How the Biden Administration is Responding to the Israel-Gaza Conflict

The president is trying to support Israel while keeping the conflict from escalating.

Written by Anthony Constantini

What’s happening: President Joe Biden recently announced that he would travel to Israel in a show of support for the country. Afterward, he’ll head to Jordan. This comes amidst fears that the conflict — so far mostly limited to Israel and Gaza — may spread further.

  • Why it matters: Even with the pullout in Afghanistan and the gradual drawdown in Iraq, the United States still has thousands of troops based throughout the Middle East, and now another 2,000 near Israel. If the conflict escalates into a wider regional war, the chance of direct American involvement increases significantly.

Shuttle diplomacy: To avoid this eventuality, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has traveled back and forth across the Middle East, visiting Israel and its surrounding states, including Egypt and Jordan, in an attempt to both express support for Israel and cool tensions.

  • Support - and restraint: Blinken told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. “would always be there” for Israel. At the same time, however, he has also urged Israeli restraint toward Gazans and succeeded in getting Israel to restore water to the Gaza Strip, which it had previously turned off.

Back in Washington: Congress is unable to pass major bills until the House of Representatives elects a Speaker…which means that no Israeli aid bills will be forthcoming in the immediate future. Using previously bestowed authority, Biden transferred weapons to Israel last week. But without congressional action, no significant packages are possible.

Join the conversation

or to participate.