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Middle East

Is Netanyahu prolonging the Gaza war for political gains?

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • President Biden suggested that Netanyahu might be prolonging the Gaza conflict for political reasons.
  • Netanyahu argues that the war aims to eliminate Hamas's military and governing capabilities.
  • The humanitarian impact of the conflict is severe, with significant loss of life and allegations of war crimes.

The Gaza conflict has been a focal point of international concern, with recent developments suggesting that political motives may be at play. In a candid interview with TIME Magazine, U.S. President Joe Biden hinted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might be extending the war in Gaza to bolster his political standing. This assertion has sparked a heated debate about the true reasons behind the prolonged hostilities and their implications for the region.

Biden's Accusations

President Biden's comments have added a new dimension to the ongoing conflict. He suggested that Netanyahu could be using the war to maintain his grip on power amidst domestic challenges. "Is it a possibility that Prime Minister Netanyahu is prolonging the battle in Gaza to maintain his grip on power?" Biden was asked. He responded, "Indeed, there are compelling reasons for individuals to ponder that notion".

Biden's administration has been actively working to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas, aiming for a durable ceasefire and the eventual rebuilding of Gaza. However, the divergent portrayals of the truce proposal have led to confusion. While the U.S. presents the proposal as an Israeli initiative, Hamas claims to be engaging constructively but has yet to formally respond.

Netanyahu's Counterarguments

Netanyahu has countered Biden's assertions by emphasizing that the war aims to eliminate Hamas's military and governing capabilities. He argues that the conflict must continue until all objectives are met, including the annihilation of Hamas. Israeli officials close to Netanyahu have even predicted that the fighting could last for several more months, further fueling speculation about the prime minister's motives.

Political Implications

The political landscape in Israel is complex, with Netanyahu facing significant challenges at home. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, he was grappling with nationwide protests over judiciary reforms and corruption charges. The conflict has seemingly bolstered his popularity, with recent polls indicating a rise in his approval ratings.

However, Biden's stance on the Gaza conflict could potentially harm his re-election prospects. Public opinion polls indicate that Arab, Muslim, and young voters are reluctant to support him due to his backing of Israel. This dynamic adds another layer of complexity to the U.S.-Israel relationship and the broader geopolitical landscape.

Humanitarian Concerns

The humanitarian impact of the Gaza conflict cannot be overlooked. The Israeli offensive has resulted in the deaths of over 36,500 Palestinians and brought Gaza to the brink of famine. Allegations of war crimes have been levied against both Israeli and Hamas leaders, with the International Criminal Court seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu and his defense minister, as well as Hamas leaders.

Biden has expressed uncertainty about whether Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza but has criticized Israel's military actions. "An open-ended war in pursuit of an undefined concept of 'total victory' will only entangle Israel in Gaza, draining its economic, military, and human resources, and further isolating it on the global stage," he stated.

The question of who is truly prolonging the Gaza war remains contentious. Biden's remarks have intensified the debate, highlighting the complex interplay of political, military, and humanitarian factors. As the situation continues to evolve, the international community will be closely monitoring developments and the role of key players in finding a resolution to the conflict.

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