In fumbling his response to Gaza, the President has redrawn the electoral map against himself—and the latest attempts to course correct won’t save him.

By Gabriel Winant, In These Times

Whether out of inertia, ideological commitment or geopolitical calculation, the Biden administration has badly misjudged the domestic politics of the war in the Middle East. A supermajority of U.S. voters supported a cease-fire as far back as two months ago (more than two-thirds, including more than three-quarters of Democrats). Highly placed Israeli officials regularly speak of Palestinians in genocidal terms (“human animals,” ​children of darkness”) and openly express their intention to intensify the settlement project — potentially even in Gaza — and to deny Palestinians a state indefinitely.

joe biden in poland 2023

The Israeli government has killed about 20,000 Palestinians since October 7, including more children alone than the total number of Israeli civilians killed in all conflicts since 1948. As these facts have sunk in for Americans, unmanageable strains have appeared in the Democratic coalition that defeated Donald Trump in 2020. All of us are now in grave peril as a result.

Despite a wave of McCarthyite repression, the gulf is growing between what the American people will tolerate and what the Israeli state is doing: this gulf is the result of the U.S. administration’s own choices. Biden flew to Israel after Hamas’s October 7 attack to make clear his unequivocal support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a key step in the ​bear hug” political strategy we’re told Biden is smartly deploying.

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