WSJ: Biden Tried to Put Israel on Double Secret Probation, or Something; UPDATE: Waives Sanctions on ...

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

We could have predicted that the White House would have a modified limited hangout available if it took too much heat for Joe Biden's abject betrayal of Israel. The Wall Street Journal got the first edition of their excuse, which makes Joe Biden look like Dean Vernon Wormer of Faber College. According to this new spin, they expected to suspend arms transfers to Israel secretly.


The public rebuke is all Israel's fault for leaking it to the media, or so they claim:

In withholding arms, Biden opted to only halt a single shipment that was due to be flown to Israel in the coming weeks. A U.S. official said that the move was taken because 2,000-pound bombs, in particular, could be especially destructive “in dense urban settings” such as Rafah and noted that other potential sales were also being reviewed. 

The decision was initially intended as a confidential signal to Israel that it should focus on trying to cement a temporary cease-fire with Hamas, instead of moving toward a Rafah offensive without a plan to safeguard civilians and ensure they were not cut off from aid. 

“We weren’t trying to break this out into the open, we were trying to handle this in a diplomatic way,” said one U.S. official.

But Biden’s decision soon began to leak out from Israeli officials. American officials later confirmed the details, transforming a private move into a high-stakes standoff with a close ally.

Let's call shenanigans on this spin right up front. The purpose of this suspension may have been to pressure Israel into more concessions for Hamas, which would be bad enough as it is. Why would we pressure an ally to make concessions to a terrorist group that pledges to annihilate Israel, and us, for that matter? However, the whole public scolding of Israel for not acceding to Hamas' demands led up to this 'consequence,' and the purpose of those finger-wagging commentaries was to bolster Biden's political standing among the radical Left and the cheery voters in Dearborn yelling "Death to America."


So no, there's no way that the leak came from anywhere except Biden's political operation. The whole point of this was to appease the pro-Hamas win of Biden's party, as well as Iran and the Euro Left. What would have been the point of this stunt if it hadn't been made publicly?

But let's take this at face value for a moment. Did anyone in the White House think Israel would simply remain quiet about such an unprecedented insult in the history of US-Israel relations, especially when Israel faces a clear existential threat? "By the way, we're betraying you in your moment of peril, but don't talk about it" would be as idiotic a diplomatic approach as any seen in modern history. Not even Biden could have thought that Netanyahu would keep that quiet, especially not after Biden, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi demanded his resignation and new elections in Israel over their war policy.

If Biden couldn't see this coming, he's even more incompetent than we believe. And that's a very difficult threshold to overcome. 

The necessity of this modified limited hangout has become pretty obvious over the course of the day. Democrats in the House and Senate are angry over this petulant swipe at an ally for prosecuting a war Hamas started, as well as Biden's stupendously dumb idea to import Gaza refugees that even Arab countries refuse to take. And their high-ticket donor class has begun to push back hard on this, Haim Saban, a media/entertainment industry multibillionaire, blasted this as a "bad bad bad decision" and urged his White House contacts to pressure Biden into reversing course:


Needless to say, Republicans are also pouncing. Or is it seizing? Mainly, they are pointing out that Biden lied to them about the aid package they passed, and that his failure to engage Congress on this would become a very big problem for any subsequent White House requests:

“We should not be telling them how to protect themselves,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview. “We should not be conditioning the arrival of military equipment that they need because of some domestic view that Netanyahu is unpopular. Completely irrelevant to the war.” ...

McConnell’s remarks follow Speaker Mike Johnson indicating in a POLITICO interview Wednesday night that he felt betrayed by Biden’s decision. The House GOP leader said he spoke to Netanyahu to find out what was going on, and that the prime minister confirmed Biden had withheld the bombs.

“So yesterday, I talked with Prime Minister Netanyahu about it, and I wanted to get confirmation from him exactly what’s happening. And he described exactly what was happening before the news was confirmed,” Johnson said. “I went straight to the White House, and I said, ‘What gives? Somebody’s going to have to explain this to me, because it’s very different than what I was told.’”


A few more notable Democrats have joined with Republicans today:

Not everyone in Biden’s party is happy, either. Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), an outspoken supporter of Israel, agreed with the criticism of the president: “Hard disagree and deeply disappointing” he said of Biden’s comments.

“The President’s actions signal weakness to Hamas, to our allies and adversaries abroad, and at home,” wrote centrist Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) in a post of X. “Congress appropriated funds for arms and ammunition for Israel, and they should be promptly delivered.”

Undoubtedly, this is why the White House is now using a blame-Bibi explanation for the exposure of Biden's double-secret probation. Even Dean Wormer was more competent, and perhaps even less malicious, than this administration.

Update: Hoo boy. Biden won't send arms to Israel, but he will waive sanctions to sell them to Israel's opponents:

Less than a day before the Biden administration announced its intent to cut off U.S. arms sales to Israel, it issued a sanctions waiver to bypass congressional prohibitions on arms sales to a host of Arab nations that boycott the Jewish state, including Hamas ally Qatar and Iran-controlled Lebanon, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

On Tuesday—just a day before President Joe Biden threatened to withhold key weapons deliveries from Israel if the country moves forward with an incursion in the Gaza Strip's Rafah neighborhood—the State Department informed Congress that it intends to bypass laws that bar the United States from selling weapons to nations that boycott Israel, according to a copy of the notification obtained by the Free Beacon. ...

"The Biden administration's policy toward Israel and around the world is to punish our allies and boost our enemies," Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Free Beacon after reviewing the sanctions waiver. "They have sanctioned Israel and imposed an arms embargo. Meanwhile they've spent hundreds of millions pouring aid into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, dismantled sanctions on Iran, and now are suspending congressional restrictions to send weapons to Israel's enemies such as Qatar and Lebanon."


Absolutely despicable, especially while Hezbollah fires artillery into Israel. 

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