Joe Biden's Balancing Act: Security, Diplomacy, and Human Rights in Gaza

In the past few months, the conflict in Gaza has grabbed the world's attention, leading to a mix of reactions from leaders around the globe.

by Faruk Imamovic
Joe Biden's Balancing Act: Security, Diplomacy, and Human Rights in Gaza
© Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

In the past few months, the conflict in Gaza has grabbed the world's attention, leading to a mix of reactions from leaders around the globe. Central to all this talk has been the Biden administration, which has been carefully trying to balance its approach to diplomacy and the pressing human rights issues that keep popping up.

This piece looks into how the U.S. has been handling the situation, pointing out how their tone and actions have been changing as the violence and humanitarian problems in Gaza continue to grow.

Tracing Policy Changes

Right from the start, President Joe Biden made it clear that the U.S.

stood firmly with Israel, especially after the attacks by Hamas. But as the fighting continued, the high number of Palestinian casualties, with about 30,800 dead and even more suffering from lack of food and water, couldn't be overlooked.

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke up on Sunday, bringing a new tone to the conversation. She called the situation in Gaza "inhumane" and urged the Israeli government to let more aid in. This was a big change, showing a willingness to be more openly critical of how Israel was managing the conflict.

Yet, even with this shift in how they talked about the issue, the U.S. didn't stop its military or diplomatic support for Israel, which shows just how complicated this situation is. The way the Biden administration has handled this situation shows they're trying to do two things at once: keep supporting Israel while also trying to deal with the humanitarian crisis.

Biden's journey from full support at the beginning to cautioning against a permanent military setup in Gaza shows they're walking a fine line. Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, and other officials have been part of this careful approach too, calling for breaks in the fighting to let aid through and expressing concerns about the high number of civilians dying, all while acknowledging just how harsh war can be.

International Reactions and the Path Forward

People around the world have been keeping a close eye on how the U.S. is dealing with the situation in Gaza. The Biden administration has gotten both pats on the back and criticism.

Some folks were really upset when the U.S. said no to a United Nations proposal that wanted to stop the fighting for a bit to help civilians. On the other hand, the U.S. has been trying to work out peace deals and has sometimes decided not to block UN plans, which shows they're really trying to find a peaceful solution and understand how bad things are for people caught in the middle.

Lately, the U.S. has been talking a lot about how important it is to stop the fighting right away and get help to those who need it in Gaza. This shows they really see how much people are suffering there. But finding the best way to help isn't easy.

The U.S. is trying to figure out how to keep its own interests in mind while also doing everything it can to help with the humanitarian crisis.

Mass Grave Prepared For Bodies Returned By Israel To Gaza Via Kerem Shalom Crossing© Getty Images/Ahmad Hasaballah

Navigating the International Stage

Since the violence broke out, the U.S.

has really stepped up on the world stage, using its influence to try to shape what happens next. It's made some tough calls, like saying no to some United Nations plans that wanted to stop the fighting temporarily, and choosing not to vote against others that aimed to help civilians.

The U.S. is trying to do a tricky balancing act: it wants to stand by Israel but also really wants to help make things better for the people caught in the middle of it all in Gaza. A big moment that showed what the U.S. is trying to do was when it decided not to go along with a UN suggestion to pause the fighting.

The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, explained why: the U.S. is trying to juggle supporting its friend, Israel, while also making sure that the people in Gaza get the help they need. This isn't easy. The U.S. has been vocal about wanting breaks in the fighting to get aid to those who need it in Gaza.

High-up officials like Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Barbara Leaf from the State Department have been clear about how important they think it is to help out and to make sure that, after the fighting stops, there's a plan that includes listening to what Palestinians need and want.

The Challenges of Diplomacy

Even though the U.S. has been really trying to help, some people are not happy because America has kept on giving military support to Israel. They wish the U.S. would push Israel harder to change its ways.

It's a tricky situation, with all the complicated international relationships and politics inside the U.S. itself making things even more difficult. This just goes to show how tough it can be to handle foreign affairs during a conflict.

On top of that, the U.S. has had to deal with unexpected actions from others in the area, like Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. For example, when a leader from Hamas was killed in Beirut, it really put the U.S. in a tough spot.

They had to show they were against acts of terror without going back on their support for Israel's right to protect itself.

Joe Biden