When Joe Biden moved into the White House, the new US🇺🇲approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict was already expected to be much less proactive than in previous years under Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
As missiles flew🚀from both Gaza🇵🇸and Israel🇮🇱, the US president pledged to talk to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, about the current situation and pointed out the Israeli right to defend itself. If anyone had expected more from Washington, then Biden’s reaction was a disappointment. But not everyone looked for something else, but the opposite confirmed the lack of American interest in something that seems to have no solution. This “keep it simple” approach of the Biden administration to the recent events that have shocked the world might be motivated by institutional fatigue towards an endless vicious circle🔁in the Middle East.
The current crisis between Hamas and Israel is not in its first episode, but all had a specific pattern that repeated indefinitely.
Hamas with the help of Iran🇮🇷-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad launches missiles into Israeli territory in the name of defending Palestinian rights. Israel first anticipates and then retaliates accordingly. In the meantime, the US supports Israel and its right to self-defense while the EU🇪🇺points the finger👉at Tel Aviv. Hamas considers that it has sufficiently strengthened its image and ceases hostilities. Israel is following suit. Both sides accept an armistice mediated by Qatar🇶🇦and Egypt🇪🇬and bury their dead while the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas’s Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades are planning the next attack.
This endless road appears to be cutting off the appetite of American foreign policy, especially at a time when the Biden administration seems to be focusing more on the post-COVID economic recovery💸📈, the rise of China🇨🇳, and the US re-engagement with Iran in a JCPOA 2.0.
Could there be other reasons?
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The exhaustion of American🇺🇲foreign policy mechanisms regarding the oldest conflict in the Middle East might be caused not only by the vicious circle (🔙Part One) in which Israel🇮🇱and Hamas have been found since the very beginning.
Over the decades, US foreign policy has focused on the vitality of the two-state solution✌, meaning the coexistence of an Israeli state along with a Palestinian one🇵🇸. But the two-state solution has become an idea once put in a box in which the lock has been changed and the key lost, and Joe Biden acknowledged this.
Besides this, the current status quo seems to suit both Israel and Hamas. For the Palestinian Islamist group, the crisis has given it the opportunity to improve its image as the sole defender✊of Palestinian rights to the detriment of Fatah (it’s rival in the West Bank). After Fatah’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas, postponed elections in the West Bank, Hamas is now trying to gain influence there. Israel, on the other hand, is trying to prevent any political penetration of the Islamist group in the West Bank (Israel hardly accepted Hamas in Gaza).
Neither Hamas nor Israel is serious about a two-state solution. Hamas has been known for its preference for a one-state solution in which Israel does not exist. Israel’s strategy is a three-state solution in which Palestinians remain politically divided, with Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank.
Nor Israeli policy does seem to convince Washington of the seriousness of a two-state solution. Before the crisis started, a possible left-center-right coalition🤝between Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, with the support of Arab parties, was expected to end Netanyahu’s era, but once the conflict erupted, negotiations stalled🤚. Now Israel seems closer to new elections (the fifth in two years).
Even if that coalition had materialized and the new government had formed, its first prime minister would most likely have been Bennett, who of all Israeli leaders is the biggest opponent of the creation of a Palestinian state and the one who most favors the annexation of the West Bank.
source: EVERY MORNING ASIA INSTAGRAM PAGE: FOLLOW
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