"Window Is Closing" To Defeat Hamas As World Opinion Turns: Former Israel PM

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Nov 09, 2023 - 07:00 AM

Via The Cradle,

Former Israeli prime minister and defense ministers leader Ehud Barak "fears Israel has only weeks left to eliminate Hamas," as international criticism of Israel mounts over its horrific bombing campaign in Gaza, Politico reported Tuesday. 

Most importantly, support for Israel’s military campaign, which has killed over 10,000 Palestinians, the majority women and children, in just one month, has soured in the US, Israel’s main backer. In an exclusive interview with Politico, Barak observed the "rhetoric of US officials had shifted in recent days with a mounting chorus of calls for a humanitarian pause in the fighting."

Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak

It is widely acknowledged that Israel could not carry out its current war, launched in response to Hamas’ surprise attack on Israeli settlements surrounding Gaza on October 7th, without US help. Barak worries that the initial support for Israel generated in the wake of the Hamas attack is waning, as video of dead Palestinian women and children continues to be live streamed out of Gaza.

"You can see the window is closing. It’s clear we are heading towards friction with the Americans about the offensive. America cannot dictate to Israel what to do. But we cannot ignore them," Barak said. "We will have to come to terms with the American demands within the next two or three weeks, probably less."

Also this week the Washington Post noted that more and more observers around the world are beginning to view Israel’s bombing of Palestinian civilians as genocide.

"In protests around the world, in the corridors of the United Nations and in the angry chambers of social media, one word is getting louder and louder: genocide," the paper wrote.

Israel’s efforts to restore its deterrence following the Hamas attack by bombing civilians in Gaza may therefore prove a test to Israel’s strong influence over US foreign policy, including through its influence in Congress.

The day before Barak’s interview, the Washington Post highlighted the role of the Israel lobby in Congress. 

"There is no issue on Capitol Hill that unites Republicans and Democrats quite like Israel does, members of both parties say. And the halls of the congressional office buildings — studded with ‘I stand with Israel’ signs and flags — are a testament to that unifying sentiment," the Post reported.

This is part a "reflection of the decades-long influence of a powerful lobby, and an imbalance of exposure, as lawmakers."

Stephen Walt, a professor of international affairs and foreign policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, told the paper, that while the Israel lobby has been active and influential for decades, there is "nothing comparable" on the Palestinian side. Pro-Israel lobbyist groups and individuals contributed nearly $31 million to American congressional candidates during last year’s election cycle.

The most prominent Israel lobby group, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) website says that 98 percent of candidates it backed won their elections, and that it "helped defeat" 13 candidates "who would have undermined the U.S.-Israel relationship."

Israeli politicians and lobbyists themselves boast of their ability to control and manipulate the US government. In 2001, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now serving his sixth term as Israeli prime minister, privately said, "I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction," regarding his effort to sabotage the Oslo Accords.

In an Al-Jazeera documentary filmed in 2016, leaders of the pro-Israel lobby speak openly about how they use money to influence the political process, "in ways so blunt that if the comments were made by critics, they’d be charged with anti-Semitism," The Intercept reported.