An American expert on Gaza affairs: The United States fears opening a new front

An American expert on Gaza affairs: The United States fears opening a new front

Allies: Although US President Joe Biden is far from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu politically, Biden has given his full support to the war in Gaza. Photograph: Miriam Alster/AP/NTB

The Biden government's continued support for Israel is driven by fear of a bigger war, according to one of America's leading experts.

After more than half a year of full support for Israel's war in Gaza, the United States has put all its weight behind a peace agreement.

But the pressures to get Israel to step down do not reach the point where the United States uses the maximum pressure method: reducing military cooperation.

Aaron David Miller, one of the most prominent American experts on Middle East affairs, believes that things will continue this way.

The US government's relationship with Israel is characterized by anger and frustration, but the will to impose costs on Israel is still absent, as Miller explains.

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Expert: Aaron David Miller Photo: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The historian and Middle East expert was for 20 years an advisor to the United States Secretaries of State and a negotiator in the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Miller He describes the relationship between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “severed.”

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– Biden realizes that Netanyahu has changed, that he is desperate to hold on to power, and is willing to take big risks, Miller says.

A crisis of trust arose between them. But equally, Biden and his government want to maintain an effective partnership with the Israeli government.

It is believed that the Biden government will continue to pressure Israel, but will not go so far as to withdraw military support.

Read also: Joe Biden's problem with Israel: – There is no way out

Aaron mentions three reasons that can explain US policy towards Israel:

  1. President Biden personally is very pro-Israel. Aaron worked with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and sees Biden as driven more by his personal vision of the conflict.
  2. Although parts of the Democratic Party disagree with policy toward Israel, the majority supports Biden's line. Republicans want to play a more pro-Israel role, which Biden wants to avoid.
  3. The goal of the United States is to reach a negotiated agreement that both parties can accept, as the beginning of a permanent solution. In order to persuade the Israeli war cabinet to support the plan, the United States must maintain its support.

– Will Hamas accept the existing agreement without making counter-allegations? Will Netanyahu's entire government support the deal? Both parts are very uncertain.

Read also: The Middle East is a broken and angry region

Enormous suffering: As in all wars, it is civilians, especially children, who suffer the most in Gaza. Photo: Agence France-Presse

Miller points out that the foundation of the peace agreement is weak:

– The government of Israel believes that the war is about the existence of the state, while the Hamas leadership is fighting for its life.

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At the same time, the opposing sides are marked by the horrors of war. There is almost no willingness to compromise.

The war began with an extremely brutal killing spree and a terrorist attack by Hamas. The war of annihilation that Israel is waging is motivated by ideas of revenge. The suffering has shocked both sides in the war.

Desperate men: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life, and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is literally fighting for his life. Photography: Mahmoud Hams/Agence France-Presse

Miller believes that there is excessive faith in what the United States can achieve.

The Middle East is the place where American plans for war and peace will die. The international community is failing at the mass killings in Sudan, Ukraine, Syria and Congo. No one can dictate peace.

Miller still receives briefings from the White House, where he is frequently used as an expert by the US media.

– What I am learning is that the Biden administration does not have the answers to the biggest problem: Hamas will not go away and will not allow itself to be defeated.

Read also: This is why the United States supports Israel's war

At the same time, Miller says, the US government fears that halting arms shipments to Israel could lead to something more dangerous:

The greatest fear in Washington is that a large-scale war will break out on Israel’s borders with Lebanon in the north. If Israel and Hezbollah enter into a large-scale war, the suffering in Gaza will be forgotten, in a war that may become so dangerous that the United States may be drawn directly into it.

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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