Biden BOWS Down, He WARNS Israel

Well, well, well, it looks like the Middle East is once again the center of attention, and this time, it’s not just because of the hummus! In a shocking turn of events that surprised absolutely no one, Hamas extremists decided to launch a coordinated attack on Israel in October 2023, resulting in the tragic loss of around 1,200 lives. But, as the saying goes, “an eye for an eye,” and the Israeli government wasted no time in launching a counteroffensive that has left nearly 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza dead and over 78,000 injured. Talk about a disproportionate response!

Now, students across America, known for their keen political insight and unwavering moral compasses, have taken to the streets to protest what they call a “genocide.” They’re demanding that their colleges divest from Israel, because apparently, investing in a country that’s engaged in a bloody conflict is a big no-no. But wait, there’s more! Israel, not content with the current level of destruction, has announced plans to start a new offensive in Rafah, where Palestinian civilians are sheltered. It seems that the concept of “civilian casualties” is just a minor inconvenience for the IDF.

Enter President Joe Biden, the voice of reason in this chaos. In a CNN interview on May 8, Biden drew a red line, stating that if the IDF goes into Rafah, the US will not “supply the weapons and artillery shells used” for the offense. In fact, he’s already delayed one shipment of bombs, essentially telling Israel, “Sorry, guys, but we’re not going to help you blow up civilians in the southern region of Gaza.” It’s like a parent taking away a child’s favorite toy, except instead of a toy, it’s high-grade military equipment.

But don’t worry, folks! Biden assured everyone that the US isn’t “walking away from Israel” entirely. They’ll still provide defensive weapons to keep the country’s Iron Dome secure and allow them to defend themselves against attacks from elsewhere in the region. It’s like giving a bully a shield but not a sword, and hoping they’ll play nice.

In a surprising display of self-awareness, Biden revealed that he’s been trying to advise Israel and help them devise better plans for operating in Gaza, using the mistakes made in Afghanistan and Iraq following 9/11 as a guide. Because, you know, those were shining examples of how to conduct military operations without civilian casualties. It remains to be seen if Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu is taking notes or just nodding along politely while daydreaming about his next offensive.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin joined the chorus, emphasizing that “Israel should not launch a major attack \[on\] Rafah without accounting for and protecting the civilians” there. Apparently, the concept of “human shields” is lost on the IDF, and the US is worried about the impact their weapons could have on “dense urban” areas in Gaza. It’s almost as if supplying a country with bombs and then being surprised when they use them isn’t the brightest idea.

But fear not, dear readers, because the ever-insightful Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is here to set the record straight. He reacted strongly to the news, warning that if the US stops supplying Israel with weapons “at a time of great peril, we will pay a price.” He called the act of halting the bomb shipment “obscene” and “absurd,” because apparently, the only thing more obscene than civilian casualties is not being able to cause them.

On the other hand, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the lovable curmudgeon of the Senate, had a different take. He called the weapons pause a “first step” in using “leverage” to stop “Netanyahu’s horrific war against the Palestinian people.” It’s like watching a game of geopolitical chess, except the pawns are real people, and the consequences are deadly.

As the debate rages on throughout the US about whether pausing offensive weapons shipments to Israel is the right move, one thing is clear: the Middle East is a complicated mess, and there are no easy answers. But hey, at least we can all agree that hummus is delicious, right?