John Hinderaker writes for the Powerline blog about the Biden administration’s approach to Israel.

There is no obvious reason why Israel’s operation in Rafah should be seen differently from prior battles in the war. The difference more likely lies in Joe Biden’s political situation.

“The U.S. has communicated that it wouldn’t—under any circumstances—support a plan for a full-scale invasion of Rafah, and that it would prefer to see targeted operations, U.S. officials said. The Biden administration has asked the Israeli military to produce a ‘credible plan’ that included both a military and humanitarian component if it decides to disregard Washington’s advice and invade the city, U.S. officials said.”

The idea that Israel should submit its military plans to the Biden Administration for clearance, if that is what is implied, as it seems to be, is outrageous. Happily, the Israelis don’t appear to be listening.

“The growing clash between the two governments over Rafah underscores the Biden administration’s waning leverage over Netanyahu as his military continues to hammer Gaza, even as pressure grows inside the U.S. government to rein in Israel. The State Department has launched a probe looking at several Israeli airstrikes in Gaza that killed dozens of civilians and the possible use by Israel of white phosphorus in Lebanon, to determine whether the Israeli military misused American bombs and missiles to kill civilians, U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal.”

Why is the administration trying to “rein in” Israel, and investigating supposed Israeli misdeeds?

“Some of Biden’s senior aides are becoming increasingly worried that his support for Israel’s war in Gaza risks damaging his re-election prospects amid cratering support from young voters. Last week, Biden dispatched a group of foreign policy and political advisers to Michigan on Thursday in an effort to quell growing outrage over deaths in Gaza ahead of Michigan’s Feb. 27 presidential primary. The appeal has taken on a new urgency after Biden’s previous attempts to assuage Muslim and Arab-American supporters have proven insufficient.”