Joe Biden deserves nothing but condemnation, censure, and withering contempt for his announcement tonight that he will withhold significant amounts of the recently approved aid to Israel should the government begin a full-on siege of the last Hamas redoubt in, around, and under Rafah.

For seven months now, I have defended Joe Biden. On our podcast and on this website, I have repeatedly said that while the president may have felt—wrongly, in my view—that he needed to maintain some rhetorical space from Israel because of the imagined need to keep young people and Arab-Americans in his electoral camp, the actual policies and support he was offering and providing the Jewish state were consistent and solid. For months, for example, he pushed for a significant aid package even as he criticized tactics and strategies employed by the IDF to fight in Gaza. And he supplied important logistical support to protect Israel—first by deploying ships to the Lebanese coast to deter Hezbollah and then in the air campaign that rendered the direct Iranian attack all but harmless.

That was then, this is now. That aid package he fought for? He’s now blocking much of it himself—and is promising to do worse in days to come. That support for Israel? He is now pursuing policies that are designed to keep Hamas alive. This long-time friend of Israel? At an incredibly critical moment, he is giving Barack Obama a run for his money as a singularly destructive American “ally.” We’re told the decision to act this way came last week but that Biden wanted to keep it quiet until he delivered his speech commemorating the Holocaust.

That disgraceful and two-faced effort to earn emotional plaudits from speaking strongly about the greatest historical tragedy of the Jewish people even as he was working to cripple the Jewish state suggests Biden possesses a level of chutzpah that would make even the man who kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court for being an orphan say “Now you’ve gone too far.”

Last week, the administration’s line was that it needed to see a plausible evacuation plan from Rafah—a statement indicating that it still supported the overall aim of eliminating Hamas and that the problem going forward was primarily logistical. So that might simply have been a lie. It’s no secret Biden doesn’t want Israel to conduct a full-scale war operation in Rafah, but the administration made it sound as though that was entirely on humanitarian grounds.

But if his primary aim is to limit civilian casualties, his methods of doing so are insane. The munitions he is holding back would in part allow Israel to hit sites and areas in Rafah with great precision. That is how you limit casualties. Which leads me to believe that Joe Biden is literally trying to freeze the conflict in place permanently—for his own reasons. Those reasons are bad, and stupid, and feckless, and self-defeating. For Israel cannot stop the war. It can’t. If it does, Hamas wins—at which point Israel will begin a new period of mortal peril perhaps more threatening to its future than any period in its past. The Israeli public will not stand for it. Because of what Biden is doing, the war will be bloodier and more costly for both sides, and will take much longer. How on earth will that help him?

And why does Biden want this anyway? To what end? Unless your purpose is to prevent an Israeli victory, it’s nonsensical. And if he doesn’t want an Israeli victory, why did he spend months pushing for aid? Why? Why?

The radical journalist Ryan Grim put out a tweet that encapsulates the Biden catastrophe perfectly: “The irony is that Biden, after losing the support of everyone who opposed what Israel has been doing, will now lose the support of everyone who loves what Israel is doing.”

Israel’s cause is just. Hamas’s cause is evil. Biden has now made affirmative moves to keep Hamas alive. A moral reckoning will ensue, and so will a political reckoning. And so will the judgment of history itself.

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