Biden’s success is the key for a political horizon

The hostage release deal between Hamas and Israel would not have happened without the leadership of the Biden Administration. The next deal will not be reached without the American leverage on both the Netanyahu government and on Qatar and Egypt.

None of the goals of peace-loving Israelis and Palestinians will be achieved without proactive American diplomacy. The humanitarian suffering of civilian Gazans will not end and the return of a sense of security of Israelis will not be achieved without the renewed commitment of the leader of the free world to the Middle East.

It is clear that Israel, on its own, will not be able to defeat Hamas who is the enemy of Israelis and Palestinians. The IDF, one of the most sophisticated military organizations in the world, will not be able to achieve a much desired “victory image,” just as a much stronger American military was not able to achieve ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The only way to change the situation on the ground in a sustainable way which will prevent more of the tragedies that we have witnessed on October 7th, and that Gazans are witnessing since, is by an international effort led by the Biden Administration and in cooperation with the pro-western Arab countries. Only this kind of coalition will be able to empower a revitalized Palestinian Authority that will take over Gaza from Hamas and that will be a partner for a real peace process that will end in a demilitarized Palestinian state and in normalization of Israel in the region.

This peace process will not start with the current Israeli government, nor the Palestinian one. Israelis and Palestinians will choose brave leaders who support the 2 states solution, only if the US can lead an international and regional process that will create a real political horizon and hope for Israelis and Palestinians.

There is only one leader in the world that can achieve this, and it is President Biden who earned the trust of Israelis in his embrace of us in our hardest times ever.

The majority of the Israeli public, including us in the peace camp, supports the continuation of a military operation, not out of a desire for revenge, but in order to change the situation so that Hamas is stripped of its military power, the hundreds of abductees held by it as hostages be released and the residents of the communities bordering the Gaza strip return to their homes and to safely to rebuild their lives.

President Biden understands that Hamas must be defeated, but also that it cannot be defeated by military means alone, and he is obligated to act together with our neighbors – Arab countries that have signed peace agreements with Israel plus Saudi Arabia, in order to lead a move that will allow the return of a revitalized Palestinian Authority to the Gaza Strip. It is clear to him, and rightly so, that it is impossible to achieve PA control on Gaza without a tangible political horizon for the Palestinians, as a basis for changing the situation in Gaza and initiating a comprehensive political process.

But there are strong forces that work to make the president fail, which we as Israelis must understand and help him help us.

One of the obstacles to a peace plan that will include a Palestinian state is the Republican Party, whose members will be happy to see any failure of the president and Armageddon in the holy land. Together with them, prime minister Netanyahu That will do everything, without any restraints, to delay and sabotage any solution, at the expense of the interests of the State of Israel, just because he thinks that the success of a peace initiative means the failure of his extreme coalition. Therefore, he will act to help the return of Donald Trump to the White House and in order to achieve this, he will not hesitate to cooperate with those who seek to fail President Biden even when he is trying to help Israel.

On the other side, we must not ignore the voices in the Democratic Party who want the best for Israel, are committed to its existence and security, but want to know that this difficult and painful war also has well defined and clear goals, and a way to reach them. They want to make sure that the civilians in Gaza will not become “collateral damage” and that their humanitarian needs are being met. These Voices become louder and stronger in number as the war continues.

If we want to win this war, we must understand that it is our duty as a country to have a dialogue with our friends overseas. We must stop dismissing every bit of criticism as anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli (there are enough of those), and to distinguish between our haters and our lovers and give those who want our good the tools to continue fighting for our right to live in security in the state of the Jewish people.

Most Democrats in congress are the strongest supporters of the State of Israel in the United States. They are the ones who stand in front of many young men and women on campuses who are wrong to think that hatred of Israel is “progressiveness.” The fact that a progressive senator such as Bernie Sanders expresses support for the overthrow of Hamas is an example. We must not ignore the requests that come along with this support, because he and his friends are the dam that stops the flood.

This flood may not only harm Israel, but also bring down President Biden with us. The NBC poll that found that 70% of the 18- to 34-year-old voters do not support Biden’s handling of the Israel – Hamas war must be a warning light to all supporters of democracy, in Israel and the United States.

As Netanyahu wants Trump’s return to the White House, and Putin will also be happy about it, we must work together to strengthen President Biden.

Biden is the only one who can lead to a political agreement that will ensure Israel’s security and Palestinian freedom. It is our duty to stand by his side.

About the Author
Nadav Tamir is the executive director of J Street Israel, a member of the board of the Mitvim think-tank, adviser for international affairs at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, and member of the steering committee of the Geneva Initiative. He was an adviser of President Shimon Peres and served in the Israel embassy in Washington and as consul general to New England.