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Biden Going To Israel Tonight, Oh Thank God Trump Isn't President Anymore
It matters who is the president.
The president of the United States is on his way to Israel tonight. He will not be going to visit victims and throw paper towels at their heads. He will not go to restaurants, shout “food for everyone!” and then leave without actually feeding anyone. He presumably won’t find himself at any point accidentally praising Hezbollah for their very smart brains.
It matters who is the president.
It makes sense Joe Biden is physically making the trip, considering the extremely active role he’s taking here. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who’s also been in Israel more often than not since the attacks, announced Biden’s trip last night. Playbook summarizes some of Blinken’s remarks:
Blinken said Biden would hear directly from Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials about what assistance the nation as the crisis unfolds, coordinate on hostage release efforts, discuss ways to minimize the impact on civilians in Gaza and send a message to any “actor trying to take advantage of this crisis to attack Israel: Don’t.”
After Biden leaves Israel, he’s going next door to Jordan to see King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The timing here is interesting. All reports indicate that Israel’s big ground invasion of Gaza is about to start. But Blinken also announced last night that the United States and Israel “have agreed to develop a plan that will enable humanitarian aid from donor nations and multilateral organizations to reach civilians in Gaza — and them alone.” He said there could also be plans developed to create places for civilians where they’ll be safe.
Obviously we have to take the stance that we’ll believe it when we see it, but these are good things if they come to pass. NBC News explains:
Blinken […] reiterated to Israel’s president […] that every Arab leader he met with in the region expressed the importance of dealing with the humanitarian situation in Gaza, [a State Department] official said.
And the Washington Post is reporting that the United States waited to announce Biden’s trip until Netanyahu agreed on the development of the humanitarian aid package. “Secretary of State Antony Blinken received assurances during a marathon meeting in Tel Aviv this week and then made the announcement that Biden would be visiting,” says the Post.
Though Blinken hailed an agreement on humanitarian issues, his announcement included few details, probably an indication that differences remain between the two allies. The provision of humanitarian aid is sensitive in Israel, especially among far-right politicians tied to Netanyahu who have pressed him to wage a scorched-earth campaign in Gaza in response to the terrorist attack.
And again, it matters who is the president. Can’t imagine Donald Trump and his bouncy baby son-in-law Jared would have these sorts of things at the front of their minds, that they would even be pressuring Israel to make strong distinctions between Hamas and the Palestinian people, as the Biden administration is.
NBC’s Richard Engel meanwhile reported last night that Hamas is signaling that it may be willing to release hostages who are foreign nationals without conditions.
Hamas is willing to allow the unconditional release of foreign nationals kidnapped during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, a spokesman for the militant group said today.
Abu Abetta said in a video that Hamas did not verify their identities during the capture, but have since recognized them as foreign nationals and is treating them as guests.
Not the Israelis, though. We cannot imagine that Hamas is treating them as “guests.”
But again, it matters who is the president, and it matters that the American president is heading to Israel right at this exact moment.
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We are confident that the worst people in America will find ways to criticize Joe Biden while he’s on this trip, and of course the media will also monitor him for any signs of his feet getting tired, at which point they’ll write think pieces about whether he’s simply too old to handle trips further than the Jell-O bar at the retirement home.
Or maybe they’ll be too busy focusing on the insurgents among us in America, who will either yet again fail to elect a speaker today, or will install third in line to the presidency a verified insurrectionist seditionist who tried to overthrow the government.
In that case, we guess Joe Biden will just continue doing his job, like he always does.
Evan Hurst on Twitter right here.
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