeli settlements—instead of demands for accountability among Palestinians. The Biden administration last year went so far as to resume U.S. funding to the PA despite its “pay-for-slay” policy, and against the animating spirit of the duly enacted Taylor Force Act legislation.

It is high time for the Biden administration to recognize the reality of the new Middle East. In this post-Abraham Accords era, there are two clear paths for nations to choose from. One is the path of coexistence, peace, and prosperity. That was the path on display at the Negev Summit. The other is the path of radicalism, terrorism and, ultimately, war.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Abraham Accords, Joe Biden, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy