21.02.2024 Author: Veniamin Popov

The failure of US Middle East policy

Israel's war against the Palestinians in Gaza

Israel’s war against the Palestinians in Gaza has been going on for five months. The majority condemned the actions of the Israeli authorities, as evidenced by the UNGA resolution of December 2023, according to which 153 countries were in favour of a ceasefire, as well as the decision of the International Criminal Court, which in fact considered these actions as genocide.

To date, this terrible war has caused the death of 100 thousand people, more than one third of the houses have been destroyed, almost 1.5 million people are on the verge of starvation – all this causes outrage of the world community, which rightly concludes that all these outrages have become possible only because the U.S. is actually covering Israel.

It should be recalled that all the current events are a direct action of the vicious and short-sighted policy of Washington, which has endeavoured in every possible way to establish itself as the sole mediator in Middle Eastern affairs. Just before the events of 7 October, the US President’s National Security Advisor D. Sullivan said that the Middle East has recently been a zone of peace and stability.

It is the United States that is disrupting the work of the UN Security Council, which, because of Washington’s obstruction, is unable to make a decision on the cessation of hostilities.

Over the past 4 months, US Secretary of State A. Blinken has visited the Middle East 5 times, ostensibly to achieve peace there. In reality, Washington’s policy has led to the fact that the conflict in the Middle East is escalating, more and more states are getting involved in it, and the Americans are bombing Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

In fact, Washington’s activities are only fuelling the conflict; it seems that the US wants to extinguish the flames of war by pouring petrol on them. As “Al Ahram” newspaper noted, “After the brutal Hamas attack on 7 October – which exposed the stupidity of Biden and Netanyahu’s approach – there was no restraint or attempt to think through the consequences of the current war. Instead, Biden and his European allies wholeheartedly supported Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip. Despite the fact that the civilian death toll is rising at an unprecedented rate, the humanitarian crisis is becoming more acute by the day, and governments around the world have called for a ceasefire, Biden has shown no willingness to intervene to stop the bloodshed”.

The other day, Netanyahu again rejected an American ceasefire proposal that had been handed to him by Blinken and agreed to by Hamas and a number of Arab states (Hamas proposed a three-phase truce – during the first 45-day phase, all Israeli female hostages, men under 19, and the old and sick would be released in exchange for Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons; Israel would withdraw from Gaza population centres).

Implementation of the second phase will not begin until the parties have completed “indirect negotiations on the demands necessary to end mutual military operations and return to complete calm”.

The second phase would include the release of the remaining male hostages and a complete Israeli withdrawal from all of Gaza.

Netanyahu dismissed Hamas’ plan as “delusional” and said military action would continue until Hamas is completely eliminated.

Commenting on the situation, an editorial in “Al Ahram” newspaper on 7.02.24 wrote: “Israel will never destroy Hamas or kill all its leaders, let alone its members, in months or years because the group is deeply rooted in Palestinian society and is seen mainly as part of a wider legitimate resistance to the racist Israeli occupation that has lasted 76 years. The current Israeli government, which includes ministers who are members of pro-Jewish supremacy groups that even the United States considers terrorist, will never be able to release prisoners held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip while continuing its indiscriminate bombardment of the Palestinian population. This is a fact that even members of Israel’s military cabinet have publicly acknowledged, stating that only an agreement with Hamas will allow these prisoners to return to their families alive”.

It must be emphasised that sober voices are increasingly being heard in Israel itself: On 7 February, the American magazine “Forin Affers” published an article by Aluf Benn, editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Haaretz”, under the title “Israel’s self-destruction”. In it, this venerable journalist shows that the policies of the current Prime Minister of the Israeli state could lead the country to collapse: Israelis cannot expect stability if they continue to ignore the Palestinians and reject their aspirations, their history and even their presence. Only on the paths of honourable and respectful coexistence can real peace be achieved.

Egyptian newspapers have been publishing stories on how Washington envisions a solution to the conflict in the Middle East: the US will promote normalisation of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia by providing the Kingdom with security guarantees similar to those given to NATO member states, as well as assisting it in developing a peaceful nuclear programme. Riyadh will recognise Israel and help its integration in the region, in return, Israel must agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state. “Al Ahram” characterises these ideas as wishful thinking.

Today, it is abundantly clear that the United States is unable, unable and apparently unwilling to substantively resolve the current conflict. Their actions show that they are focused only on using forceful methods, which in fact add fuel to the fire of the unfolding crisis.

It is no coincidence that US presidential candidate Cornel West, who is a well-known philosopher in America, has said that the US and Israel are intertwined in genocide, and Biden is actually a war criminal.

Even many American media recognise that the White House’s total support for Israel against the backdrop of ongoing barbaric actions in the Gaza Strip is causing outrage in the world, in the words of the Washington Post – “global anger”. Against this background, Biden’s ratings in all polls are falling, and this is largely due to the dissatisfaction of many American citizens with the entirely pro-Israel stance of the White House.

The continuing decline in US prestige in the world naturally does not increase the chances of a speedy peace in long-suffering Gaza.

Most likely, hopes for a return to stability and calm in the Middle East will be linked to the new role of the BRICS states, which will be able to find ways of a just settlement of this long-standing conflict.


Veniamin POPOV, Director of the Centre for Partnership of Civilisations, MGIMO (U) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Candidate of Historical Sciences, especially for online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

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