Many analysts have pointed to President Biden’s effort to reenter the Iran nuclear deal as one of a number of policy moves that precipitated the 11 days of attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas with rockets financed by Tehran.
If there was any doubt that Israel opposes the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the Islamic regime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it to rest Tuesday in the presence of Biden’s secretary of state.
The deal “paves the way for Iran to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons with international legitimacy,” Netanyahu said a press conference held with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The Israeli leader said he discussed with Blinken “many regional issues, but none is greater than Iran.”
“And I can tell you that I hope that the United States will not go back to the old JCPOA because we believe that that deal paves the way for Iran to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons with international legitimacy,” Netanyahu said.
“We also reiterated that whatever happens, Israel will always reserve the right to defend itself against a regime committed to our destruction, committed to getting the weapons of mass destruction for that end,” he said.
But Blinken said the negotiations in Vienna to reenter the accord with Tehran will continue.
“We’ll continue to strengthen all aspects of our longstanding partnership,” Blinken said. “And that includes consulting closely with Israel, as we did today, on the ongoing negotiations in Vienna around a potential return to the Iran nuclear agreement, at the same time as we continue to work together to counter Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region.”
President Trump, in 2018, withdrew from the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration, calling it “a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”
See the news conference:
Last week, prior to the ceasefire, CNN cited an unnamed senior Biden administration official who said the president had become increasingly impatient with Netanyahu following a “blunt phone call” between the two in which Biden set a deadline for the violence to ease.
Biden has been viewed as a supporter of Israel for his nearly five decades in Washington. But he recently has been pressured by fellows Democrats to condemn Israel’s actions to defend itself against an onslaught by Hamas of more than 4,000 Iran-financed rockets. Last week, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., whose grandmother lives on the West Bank, confronted Biden on an airport tarmac. She told the president, according to her office, that the U.S. “cannot continue to give the right-wing Netanyahu government billions each year to commit crimes against Palestinians.”
This week, more than 500 Democratic staffers signed a letter calling on Biden to “unequivocally condemn Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians.”
Iran provides ‘scaffolding’ for terror groups
After announcing last week that Israel had downed an armed Iranian drone that had crossed into Israeli territory, Netanyahu pointed to Tehran’s provision of support and technical assistance to terror groups throughout the Middle East. The groups include Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which also receives weapons and other help from Iran.
“They provide the scaffolding on which these organizations really work,” Netanyahu said.
Hamas, short for the Islamic Resistance Movement, exists for the purpose of eliminating the Jewish state, according to its “covenant.”
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it,” the preamble states.
Israel also has been defending itself from Iran-allied militias on its border in Syria, including Hezbollah, with a nearly decade-long bombing campaign.
In Gaza, Hamas launched more than 4,000 Iran-financed rockets aimed at Israel while deploying explosive, “suicide” drones built with the help of Tehran.
The intent of the drones is to evade Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system, which intercepted about 90% of the rockets that reached Israel airspace, according to the IDF.
‘Rewarded’ for aggression
Early in the 11-day conflict, State Department spokesman Ned Price drew a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas.
“Israel has the right to defend itself and respond to rocket attacks. The Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security, just as Israelis do,” he said.
Israeli-American journalist Caroline Glick contends that the two major causes of the current conflict are “Palestinian incitement” and “the support the Palestinians receive from the Biden administration.”
The Palestinian Authority claimed Israel was defiling and threatening the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount after Israel police were forced to defend Jewish worshippers from rock and stone attacks launched from the mosque.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has signaled it is replacing Trump’s support for Israel with support for the Palestinians, Glick said, restoring funding to the PA despite its unceasing support for terrorism. Biden also reinstated U.S. funding of United Nations agencies, such as UNRWA, which work with Hamas and “disseminate Nazi-like anti-Semitism.”
The message to Hamas, Fatah and the Israeli Arabs, Glick said, is that they “can attack Jews and blame Israel and the Jews for their aggression, and the Biden administration will fund them, defend them and even adopt their anti-Semitic narratives. Palestinians are now certain they will be rewarded, not punished, for their aggression.”
Biden also has announced the U.S. intends to rejoin the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has condemned Israel more than any other country, by far.