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Biden OKs more arms to Israel, crushing hope of Gaza shift

Biden OKs more arms to Israel, crushing hope of Gaza shift

The president may have changed his rhetoric on the war slightly but his actions still show his true colors

QiOSK

Some advocates of an end to the Israeli military’s ongoing slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza have seen signs of hope in the Biden administration’s recent shift in rhetoric on the conflict, as well as its decision to abstain on a U.N. resolution calling for a ceasefire. The hope was that the administration was moving — albeit far too slowly — towards conditioning continued military aid to Israel on a ceasefire and an end to the shameful practice of blocking humanitarian aid at a time when large numbers of Gazans are on the brink of starvation.

The optimistic interpretation of the direction of Biden policy has been destroyed by the administration’s recent actions, from apparently giving the green light to an $18 billion transfer of F-15 combat aircraft to the Israeli Air Force.

Although the planes might not be delivered for years, agreeing to provide them in the midst of Israel’s war on Gaza sends a signal of support that runs contrary to the administration’s claims to be pressing the Netanyahu government to avoid civilian casualties and clear the way for humanitarian aid shipments. Of more immediate concern is a report by the Washington Post that the administration is poised to send thousands of bombs to Israel, including “2,000-pound bombs have been linked to previous mass-casualty events throughout Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.”

The sad truth is that there have been zero consequences from Washington for Israel’s crimes in Gaza. Regardless of the rhetoric, the weapons keep flowing and the killing continues. The Biden administration’s argument that it is simply giving Israel the means to defend itself willfully ignores the fact that killing over 32,000 people and attempting to deny them food and other essential goods goes far beyond defense, to the point that the International Court of Justice has suggested that Israel’s actions could “plausibly” be considered a campaign of genocide.

Even worse, the tragedy in Gaza has been compounded by Israel’s attack on Iran’s consulate in Syria, which has increased the chances of a wider Middle East war which could easily draw in U.S. personnel.

To put it bluntly, the policies of the current Israeli government are diametrically opposed to U.S. interests, and to the prospects for peace and stability in the Middle East. Cutting off arms supplies until the Netanyahu government stops the killing in Gaza and pledges to stop attacks on neighboring countries is not just a humanitarian gesture — it is essential to securing a peaceful, stable, forward looking Middle East, which should be in the interest of the entire international community.

President Biden’s stubborn attachment to a policy of “Israel Right or Wrong” is doing serious damage to U.S., regional, and global interests.

In half a century of public life, U.S. President Joe Biden has demonstrated unwavering support for Israel. In this photo Biden is welcomed by Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, as he visits Israel amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, October 18, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
QiOSK
Diplomacy Watch: Ukraine risks losing the war — and the peace

Diplomacy Watch: Ukraine risks losing the war — and the peace

QiOSK

This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered his starkest warning yet about the need for new military aid from the United States.

“It’s important to specifically address the Congress,” Zelensky said. “If the Congress doesn’t help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war.”

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South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol casts his early vote for 22nd parliamentary election, in Busan, South Korea, April 5, 2024. Yonhap via REUTERS

South Korean president faces setback in elections

QiOSK

Today, South Korea held its quadrennial parliamentary election, which ended in the opposition liberal party’s landslide victory. The liberal camp, combining the main opposition liberal party and its two sister parties, won enough seats (180 or more) to unilaterally fast-track bills and end filibusters. The ruling conservative party’s defeat comes as no surprise since many South Koreans entered the election highly dissatisfied with the Yoon Suk-yeol administration and determined to keep the government in check.

What does this mean for South Korea’s foreign policy for the remaining three years of the Yoon administration? Traditionally, parliamentary elections have tended to have little effect on the incumbent government’s foreign policy. However, today’s election may create legitimate domestic constraints on the Yoon administration’s foreign policy primarily by shrinking Yoon’s political capital and legitimacy to implement his foreign policy agenda.

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Could the maritime corridor become Gaza’s lifeline?

A tugboat tows a barge loaded with humanitarian aid for Gaza, as seen from Larnaca, Cyprus, March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Could the maritime corridor become Gaza’s lifeline?

Middle East

As Gaza’s humanitarian crisis deepens, a small U.S.-based advisory group hopes to build a temporary port that could bring as many as 200 truckloads of aid into the besieged strip each day, more than doubling the average daily flow of aid, according to a person with detailed knowledge of the maritime corridor plan.

The port effort, led by a firm called Fogbow, could start bringing aid into Gaza from Cyprus within 28 days of receiving the necessary funding from international donors. The project would require $30 million to get started, followed by an additional $30 million each month to continue operations, according to the source.

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Israel-Gaza Crisis

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