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Home » The Crisis in Gaza Exposes the Failure of Biden’s Middle East Policy

The Crisis in Gaza Exposes the Failure of Biden’s Middle East Policy

by Abram Tsitsishvili
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The fresh spate of violence against Palestinians in 2023 once again spotlights the Biden administration’s flawed foreign policy in the Middle East and its inability to promote constructive regional peace, as casualties mount and the far-right Zionist government in “Israel” gets a free pass. The absence of strategic wisdom that is directed towards de-escalation and a long-lasting mechanism for peace is indicative of an approach that has allowed operations against Palestinians to continue amid widespread human suffering. There is a clear disconnect between Biden’s campaign pledges, which focused on devising everlasting solutions and advocated for promoting accountability and genuine democracy, and actual policies that are transpiring in 2023.

The truth is that the 2023 violence from “Israel” is yet another blemish on America’s historical footprint in the region, and the Biden administration is largely responsible for this decay. 

For Middle Eastern peace and those vouching for the self-determination of the Palestinian people, the crass nature of the violence in 2023 is alarming. Fresh airstrikes were launched by “Israel” on military facilities in the Gaza Strip, as settlers and Israeli occupation forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Holy month of Ramadan while worshippers prayed. Clashes also broke out between Palestinian worshippers and the occupation police at the Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, which mirrors the crisis which unfolded in 2021.

According to the Director of Research and Analysis at the Arab Center in Washington D.C. Imad Harb, the events in 2021 and the American response were a grand example of the Biden administration’s failure to devise a balanced approach towards diffusing tensions. What is being witnessed is a quintessential example of plausible deniability and turning a blind eye to annual crackdowns against an occupied population. 

The truth is that the Biden foreign policy remains fixated on targeting other states such as Ukraine instead of coming up with tangible solutions to conflicts brewing in the Middle East. Examples include attempts at curbing China’s technological rise, with executive orders restricting investments by US corporations to China in the pipeline, including a request for funding slated for the March 9 fiscal 2024 budget. The American foreign policy in the Asia Pacific is also in shambles, as attempts to divide the region into ‘pro-American’ and ‘anti-American camps’ has backfired. Neither strategy has succeeded. According to Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond, Dana El Kurd, citizens of the Middle East are well aware of the historical failures of American foreign policy, the strategies employed and the blatant hypocrisy on display. There is little appetite for Biden’s brazen alignment with “Israel”.  

As per the eighth Arab Opinion Index conducted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Qatar, 78% of the 14 countries surveyed consider the US to be the biggest threat to peace and stability in the region. Additionally, most countries in the region believe that the United States has adopted policies that are hostile to reconciliation, dialogue and de-escalation and has also undercut forces that are genuinely pro-democracy.

Nothing has changed in 2023, as the decision to maintain the status quo despite worsening conflicts in the region remains a key characteristic of the Biden doctrine. This doctrine is based on silentlyو allowing the occupation to go unnoticed under the garb of democracy, which in the Zionist state has been in a state of freefall. This is despite the fact that prominent American intellectual Noam Chomsky stated that liberals/Democrats in the United States have increasingly drifted away from the far-right Netanyahu government, with supporters in the United States being largely limited to the evangelicals, Republicans and far-right lobbyists. 

Hostilities in Gaza also demonstrate a recurring trend in US foreign policy. The entire approach towards conflict resolution has been parochial, shallow, and contrary to international norms and practices. There have been no calls from the Biden administration to urge “Israel” to abide by relevant United Nations resolutions which include, inter alia, respecting the sanctity of the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem. There also remains a notable absence of any discussion in the United States Congress on “Israel’s” horrific actions, with much of the discourse centering on Ukraine, strangling China, and pushing for greater geopolitical competition in Latin America and Africa against perceived Russian and Chinese domination. The absence of such strategic foresight has only resulted in mass casualties, live ammunition, widespread destruction and widening trust deficits which have affected the Palestinians once again in 2023.  

The US approach towards the region and the inability to nab brewing conflicts and hostile tensions stands in stark contrast to other diplomatic maneuvers which have diffused tensions and contributed to a more stable regional order. The 2023 normalization of Saudi Arabia and Iran, which resulted in the resumption of diplomatic relations after two years of lengthy discussions and at least five sessions of talks are one such example.

Brokered by China in March 2023, diplomats Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian signed an agreement to open embassies and examine ways of expanding cooperation for the citizens of the two countries, which include private sector delegation exchanges. Both sides seek to take the promise and optimism from their normalization to newer heights, in line with additional appreciation directed at China’s constructive role in facilitating communication between Riyadh and Tehran after decades of hostilities. Such constructive approaches are notably absent from Washington D.C. which has only sought to divide and promote discord. 

While the Saudi Arabia-Iran rapprochement may be a positive sign for Middle Eastern stability, a regional approach which puts the aspirations of the Palestinians as a priority and keeps Zionist expansionist agendas in check is the need of the hour. The absence of mature diplomacy from the Biden administration has only proven to be counterproductive for achieving sustainable peace and has exposed US foreign policy in the region once again. 

Source : Al Mayadeen

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