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Powerline Blog
Power Line
2 Dec 2023
Scott Johnson

NextImg:Let the credit grow

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israel’s war cabinet this week. I wrote briefly about the meeting yesterday in “Annals of strategery.”

As has been obvious for a while now, the Biden administration is undermining Israel’s war on Hamas and defaming the IDF in the process. In the context of Biden’s expression of unqualified support for Israel in the immediate aftermath of the October 7 massacres, it is something of a spectacle — a spectacle of the “boneless wonder” variety.

It is reported in the Israeli media that Blinken cautioned the war cabinet: “I don’t think you have the credit” to fight Hamas to the finish. Here is the close encounter of the blinkin’ kind reported by the Times of Israel, which notes that Blinken’s remarks are quoted only in Hebrew translation by Israel’s Channel 12 news and have been translated back into English here:

Blinken: You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north. There are two million Palestinians there. You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit UN facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas [for civilians]. And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population. What is your system of operation?

IDF Chief Herzi Halevi: We follow a number of principles — proportionality, distinction, and the laws of war. There were instances where we attacked on the basis of those principles, and instances where we decided not to attack, because we waited for a better opportunity.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant: The entire Israeli society is united behind the goal of dismantling Hamas, even if it takes months.

Blinken: I don’t think you have the credit for that.

I wrote that some translation (of “credit”) was required to understand what Blinken was saying. The Wall Street Journal provides the requisite translation in its editorial “The Biden-Blinken Rules of War for Israel.” The Journal’s editors translate: “He means credit with President Biden, as the White House bends to the growing pressure against Israel from the Democratic left.”