The Biden administration, through Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is pushing Israel, even as that nation is in the early stages of a war for its very survival, to concern itself with what happens afterward, should it win that struggle. Never mind that this is a Party that has never had a coherent strategy for exiting a war, much less any idea of what victory conditions would look like, from Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam War and Party’s refusal under Ford to give the south a survivable way off the field, to Barack Obama’s disastrous decisions in quitting Iraq, to Joe Biden’s cut-and-run from Afghanistan.
Blinken’s diktats include no less than Five Nos and Three Musts, to use The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial terminology:
No forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza…. No use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism or other violent attacks. No reoccupation of Gaza after the conflict ends. No attempt to blockade or besiege Gaza. No reduction in the territory of Gaza.
must include the Palestinian people’s voices and aspirations at the center of postcrisis governance in Gaza. It must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority. And it must include…a pathway to Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in states of their own, with equal measures of security, freedom, opportunity and dignity.
Whether or not any of those Nos or Musts are good ideas, it is not for this administration to dictate terms to Israel. It’s solely Israel’s responsibility to dictate terms to Hamas.
Instead, Blinken, to paraphrase a French President and philosopher:
…is not really engaged in responsible behavior. His is not well brought-up behavior. He missed eight good opportunities to keep quiet.