Biden Administration Faces Diplomatic Warning Amidst Middle East Turmoil
The Biden administration is grappling with stark warnings from American diplomats stationed in the Arab world, cautioning that its unwavering support for Israel’s military campaign in Gaza is triggering a profound and lasting backlash among Arab populations.
The diplomatic concerns were revealed in a cable obtained by CNN, shedding light on the escalating anger against the United States in the aftermath of Israel’s operations against Hamas.
The cable, originating from the US Embassy in Oman, emphasized the severity of the situation, with American officials expressing deep worry about the repercussions of their strong backing for Israel.
The diplomatic correspondence revealed that the messaging battle is being decisively lost, as the Arab public increasingly views the US support as both material and moral culpability in potential war crimes.
Authored by the second-highest-ranking US official in Muscat, the cable was disseminated to key entities, including the White House’s National Security Council, the CIA, and the FBI.
While this represents just one snapshot from a regional embassy, it provides a private glimpse into the mounting anti-US sentiments spreading across the Middle East.
Another cable from the American embassy in Cairo reported the scathing commentary from a state-run Egyptian newspaper, asserting that “President Biden’s cruelty and disregard for Palestinians exceeded all previous US presidents.”
President Joe Biden is confronting mounting pressure both domestically and internationally over the US’s unwavering support for Israel, fueled by distressing images of destruction in Gaza and a dire humanitarian crisis.
Despite resisting calls for a ceasefire, the administration has intensified efforts to provide aid to Gaza and advocated for humanitarian pauses to facilitate assistance and allow civilians to escape the conflict.
Recent events have seen US allies in the Arab world expressing deep-seated anger over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken participated in a summit convened by the Jordanian foreign minister, attended by top diplomats from Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
At the summit, Arab leaders called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, while Blinken reiterated US opposition, citing concerns about giving Hamas an opportunity to regroup and launch further attacks on Israel.
The White House announced on Thursday that Israel had agreed to implement daily four-hour pauses in military operations in Northern Gaza.
Blinken had secured an agreement in principle on the pauses during his meetings in Israel the previous week, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially opposed the idea of humanitarian pauses on Friday.
US officials indicated that Netanyahu’s stance was a strategic move within his coalition, reminiscent of the earlier opposition to humanitarian aid reaching Gaza before ultimately permitting it.
Despite existing pauses in Israeli military operations, American officials see this agreement as a positive development, emphasizing the significance of Israel using the term “pauses,” a language the US believes can be a foundation for further progress.
Within the Biden administration, concerns are growing regarding the level of support for Israel.
Calls for the US to support a ceasefire are gaining momentum among government employees, while others within the administration are distressed by the continuous images of Palestinian civilians being killed by Israeli airstrikes.
The president himself has been confronted by rising frustration domestically.
A protester at a private fundraiser last week urged Biden to support a ceasefire, pro-Palestinian protests have become a daily occurrence near the White House compound, and this week, one of the entrances near the West Wing was adorned with bright-red handprints, symbolizing blood, along with messages like “genocide Joe.”
These incidents underscore the intensifying challenges faced by the Biden administration as it navigates a delicate diplomatic landscape amid the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East.