Foreign Policy

published : 2023-10-19

Biden's Diplomatic Challenge: Hugs for Israel, Aid for Gaza Amid Hospital Bombing Furor

Explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza falsely attributed to Israeli Defense Forces

Image of President Joe Biden meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, taken with a Nikon D850 camera

The bombing of the hospital in Gaza, resulting in the tragic deaths of hundreds of sick and wounded patients, is a heartbreaking tragedy. It is also a failure for the media as there was a rush to judgment that the Israeli military was responsible for this attack.

The initial reports blaming Israel were carried by leading news outlets such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and AP. However, it turns out that the Israeli military had nothing to do with this hospital tragedy, as they clarified.

The right course of action would have been to acknowledge the explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital without confirming responsibility. Israeli intelligence, along with U.S. intel, revealed that the explosion was caused by an errant rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Tel Aviv also provided evidence, including footage of a rocket being fired near the hospital and intercepted calls between Palestinians discussing the rocket launch.

Image of a crowded hospital in Gaza, highlighting the need for humanitarian aid, taken with a Canon EOS R5 camera

Despite these facts, President Biden's planned meetings with leaders from Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority were canceled. Anti-Israel protests erupted across the region. The official Hamas position of wishing to wipe Israel off the map further fuels tensions.

During his visit to Tel Aviv, President Biden offered comfort to community leaders and victims of Hamas violence. He delivered a passionate speech denouncing anti-Semitism and ensuring Jewish communities that they are not alone.

President Biden also secured Israel's reluctant agreement to allow U.S. humanitarian aid into Gaza, considering the increasing urgency for food, water, and medicine due to the mass evacuation from the north. However, Israel has the authority to halt aid distribution if Hamas attempts to steal the supplies.

Image of protesters holding signs condemning violence and promoting peace in the Middle East, taken with a Sony Alpha A7 III camera

Biden's handling of the Middle East crisis has received bipartisan praise, with Richard Haass and conservative columnist Bret Stephens commending his approach. While challenges and political problems remain, Biden's age and experience have proven to be indispensable qualities during this critical time.