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Biden’s Team Tells Netanyahu, No Penalty for Mass Killings in Gaza

John Kirby. (DOD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II)

Asked by a reporter yesterday whether the Biden administration would consider cutting aid to Israel if it presses ahead with its plans in Rafah, U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said that Washington “has pursued the policy that we think gives us the maximum ability to be successful in influencing how Israel conducts its military campaign.” He admitted that, “in many cases,” the administration has been unhappy with the results; but Washington has not assessed whether cutting aid “would be more impactful than the steps that we have already taken.”

It gets worse: “I think that sometimes people pretend that the United States of America has a magic wand that it can wave to make any situation in the world roll out in exactly the way that we would want it to, and that is never the case. We use the tools that are available to try to influence policy.” So, apparently, either the tool of cutting aid is not available, or they just haven’t had cause to assess such a step.

White House National Security Communications Advisor spokesman John Kirby, at his press briefing, doubled down: “Oh, we never said that they can’t go into Rafah to remove Hamas. Hamas remains a viable threat to the Israeli people. And the Israelis and the IDF, absolutely, are going to continue operations against their leadership and their infrastructure, as they should…. What we’ve said is we don’t believe that it’s advisable to go in in a major way in Rafah without a proper, executable, effective, and credible plan for the safety of the more than a million Palestinians that are taking refuge in Rafah.”

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