Supporting many of Barack Obama’s anti-Israel policies, newly nominated U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew provided conditional backing to Israel’s war operation against Hamas terrorists on Sunday, saying it should be handled “in a manner that respects the principles that we share.”
What the “manner” is has not been made clear.
After arriving in Israel on Friday to replace outgoing Ambassador Thomas Nides, Lew handed his credentials to President Isaac Herzog. The Biden administration has been putting pressure on Israel to take a “humanitarian pause” in its conflict with Hamas.
Lew, a highly political bureaucrat famed for his unwillingness to say “yes” to Republicans during budget discussions, also defended Obama’s attempt to build distance with Israel and his disastrous, one-sided nuclear deal with Iran. After about a decade, Iran became a nuclear power thanks to that agreement. Lew also opposed what would become the Abraham Accords, President Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
Lew has also been critical of Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister of Israel and a vocal opponent of Obama’s policies.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed calls for a temporary ceasefire on Friday, saying he would only accept it if Hamas returned the more than 240 captives it kidnapped in the terror incident on October 7. Humanitarian aid is already trickling into southern Gaza from Egypt, despite claims to the contrary by the Biden administration.
President Joe Biden has also called for a “pause” to allow for the release of hostages, although Hamas has shown little interest in doing so unless all Palestinian detainees in Israel are released, including those responsible for the attack on October 7.
President Herzog remarked that Israel is grateful to President Joe Biden for his continuous support of Israel and its people. They are thankful for Secretary Blinken’s tireless work and numerous high-level officials’ visits. They appreciate what the United States has done and is doing for them. He said they would never forget.
The Biden administration has consistently said it is pressuring Israel to fight following international law as if Israel would do otherwise. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is regarded as among the best in the world at safeguarding people and adhering to international human rights norms during conflict.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) released evidence on Sunday showing that Hamas has been putting rocket launchers in public areas, including children’s playgrounds and has constructed tunnels and launched rockets near hospitals, endangering the lives of Palestinian civilians. Despite Hamas terrorist attacks on humanitarian evacuation corridors, the IDF reaffirmed that it had issued multiple warnings to Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza to evacuate.