Stephen I. Siller

Butt Out Two – Memo to Biden and Blinken

This follows my January 3, 2024, Blog “Butt out: There is no multistate ‘solution’ and never was, period.”

Recent press reports tell us that the U.S. government is pushing Israel into a two-state solution and the Saudis say they cannot have an Abraham Accords-like relationship absent a Palestinian state. Proposing again what repeatedly failed is the proverbial definition of insanity, as is that kind of reward for murder, rape and terrorism. A Palestinian state already failed in Gaza and the resurrection of a failed, terrorist state adjacent to Israel would mean more or incessant October 7s. Even exhuming Yasser Arafat and having him beg for a do-over would fail.

Individuals, institutions and governments do and say things for their reasons, not yours. That reality explains the two-state dance Biden and Blinken are doing for their domestic and foreign policy reasons, especially as it appears that whatever they have done to secure the release of Hamas’s American-Israeli hostages has failed. What are those domestic and foreign policy reasons in this election year?

President Biden enjoys the lowest approval ratings of a sitting President at this time in a re-election campaign. He needs any kind of win, even one purchased with a bribe to Jihadis, to focus American voters away from Biden’s open borders and inflationary prices Americans pay for goods and services. U.S. stock market highs and increases in the average U.S. household net worth will not be enough to focus the U.S. voter away from those issues and the more than One Trillion Dollars of consumer credit card debt they owe and the more than Thirty-Four Trillion Dollars of U.S. government debt.

The next nine months might see a U.S. foreign policy win faster than a major domestic policy win. A resolution of the Russia-Ukraine war depends on Russia where the U.S. has little influence. It took more than 100 Iranian-sponsored attacks on international shipping and on U.S. installations and personnel before the U.S. military reacted instead of acting proactively earlier. While Iran is at war with the U.S. and Israel, a reality Israel understands, I doubt the U.S. will get into a kinetic war directly with Iran. That means the attacks from Iran and its proxies will continue. Venezuela is quietly invading western Guyana for Guyana’s mineral deposits and we hear daily the drumbeat of China invading Taiwan. I doubt the U.S. will engage militarily in Guyana or Taiwan.

Forcing a two-state solution on Israel three months into the Hamas war would give Candidate Biden the appearance of a foreign policy win at Israel’s expense. We have no details about what a Biden-Blinken two-state solution would look like, especially as reports abound that a permanent ceasefire would mean more October 7s or the slow and agonizing death of Israel, a price Israel cannot pay.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) cannot govern effectively in the areas it ostensibly controls in Judea and Samaria. Israeli authorities have uncovered countless rockets, guns, mortars and other weapons of war there. West Bank Palestinian Arabs have entered Israel illegally and killed and maimed many Israelis. Hezbollah is attacking northern Israel. Those attacks are different from October 7 because they are on a smaller scale and have seen no hostages being taken, but they are no less deadly to the victims and to the life of Israeli society. The PA was thrown out of Gaza and it is highly unlikely the PA can govern anyone or anything in Gaza.

Hamas knew that taking and keeping hostages would provoke demands from Israeli and other societies who value life, for the Israeli government to do anything to obtain the release of the hostages. Doing whatever it takes to obtain the release of the hostages does not mean that a Palestinian Arab state must instantly be created when none was remotely possible for the past 75 years. Unfortunately, too many in Israel and America think otherwise, and even Jewish Democrats in the U.S. Congress, in their best imitation of a circular firing squad, reject Prime Minister Netanyahu’s rejection of a two-state solution at this time.

What would a different Israeli government possibly change regarding the hostages? The U.S. under Biden’s not-so-covert opposition to Netanyahu and his policies, knows that for every Israeli there would be at least two opinions and debating or arguing is a Jewish national pastime if not part of Israeli DNA.

Hamas knew its antisemitic cohorts around the globe would rally to support their genocide and support cleansing the area from the River to the Sea of all Jews. Jewish life once again is fairly irrelevant and totally expendable in global politics. The new BDS – Bibi Derangement Syndrome – is designed to blackmail Israelis into demanding that its government do anything to get the hostages released. “Anything” includes Israel changing its leaders to those who might yield to the terrorists’ and American demands for a two-state solution for American reasons and interests, not for Israeli interests.

The U.S. has a poor record of negotiating with terrorists. Israel has far more experience and success in doing that. Terrorists who demand an immediate two-state do-over are extorting, not negotiating. Why would Biden and Blinken join in that extortion? The answer is that Israel simultaneously needs its hostages returned and perceives itself as needing America’s continued support.

Can Israel deliver anything short of a two-state solution to obtain the release of the hostages and keep American military support flowing? Negotiating over that which each side can deliver might be possible. A Palestinian state is not anything Israel, Hamas or the PA can deliver. Despite their martyrdom slogans, Hamas bigshots want to live. As odious as it is, Israel can offer passage out of Gaza for some terrorists to live to fight another day. Because Jewish and Israeli lives don’t matter to Hamas and their supporters, the exchange might be on a one dead or alive hostage for however many terrorists it will take.

More hostages than we know are probably already dead, and more than we know will likely be killed before any resolution occurs. Hamas does not want Israeli doctors to examine the hostages or for more hostages to reveal the extent of the physical and psychological damage Hamas caused. Thus far the Biden and Blinken rhetoric has emboldened the Hamas psychopaths and their fellow travelers to continue to demand the two-state solution that cannot be delivered, as they simultaneously disrupt daily life in America and Europe and call for a Judenrein Israel.

We cannot know what remains for the IDF to clear Gaza of terrorists and to secure all the tunnels, including in Rafah and the remnants of Khan Yunis, or how long that might take. I am confident the IDF knows. The U.S. Special Forces, especially the SEALS, were the most successful unit feared by enemies in the Vietnam and successive wars. Defense Minister Gallant is the Israeli equivalent of a U.S. Navy SEAL. Can Gallant and the IDF deliver the hostages before Biden-Blinken’s gun to Israel’s head goes off?

The Biden-Blinken team can boast no military successes since taking office on January 20, 2021. The Afghanistan withdrawal was a fiasco, to be kind. If the Israeli government can succeed in delivering the hostages back to Israel and the terrorists out of Gaza, Biden and Blinken will take credit. If Biden and Blinken want to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, they need to butt out, shut up, and let the Israelis handle their own affairs and deal with Hamas the Israeli way.

About the Author
Stephen I. Siller is a Manhattan-based international lawyer, instrument-rated pilot, open-water scuba diver, and accomplished glassblower. His views are personal and not those of any firm or other organization with which he is affiliated.
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