Israel is a strategic liability for the United States

Israel is a strategic liability for the United States

Jon Hoffman writes:

Symbolic acts—such as the recent U.S. executive order sanctioning two Israeli settler outposts in the West Bank or Biden’s decision to reestablish the position that Israeli settlement expansion is “inconsistent with international law”—is not going to stop the carnage in Gaza, absolve Washington of complicity, or contribute to future stability.

Likely in direct response to these actions, Israel just authorized the construction of 3,400 new houses in West Bank settlements amid historic levels of violence against Palestinians; the United States has done little to punish or halt the move.

Netanyahu’s recently revealed postwar plan contains little more than a plan for the prolonged military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, which would guarantee future instability. Since Oct. 7, Netanyahu has repeatedly bragged that he is “proud” to have prevented the emergence of a Palestinian state, promising that he alone can continue stopping one.

In contrast to Netanyahu’s plan, the Biden administration’s day-after blueprint includes a vision for a “pathway” toward a Palestinian state. Notably, though, it contains no concrete plans, much less intent, for implementation on the part of the United States or Israel.

The war in Gaza should demonstrate that trying to sidestep the future of the Palestinian people is a foolish strategy. But for Netanyahu—and for Biden, by extension—it has perversely deepened a commitment to that status quo.

Washington’s unwavering support for Israel amid the war in Gaza has also had disastrous regional ramifications. From the Eastern Mediterranean to the Red Sea, a series of different flash points risk dragging the region—and the United States—into full-scale war. Additionally, Washington’s continued support of Israel’s brutal campaign in Gaza has tarnished Washington’s image as a lodestar of liberal values, making a mockery of claims about a U.S.-led “liberal international order.” [Continue reading…]

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