by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Following Hamas’s deadly surprise attack on Israel on Saturday morning, President Joe Biden told the press, “The United States stands with Israel. We will not ever fail to have their back.”
Although Biden’s expression of support was reassuring, his frosty relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his administration’s long record of appeasement with Iran leaves some of us concerned over just how deep that support goes. The most recent example of why we should be concerned came just last month — namely, with the Biden administration’s negotiated release of $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds. Team Biden continues to claim the funds may only be used for humanitarian purposes, but Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told NBC News that the money will be used “wherever we need it.”
We also know that money is fungible. Access to an additional $6 billion frees the regime to use other funds for nefarious projects such as a proxy war in Israel. This deal, along with the Biden administration’s failure to enforce the sanctions put in place by the Trump administration, once again projected America’s weakness to the world and emboldened our enemies.
At any rate, while the severity of the latest assault on Israel shocked the world, it’s only the latest round in a conflict that has raged for decades. And the only way to end it is a decisive and total Israeli victory over Hamas.
Israel has both the desire and the capability to degrade Hamas very significantly, but up until now, it has not been allowed the time by the international community to get the job done. When these attacks occurred in the past, world leaders initially agreed that Israel had the right to defend itself and to retaliate against the terrorists. But inevitably, after a week or maybe two of bloodshed, the calls for a ceasefire began.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) emphasized this point in an interview with Fox News on Sunday. He noted that “what Israel needs now more than anything is freedom of action.”