What can Biden achieve in Israel?
US President Joe Biden arrived in Israel today, Wednesday. The US has repeatedly stressed its solidarity with Israel since the terrorist attack by the radical Islamic Hamas, but it has also insisted that Gaza’s civilian population must be protected. Commentators pin their hopes on Biden as a mediator, but a planned meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been postponed after missiles hit a hospital in Gaza.
Biden is the only politician who could succeed in preventing the war from spreading, writes the Handelsblatt:
“When US President Jo Biden lands in Tel Aviv this Wednesday, he will try to prevent a conflagration in the Middle East. Biden is the only politician who might be able to do this. ... In the flashpoint that is the Middle East, according to this strategy, mediation is the only chance to avert even more suffering. ... In the Israel-Gaza war, Biden has regained his old strength. He follows principles that have sometimes gone out of fashion in global politics and are too often mistakenly equated with weakness: balance and prudence. Biden’s experience is no serving him — and the rest of the world — particularly well.”
Solidarity with conditions
Remaining close means retaining influence, says The Times:
“President Biden’s arrival in Israel on Wednesday is the most visible signal yet that the United States is ready to stand by the country. Holding Israel close at a time of crisis also allows the US to make clear its determination to limit the bloodshed and suffering that would result from a massive incursion into Gaza. ... If Mr Biden’s visit can give Israel sufficient confidence in American support, he may still be able to play the role of peacemaker and avoid a wider war. How Israel now pursues its determination to eliminate Hamas remains critical for everyone.”
The end of all hope
Biden’s efforts are doomed to failure in the light of recent events, La Repubblica believes:
“The bloodbath at Al-Ma’amadani hospital in Gaza jeopardises US President Joe Biden’s bold diplomatic mission, suspends the planned talks in Jordan with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and other leaders and plunges the war into an even more dangerous, uncontrollable and global phase. ... After Italy, France, Germany and the UK joined the US in signing a manifesto of solidarity with Israel, Europe pinned all its hopes for a ceasefire on Biden. The war decided otherwise. Whoever is behind it, the attack on Al-Ma’amadani has destroyed all illusions; what remains is panic, pain and anger.”