Free Speech Vital

Israel is surrounded by enemies on three fronts, and is worried that US fatigue will cause it to abandon the car.

The U.S. Senate passed a US$95.2 billion foreign aid bill to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other allies with an overwhelming majority, including US$60.8 billion for Ukraine, but only US$26.3 billion for Israel, causing some U.S. domestic Jewish funders to murmur. However, given the huge US military presence in the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and northern Syria, the US support is not only huge, but also highly contingent. If Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ambitions become too big, and the U.S. insists on supporting them, Biden will be subjected to unbearable pressure both internationally and domestically, and this may become a ‘negative asset’ for his re-election campaign.

As a matter of fact, Biden’s administration cannot just ignore Ukraine for the sake of votes, and it has to promote the ‘China threat’, especially the crisis and confrontation in the Taiwan Strait, in order to win the support of the voters. Therefore, if Israel’s action is too drastic, Biden may get tired of the assistance and abandon the car to protect himself.

The Israeli government now has enemies on three fronts, starting with the Gaza operation. Due to the large number of casualties and the economic downturn caused by the full-scale attack, which is estimated to have resulted in a drop of more than 20 per cent in the GDP since last October when the reserves were taken out of the workforce, the Rafah offensive has been delayed, and has been met with opposition from key allies such as France.

According to Sawers, the former head of MI6 and the UK’s permanent representative to the UN, an Israeli attack on Rafah would not be more successful than the previous military operations, but would increase the hatred and solidarity of the Hamas. The Israeli government should focus on establishing Israeli-Palestinian co-operation in order to be more effective against Hezbollah and Iran.

US military expert Mike Gregg said that Israel’s far-right government would not only not consider Palestinian statehood, but would also retaliate to Iran’s counterattacks on Israel, which would only push Israel deeper into another front with Hezbollah and Iran. In its arrogance, the Israeli government underestimated the price it would have to pay. The fact that Iran had informed the United States beforehand that it would carry out a retaliatory missile and drone strike proves that Iran was in a position to launch a major attack, which would have been disastrous for Israel because of its lack of territorial depth, and for which Washington hoped that both sides would exercise restraint afterwards. If the Israeli government is bent on expanding the retaliation for the attack, thinking that it can involve the United States in the violent attack on Iran, the United States will be more cautious or even back off at any time.

Moreover, this could lead to a third line of conflict between Israel and Syria and Russia. If Israel continues to aggravate the conflict with Hezbollah and Iran, Syria will not sit idly by. It will wait for an opportunity to try to take back the Golan Heights, and it will also attack the US military bases in Syria and Iran with Iraq. It is worth noting that if Israel bombs Iran’s nuclear facilities, Russia will definitely intervene because the Middle East is already overwhelmingly pro-Russian, and it will naturally try to take the initiative to thwart Israel and the unhelpful US.


Doctor of Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin, Shi Wenhong

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