In a display of leadership that leaves much to be desired, President Joe Biden finally addressed the nation from the White House regarding the unprovoked terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas. “Today, the brave people of Israel face a calculated assault from the terrorist group, Hamas. In this dark hour, I want to convey to Israel and the world that the United States stands with Israel,” Biden remarked. While it’s commendable that he acknowledges Israel’s right to self-defense, one can’t help but wonder if his administration’s policies played a role in encouraging such attacks.
On that fateful Saturday, Israel found itself in a state of war. Hamas, the notorious terror group backed by Iran, launched a surprise attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets into Israeli cities from 6:30 a.m. onwards. Not stopping at that, terrorists infiltrated Israeli borders, targeting homes, taking lives, and abducting civilians. Reports indicate that over 200 Israelis have tragically lost their lives, with over 1,000 critically injured.
Biden mentioned his conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, assuring him of America’s support against these terrorist onslaughts. However, his silence was deafening when questioned about potential intelligence failures leading up to the attack.
In stark contrast, former President Donald Trump quickly pinpointed the root cause. He criticized Biden, stating, “These Hamas attacks are a disgrace, and Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force. Regrettably, American taxpayer dollars may have indirectly funded these attacks.” Trump highlighted the peace brought to the Middle East through the Abraham Accords under his administration, only to see Biden erode it faster than anyone could have imagined.
It’s no secret that Iran has been a significant benefactor to terrorist groups, including Hamas. A 2020 U.S. State Department report revealed that Iran generously provided up to $100 million annually to such groups. Yet, Biden’s administration decided to release $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds in a move that baffles many. Republicans rightfully criticized this decision, especially given its timing just before the attacks.
In a somewhat defensive stance, the White House labeled the criticism “irresponsible.” They claimed that Iran had not spent or accessed the released funds. While they might argue that these funds are earmarked for humanitarian trade, the timing and optics could be better.
Adrienne Watson, the White House National Security Council spokesperson, took to the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, to defend the administration’s actions. She emphasized that the funds had no connection to the attacks. However, one can’t help but question the wisdom of releasing funds to a country that supports terrorism, especially at such a critical juncture.
Biden also mentioned his communications with regional leaders, including the king of Jordan and members of Congress. He emphasized his team’s ongoing contact with leaders from Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, the UAE, European partners, and the Palestinian Authority.
Recalling the last interaction between Biden and Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly in September, it’s evident that their relationship has been less than warm. Biden’s previous reluctance to invite Netanyahu to the White House due to disagreements over Israel’s judiciary system speaks volumes. Yet, during their New York meeting, Biden expressed optimism about normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The Abraham Accords, signed during Trump’s tenure, saw Israel normalizing ties with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan. The recent Hamas attacks threaten these diplomatic efforts and the broader peace in the Middle East. While the senior administration official believes it’s “premature” to speculate on the impact, it’s clear that terrorist groups like Hamas can jeopardize peace initiatives.
While Biden’s support for Israel is welcome, actions speak louder than words. The recent events in the Middle East function as a harsh reminder of the importance of solid leadership and the consequences of questionable policy decisions.