by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
With Israelis in a grueling fight against a dangerous terrorist enemy, Vice President Kamala Harris was dispatched to Dubai to deliver a scolding of our close ally for the benefit of Arab leaders. Her remarks were morally weak and untethered from reality.
In the immediate wake of the October 7 Hamas assault, and again when we gave President Biden credit for his visit to Israel, we argued that the true test of his administration’s pledges to have Israel’s back would come over time, during the slow and arduous — but necessary — process of destroying Hamas.
As time has dragged on, the public comments in support of Israel from administration officials have become more subdued, while the tongue-lashings about Israeli conduct and calls for restraint have become more frequent.
On a visit to Israel last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Israel for inflicting too many civilian casualties and reportedly instructed the Israel Defense Forces that the successful tactics they employed in northern Gaza should not be used in the south, which is now where Hamas jihadists and operational leaders are believed to be holed up. He also said Israel didn’t have the “credit” to carry on their mission for several more months. One wonders if 1,000 more dead Jews would be needed to buy Israel more time from Blinken.
In remarks in the United Arab Emirates after meetings with leaders of the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and the Hamas-sponsoring Iranian ally Qatar, Harris delivered a version of the same message. It was rooted in the same failed Obama-era strategy of trying to show “daylight” with Israel in the groundless hope that it will earn more trust in the Arab world. She reiterated the administration’s “steadfast conviction” that “Israel has a right to defend itself” but then insisted, “Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating.”