Pollak: Biden, Harris Sending Dangerously Mixed Messages on Israel


In recent days, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and the White House have sent mixed messages about their support for Israel. This reflects competing priorities in the administration and boosts the confidence of Hamas terrorists.

Harris stated on Friday that Israel has the right to defend its interests, and also implied the Biden administration was against the Israeli government. Biden reiterated this sentiment on Saturday by saying Benjamin Netanyahu “hurts Israel”.

Biden said Israel should not attack Hamas’s last battalions at Rafah. He called it a red line. At the same, he said he wouldn’t punish Israel by cutting off its weapons for self-defense.

Biden effectively says that he won’t allow Israel to cross a “red line” when it comes to winning the war. He has not said what the consequences will be.

He has instead emphasized the importance of humanitarian aid reaching Palestinians as if Israel did not allow hundreds of trucks into Gaza every single day.

Biden wants to build an aid port in Gaza, but he has also promised that there will be no “boots” on the ground. This means the U.S. must rely on Israel to assist.

Biden, instead of using American influence over Israeli policy to reduce American leverage, is making U.S. troops dependent on Israel’s help, which reduces American leverage. He criticizes Israel while also tying more closely his administration to the war effort.

The White House and the Democratic Party have been under political pressure to produce these contradictory messages.

Anti-Israel staff protested against Biden’s support of Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel without provocation on October 7. Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans in Michigan and other swing states have said they won’t support Biden for reelection until he declares a ceasefire with Israel and abandons it.

Biden and Harris, rather than tackling these pressures, defending U.S. interests in fighting radical Islamic terrorism, and criticizing Israel’s government, are trying to do both.

They are damaging Israel’s war efforts without changing the minds of anti-Israel voters.

This contradiction is beginning to harm the war effort.

The more Biden delays Israel’s attack on Rafah that could end the conflict, the more the humanitarian crisis in Gaza will continue, causing Palestinians to suffer and increasing the pressure on Israel. This pressure in turn convinces Hamas not to accept a deal that would exchange Israeli hostages for Palestinian terrorists, and a six-week truce, saving Palestinian lives.

Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader of Gaza, believes that the White House will end the war by stopping arms sales to Israel. This would allow Hamas and its supporters to survive and remain in power.

Hamas is reportedly adamant that Israel must end the Gaza war before it can release the 134 Israelis it holds hostage. Hamas also called for increased violence during Ramadan to stir up the Islamic world.

By sending mixed messages, Biden and Harris encourage Hamas by encouraging it to believe that it is winning.

Supporting Israel and allowing it to win the battle would be easier and more effective. It is argued that the temporary cost of a Rafah attack by Israel would be worth the benefits of ending the conflict in weeks and not months. This will allow aid to reach Palestinians without fear of Hamas stealing it for their purposes.

Hamas’ defeat would be in the best interests of the United States, as it would send a strong message to terrorists around the world.

Biden and Harris may not have understood the stakes.

Biden suggested that Israel find other ways than war to deal with the “trauma”, of the terror attacks of October 7, as if Israel can solve the terror problem through grief counseling.

His advice reminds us of the shocking display of then-Secretary-of-State John Kerry, who in 2015 invited folk-rock musician James Taylor to serenade French audiences as a response to an Islamic terror act in 2015.

Israelis can’t afford to have such feelings. Hamas is no longer allowed to threaten Israel.

Biden and Harris appeared to agree at one time. They may not be willing to pay the political price that winning victory could require.