USA admitted that supporting Israel destroys their reputation?

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said today that the US was "somewhat surprised" by Israel's response to the UN Security Council resolution

by Sededin Dedovic
SHARE
USA admitted that supporting Israel destroys their reputation?
© Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

Relations between the United States and Israel, traditionally strong allies, have shown signs of straining in recent days following Israel's response to a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Few saw much chance that the UN Security Council would be able to put aside five months of divisiveness over Gaza and agree terms for an immediate ceasefire, but on Monday that is exactly what happened, thanks in no small part to some British diplomatic persuasion and a significant American change of heart.

. As a result, the US did not use its veto to block a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Confusion and internal tensions

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the US was "somewhat surprised" by Israel's reaction to the resolution.

Kirby's remarks, reported by the Associated Press (AP), suggest a sense of confusion within the Biden administration. He further elaborated, as reported by AFP, that the office of the Israeli Prime Minister, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, seemed to be "producing dissent where it is not necessary." This hints at the underlying tensions simmering beneath the surface of US-Israeli relations.

It is important to note that the US has a long history of protecting Israel from UN criticism. On numerous occasions in the past, the US has used its veto power to block resolutions deemed unfavorable to Israel. However, recent events point to a potential shift in US policy.

The US abstained from voting on the latest cease-fire resolution, a move some interpreted as a subtle departure from its traditional unwavering support for Israel on the international stage.

U.S.

Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield talks to Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations © Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images

Israel has already felt the way the wind is blowing among its Western allies, but it is in no mood to stop fighting until Hamas is completely crushed.

"All those countries that are now turning away from Israel will look at this moment as a sign of shame. After all those declarations of support for the Jewish people when we are the victims, you are abandoning us now, at the last stage before our victory over the genocidal terrorist force? It's a shame," Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer said last week.

Israel's sense of isolation will now be acute, but it may not be enough to deter it from testing American resolve.

Communication breakdown and diplomatic maneuvering

According to an anonymous US official cited by the AP, US representatives were in contact with their Israeli counterparts over the weekend to explain the US position on the UN resolution and stress that it does not represent a change in policy or a weakening of US support for Israel.

However, a separate anonymous source close to the US-Israel dialogue revealed that there was no direct communication between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Biden before Israel's decision to cancel the planned visit of the Israeli delegation.

This lack of direct communication at the highest level further highlights the current strain in the relationship. Despite recent tensions, diplomatic efforts are ongoing. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant is scheduled to meet with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and other US officials in Washington.

These discussions are expected to address the current situation in Gaza and explore potential avenues for a ceasefire. An unnamed US official indicated that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah is not imminent, suggesting there may still be room for diplomatic solutions despite the delayed visit by the Israeli delegation.

Eytan Gilboa, an expert on American-Israeli relations at Bar-Ilan University, believes that Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to cancel the visit of the diplomatic delegation was a strategic miscalculation. Gilboa suggests the move underscores the current state of tension between the US and Israel.

He suggests that President Biden may be trying to placate critics within the Democratic Party who are increasingly vocal about their reservations about unwavering US support for Israel. On the other hand, Gilboa interprets Netanyahu's actions as an attempt to project an image of defiance towards what he perceives as American policies that are harmful to Israel's interests.

There are few signs that Biden wants to use the vote as a springboard for a confrontation with Netanyahu. Faced with fierce Republican and Israeli accusations of betrayal, the Biden administration instead tried to downplay the vote, saying the US abstention did not represent a change in policy.

Recent developments highlight the complex situation in US-Israeli relations. Although the basic alliance remains in place, there are clear signs of tension. The coming days will be crucial in determining whether open communication and diplomatic efforts can bridge the current gap or whether relations will be headed for a more significant period of disagreement.

White House
SHARE