Biden and Netanyahu's deepening rift on public


 In the aftermath of the October 7th attack, the United States dispatched two aircraft carrier strike groups to the Middle East, demonstrating President Biden's commitment to deterring threats against Israel.

In a different display of American power, over 1,000 US troops are set to depart from the east coast on Tuesday. Their mission: to construct a vast floating harbor to provide essential supplies to Gaza, aiming to mitigate the growing risk of starvation among Palestinians.

These divergent missions, occurring within months of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, underscore the complexities in Washington's policies.

According to one current and two former administration officials speaking to the BBC, there's a perceived contradiction in the US approach: while providing military support to Israel, there's also pressure to allow more humanitarian aid to reach civilians affected by the conflict.

Despite being Israel's staunchest ally and primary military aid provider, tensions between President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have intensified. Central to this strain are the mounting civilian casualties and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where over half a million people are teetering on the brink of famine, according to the UN.

President Biden has increasingly called on Israel to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza without conditions, emphasizing its responsibility to protect civilian lives. He has criticized Israel's response to the conflict as excessive and urged for a more balanced approach.

In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu has defended Israel's actions, accusing Hamas of diverting aid and blaming the UN for distribution failures. He pushed back against President Biden's criticisms, asserting that his policies enjoy widespread support among Israelis.

The US-Israel relationship faces scrutiny, with questions arising about the extent of US influence on Israel's policies. While President Biden hinted at potential consequences, including reconsidering weapons supply, he later clarified the importance of Israel's defense capabilities.

Critics, including former State Department official Josh Paul, argue that the US should leverage its military assistance to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law. They highlight the need for diplomatic pressure on Israel to facilitate access to Gaza.

Despite diplomatic efforts, challenges persist in addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Disputes over aid delivery persist, with the US asserting its role in facilitating humanitarian assistance while Israel denies impeding access.

The strained relationship between the US and Israel underscores the complexities of navigating geopolitical dynamics in the Middle East. As tensions persist, finding a balanced approach to addressing humanitarian concerns remains a critical challenge.

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