Even before the tragic blast at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, Joe Biden’s unequivocal backing for Israel had convinced Palestinians and millions of other Arabs that the United States was more than simply Israel’s most significant supporter. This was the case before the explosion. They held the belief that the United States was also responsible for everything that Israel was doing in Gaza, including the murder of children.
The heated debate on who was responsible for the attack will not convince many people of their previous beliefs. After twelve days of fighting, there is more animosity and division than there was before.
In response to allegations that it had carried out an attack on Al-Ahli, Israel published a comprehensive denial. It exhibited proof that, according to it, demonstrated a missile fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad had malfunctioned and landed short of its target in Israel. The target was located in Israel.
The heaps of bloodstained body bags were all the proof that was required for Palestinians in general, not only followers of the Hamas political party. Regarding them, the distinction at Al-Ahli was not one of fundamentals but rather of degrees. Since Israel’s response to the Hamas surprise attack, which, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out to Vice President Joe Biden, had resulted in the deaths of at least 1,400 people, the majority of whom were Israeli civilians, Israel has been killing dozens of Palestinians every day. For Palestinians, the killing of Al-Ahli was another evidence that Israel does not value their lives.
As the engines of Air Force One were revving up to deliver Joe Biden to the Middle East, the first news of the destruction of the hospital surfaced. His schedule was a mess even before it could begin to function normally.
Vice President Joe Biden has a profound dedication to the state of Israel. It is not surprising that he would have felt compelled to fly into Tel Aviv in order to express his support for Mr. Netanyahu and give him a public embrace.
Mr. Biden had been hoping that a hurriedly scheduled conference in Amman, the capital of Jordan, where he planned to meet the king of Jordan, the president of Egypt, and the head of the Palestinian government would allow him to find some way to counteract this imbalance.
However, Jordan decided not to participate as a result of Al-Ahli. In a hurry, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas returned to the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, which serves as his headquarters. Israel was singled out for condemnation in remarks issued by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Jordan itself.
The journey grew far more challenging for Vice President Biden. When the difficult work of negotiation has been completed and an agreement is ready to be signed, heads of state often only go on diplomatic trips at that point in time.
The decision of Vice President Biden to visit Tel Aviv was a risky one. He sought to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza while also backing Israel’s military effort, which was possibly an impossible circle to square with Mr. Netanyahu.
However, an agreement was reached as a result of their meeting. More financial and military assistance was promised to Israel. In exchange, it promised to allow Egyptian convoys transporting supplies of food, water, and medication into the southern part of Gaza. Despite the fact that hospitals are in dire need of fuel for their generators, this aspect of the contract was not addressed when it was announced.
In addition to expressing support for the Israelis and urging them to abide by the laws of war, Mr. Biden wants to emphasize the importance of containing the conflict so that it does not escalate. Already, he had sent two carrier battle groups to the eastern Mediterranean in order to demonstrate to Iran and its ally in Lebanon, the Hezbollah militia and political movement, that they would need to take into account the United States of America in the event that they decided to intervene.
Because they are operating in uncharted area, authorities both inside and outside of the Middle East are having a difficult time dealing with the renewed conflict between Hamas and Israel. The formerly unshakeable truths had morphed into reassuring assumptions. However, the majority of them have been destroyed and no longer exist.
Prior to the strikes carried out by Hamas in Israel on October 7, the Middle East appeared to be a well-trodden path. There was a status quo in place. Almost no regional leader or one of its allies had a favorable opinion of it, although it did appear to hold some potential for maintaining peace and order.
When Hamas launched their assault, the vast majority of Palestinians were as taken aback as anybody else. Some others believed that Hamas had forgotten that the Arabic acronym for their organization’s name, Islamic Resistance Movement (IRM), was in their name.
It has been said that Mr. Netanyahu was snoozing on the job when Hamas invaded, and that he presided over a catastrophic military and intelligence failure. These accusations have been made by many of Mr. Netanyahu’s political opponents in Israel. Israelis had the misconception that their government could guarantee their safety.
Another fallacy that was directly connected to Mr. Netanyahu was his belief that the Palestinians could be controlled without granting them independence. A component of this was reaching agreements with Hamas over topics such as the amount of workers who were permitted to return to Israel.
At the same time, Mr. Netanyahu attempted to undermine the Palestinian Authority by employing the time-honored strategy of divide and conquer. The Palestinian Authority is the primary adversary of Hamas for leadership of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian Authority (PA) took part in years of peace discussions that eventually yielded no results and acknowledged Israel decades ago. However, in order to restart the peace talks, Israel would have to broach the subject of handing land to the Palestinians so that they might establish a future state with Jerusalem as its capital.
In his current role as the head of a government that is supported by radical religious nationalists, Benjamin Netanyahu is in no position to entertain such a proposal. It is out of the question. His past actions give the impression that he has never want to make those compromises. Finding a method to assert that Israel did not have a partner for peace was much simpler for him to do. If Mr. Netanyahu or whoever succeeds him wants to discover a method to prevent future generations from being killed in such wars, they will need to adjust their way of thinking.
A jolting warning that the Palestinians cannot be ignored has also been delivered to the leaders of the Arab countries who are partners of the United States. Peace accords have been in place between Israel and both Jordan and Egypt for a very long time. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) worked to normalize relations through the Abraham Accords. Everyone involved hoped that they might gain from Joe Biden’s proposal to build a new Middle East and score a foreign policy victory to brag about by mediating a deal in which Israel and Saudi Arabia would recognize each other in exchange for security guarantees from the United States. The officials working for Mr. Biden believed that they were making headway. A reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Israel is not even on the table at this point.
In addition, the conflict in Gaza and the attack on the hospital represent a recurrence of nightmares for the monarchs, princes, and presidents of Arab countries. At the end of the year 2010, a market trader in Tunisia who was angry and disgusted with corrupt and bullying officials lit himself on fire as a protest against the officials. It was the spark that ignited the Arab upheavals of 2011, which frightened the leaders of those countries because they believed they may lose everything, not only their power and fortune but possibly even their lives as well.
What could be the cost of a war that kills thousands of Palestinian people, if the murder of an angry young man in Tunisia could be the spark that sets off revolutions?
After fewer than two weeks of carnage, it has become clear that the foundations upon which certainties were built were built on sand. The outcome of the war will determine the new status quo. Maybe a fresh perspective will emerge as a result of the shock it causes. The future is bleak if it simply encourages the existing methods of doing things.
This page was updated on the 19th of October to correct a previous statement that stated that the Al-Ahli hospital had been demolished. Instead, the article now states that the building was the location of a deadly explosion.