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Trust what I do, not what I say - A possibly coordinated Iranian strike, aid for the ICJ case against Israel, and siding with Hamas demonstrate the Biden administration’s true interests

Part 3

US President Joe Biden speaks during a ceremony celebrating the Las Vegas Aces victory in the 2023 WNBA Finals in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, May 9, 2024. (Photo: Bonnie Cash/Pool/Sipa USA)

Shortly after the unprecedented Iranian attack on Israel during the night of 13-14 April, a small group of news analysts and commentators began to warn that the attacks were not actually designed to damage Israel. 

According to these analysts, and based on comments from anonymous officials, the true purpose of the attacks was largely two-fold: 1) allowing Iran to project a stronger image after repeated small-scale Israeli attacks against its interests in the region, and 2) giving Iran a chance to test Israel’s air defenses against a larger-scale attack than Israel had previously experienced. 

In other words, the show of Israel standing arm-in-arm with its greatest ally, fighting a massive attack together, was just that, a show. 

Just hours after the attack, a Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters that Iran had informed Turkey in advance of the barrage, with the understanding that the information would be passed on to the US. 

The Turkish source further told Reuters that Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan had spoken to his U.S. and Iranian counterparts ahead of the Iranian action, where it was agreed “that this reaction must be within certain limits.” 

While the US later denied the reports, the Turkish Foreign Ministry stood by the claims, saying the contact had taken place. Both Iraqi and Jordanian sources also claimed to have received advance warning of the attacks, although not the exact timing. 

While some analysts have declared this to be another sign of weakness on the part of the US, as argued previously in this series, I believe the true reason is an unstated Middle Eastern policy that is designed to increase Iranian influence in the Middle East through allowing Iran to become a nuclear power. 

This policy started under former President Barrack Obama, and despite a brief interlude during the Trump administration, it has resumed under President Joe Biden. 

Other analysts agree that the policy shift comes from Obama, but believe it was part of a misguided attempt to “moderate the regime.” 

FDD’s Richard Goldberg expressed this view in a piece for National Review in November. 

“The Obama administration believed that offering an olive branch and thawing relations would moderate the regime. And by increasing Iran’s access to resources and its power projection in the Middle East, an equilibrium could be achieved between Shiite and Sunni rivals that would lead to an era of stability and U.S. withdrawal from the region.” 

However, even the question that Goldberg asks later in his article indicates that this assessment is not likely to be correct. 

“Is America getting anything in return for this arrangement?” he asked after pointing out how Biden continues to enable Iranian aggression.  

This realization that the Obama-Biden Middle Eastern policy could be detrimental to US interests also suggests that the motivation for recent steps hampering Israel’s ability to fight against its enemies successfully is not related to concerns over the November elections. It appears to be part of a more deeply rooted ideology aimed at ending Israel’s “dominance” in the Middle East. 

This Middle Eastern policy is so different from previous administrations, and ultimately so damaging to several US allies in the region besides Israel, that it has been disguised up to this point by announcements of secret talks and negotiations between the US and Iran. 

However, if the US were interested in containing Iranian aggression, no such secret talks would be necessary, it would openly express its intentions and follow them up with clear actions. 

The language of talks and negotiations is meant to calm the nerves of the countries that will be compromised by the Obama-Biden policy, primarily Israel and Saudi Arabia. 

A third goal of the Iran strike appears to be presenting the face of a united front in the defense of Israel, which creates room for Biden to undermine Israel’s long-term security. 

In the previous articles, I noted how Obama used the same strategy of openly promising to support Israel and her right to self-defense, followed by a demand to Israel to take some steps that would be detrimental to its security. 

Now, practically one month after the Iranian attacks, those steps have become clear. 

First, the US pressured Israel not to respond to the Iranian attack, with Biden reportedly telling Netanyahu, “Take the win.” 

After Netanyahu responded with some of his own political maneuvering, the US was reported to agree to a limited operation in Rafah in return for the promise to carry out a very restricted retaliation against Iran. 

The US, together with several Western allies, has been pressing Israel for some time not to enter Rafah, where the last Hamas battalions and several senior leaders are hiding. 

Then, the US apparently blindsided Israel in the hostage negotiations, by presenting Hamas with a modified proposal, which Israel had not seen. When Hamas announced its acceptance of this different proposal, it appeared to make Netanyahu look like the obstacle to an agreement when Israel refused to accept the deal and moved into Rafah in a limited operation, as they had threatened to do. 

The next step was not long in coming. 

President Biden, after calling on the US Congress to pass an emergency defense funding bill that would enable Ukraine and Israel to get necessary munitions for their respective war goals, and signing the bill into law, has announced the suspension of critical munitions needed to attack Hamas in Rafah without endangering Gaza civilians. 

Going further, Biden also said Israel would not receive those weapons if it expanded the Rafah operation, which it has said for months is necessary to achieve final victory over Hamas. 

These moves, along with past actions and comments by the Biden administration make it clear that preserving Hamas, an important Iranian proxy, is the real goal of the administration since October 7. 

The US has compromised every Israeli tool that would have allowed for a quick victory, while supporting and even helping build the narrative of Israel as a suspected human rights abuser and war crimes perpetrator. 

The leaked State Department memo in late April, alleging possible Israeli war crimes is part of this strategy. The goal, apparently, is to provide enough legal ammunition to either open an ICC case against Netanyahu, finally removing the Israeli leader that both Barack Obama and Joe Biden have publicly and privately expressed contempt for, or even provide the grounds to override Israeli sovereignty and force an unacceptable peace deal onto the country in order to prevent a trial at the ICC. 

In all these, the Biden administration, following in the footsteps of Obama, is attempting to remove Israel’s ability to act as a sovereign nation in its own interests, and to its ability to be the regional superpower, able to bring stability and prosperity to the region. 

In fact, recent reports alleging that Saudi Arabia is considering moving forward with a defense pact between it and the United States without Israel are most likely a reflection of the Biden administration's efforts to isolate Israel in the region, more than Saudi Arabia’s own internal decision making. 

Recall that Biden was originally opposed to making such a defense pact with Saudi Arabia over the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. 

Biden was even more reluctant to move forward on the agreement after the coalition government of Netanyahu came to power. However, after the start of the Gaza War, recognizing the potential to offer a tantalizing incentive to maneuver Israel into a weaker position, the Biden administration suddenly began to conduct more talks with the Saudis, and hinted at the possibility of normalization that only a month before the war it said was doubtful. 

The reality is that the administration saw a way to pressure Israel, using Netanyahu’s desire to achieve a peace deal with the Kingdom as the carrot. Reports from anonymous security officials familiar with the talks say that it was Biden's team which demanded "progress" on a two-state solution as a part of the security pact, not Saudi Arabia. Now that the US sees this strategy is not working, the US is trying to convince Saudi Arabia into a deal that would offer the Kingdom no real benefit, as Biden has already demonstrated his refusal to stand up to Iran. 

A security pact without Israel is no security pact. It remains to be seen whether MBS is willing to agree to such an empty deal, knowing that the US has only emboldened Iran. If he is wise, MBS will reject it and begin discussions with Israel directly. Between the two of them, Netanyahu and MBS could probably come to an agreeable security pact, and plan for finishing the Gaza War. 

If they rely on Biden, both will end up losing. 

J. Micah Hancock is a current Master’s student at the Hebrew University, pursuing a degree in Jewish History. Previously, he studied Biblical studies and journalism in his B.A. in the United States. He joined All Israel News as a reporter in 2022, and currently lives near Jerusalem with his wife and children.

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