The so-called “insiders” take on the Biden-Netanyahu arrangement is that Washington will have Israel end its present mode of massive assaults on civilian areas and redeploy to the borders, where they can carry out smaller-scale raids. Haaretz’s analysis today, “Stretching U.S. Patience, Time is Running Out on Israel’s Campaign Against Hamas in Gaza,” written by Amos Harel, finds that “assessments heard in the Israeli media in recent days were confirmed in Politico over the weekend: the Biden administration is giving the Israel Defense Forces three more weeks in the Gaza Strip in its current mode of operation.”
He adds: “Many Israelis are making false assumptions regarding the length of time Washington is affording Israel for continuing its large-scale ground maneuver. U.S. President Joe Biden has his own considerations, mainly the growing reservations among young Democrats over support for Israel, given the scope of death and destruction wrought by Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.” Haaretz is likely alluding to yesterday’s poll by Pell, indicating that only 19% of American adults under 30 approve of Biden’s handling of the conflict. While there’s little doubt that rank political considerations have carried more weight with the administration, and such might increase pressure on Biden, yet the other political consideration is his addiction to campaign money from billionaires, and he is perfectly capable of both abandoning voters’ concerns and trying to buy an election.
Aside from doubts over the ability of the Biden administration to lay down the law to Netanyahu, the seeming cleverness of a Washington time-schedule means, minimally, that Israel throws out the assurances to Washington of reducing the amount of civilian casualties, and decimates as much as possible in as short a time as possible. And then, what is to keep Biden, who flinched mightily over his demand that Netanyahu reduce the killings of civilians, to flinch yet again? So far, Netanyahu is the tough guy in the relationship.