Israel Has Found the Limit of Its ‘Special Relationship’ With the U.S.

Israel Has Found the Limit of Its ‘Special Relationship’ With the U.S.
U.S. President Joe Biden listens during a bilateral meeting between Israeli and U.S. government officials, in Tel Aviv, Osrael, Oct. 18, 2023 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

It seems U.S. President Joe Biden is finally fed up with Israel’s conduct in Gaza. Last week, the Biden administration declared a pause on arms transfers to Israel to pressure it against proceeding with a planned assault on Rafah, a city to which hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians had fled as Israel conducted operations against Hamas elsewhere in Gaza.

Given that the U.S. Congress recently authorized supplemental funding to support Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, this has triggered a squabble between Biden and congressional Republicans, who passed a bill yesterday rebuking the president and seeking to compel him to deliver the weapons. Though it has no chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate, it could have electoral implications this November.

In some respects, this was only a matter of time. The manner by which Israel has been conducting its military campaign in Gaza has fueled controversy and outrage around the world. It has led to accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice and investigations into war crimes at the International Criminal Court. In the United States, it has spurred protests throughout the country, notably on college campuses. Despite the Biden administration wanting the fighting to stop, Israel’s military operations have forced the U.S. into situations where it must isolate itself internationally by vetoing or abstaining from United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for cease-fires.

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