The betrayal is official. Similar stories appeared a week ago from Israeli media outlets, but the Biden administration is now saying it out loud.
Here it is in the New York Times.
The Biden administration has told the Israeli government that it wants Israel to end its large-scale ground campaign in the Gaza Strip around the end of the year and transition to a more targeted phase in its war against Hamas, four senior U.S. officials said.
As the Biden administration envisions, this new phase would involve the use of smaller groups of elite Israeli forces that would move in and out of population centers in Gaza, carrying out more precise missions to find and kill Hamas leaders, rescue hostages and destroy tunnels.
During meetings in Israel that began on Thursday, American officials said Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, discussed the timeline for a transition to lower-intensity operations supported by the U.S. administration.
U.S. officials said Mr. Biden wants Israel to end the large-scale ground campaign in the Gaza Strip within three weeks, or soon thereafter. They asked for anonymity to discuss the president’s thinking.
The U.S. calls for a change in tactics came as Israel’s defense minister said on Thursday that the war against Hamas “will last more than several months,” signaling determination to continue carrying out strikes in Gaza.
And in Axios.
“National Security Adviser Sullivan made clear in all meetings that the high intensity kinetic campaign needed to transition to the next lower intensity phase in a matter of weeks not months. [This is not] a deadline and we understand the campaign must and will continue, but in a lower intensity manner,” a senior U.S. official told Axios.
This lines up with Biden’s remarks blasting Netanyahu and Israel.
Biden officials may be pitching this as a transition, but it would actually end the war and return to the status quo. Hamas would be able to regroup and resume control over Gaza.
The proposed “lower intensity phase” would have Israeli soldiers ducking in and out of Gaza to get high-value targets. A similar attempt just cost Israel the lives of 8 soldiers.
This would actually return to the pre-existing state of affairs in which Israel tried to take out top terrorists in response to attacks.
Whether or not the Netanyahu government would accept that, Israelis will not. And if Biden and Sullivan thinks they will, they’ve been fundamentally misled by J Street and anti-Israel leftists who reduce the war to bashing Netanyahu.
So a more serious split is coming.
The Biden administration hasn’t contributed all that much to the Israeli war effort beyond some moral support, some military resupply (the vast majority of it was deliberately tied up by linking it to a huge and unpopular Ukraine package) and some interception capabilities that have been utilized against the Houthis and hypothetically might be used against Hezbollah.
The “bear hug” was always more show than reality.
The administration is refusing to supply some weapons already and it will presumably stop voting in support of Israel at the UN.
The short version is that the anti-Israel voices, from Muslim Democrats threatening a boycott, to pro-Hamas leftist activists have won, but realistically they were always going to.
The post Oct 7 relationship is breaking up. It’s just a matter of spin.
The Biden administration will keep doubling down on blaming the “right-wing government” for pulling the support they were always going to pull. J Street and other groups that pretended to sympathize with Israel will be used to sell American Jews on the betrayal.
The question is how many will fall for it? This is where making the right arguments will become really important.