The White House is facing a rocky road ahead in handling the current conflict between Israel and Gaza. President Joe Biden has taken strong steps towards supporting Israel’s military action, while at the same time pushing for a cease-fire and dialogue as possible remedies for the conflict.
However, amid this, reports state the White House is experiencing internal divisions about the US’ stance on matters regarding Israel and Palestine. According to Politico, divisions in the White House are mostly between White House officials who have traditionally favored Israeli interests and more progressive-leaning members of the President’s administration.
For example, members of the President’s cabinet such as CIA director William Burns, who has a personal connection to Israel, have pushed for a ceasefire as soon as possible, while White House special envoy Avi Berkowitz has focus on continuing to protect Israeli interests. Similarly, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has advocated for both Israel and Palestine in diplomacy, while Director of the National Security Council Jake Sullivan has argued that the US should remain neutral while encouraging both sides to de-escalate.
The conflict has already taken its toll, with over 100 dead and close to 1,000 people injured and with immense property damage, as of the time of writing this article. With little progress in the negotiations and intensifying Israeli military action, it is clear that President Biden and his team have a difficult road ahead if they are to bring about a resolution to the violence in the Middle East.
The Biden Administration’s approach to the conflict will likely feature heavily in the upcoming presidential elections in both Israel and the US. This makes President Biden’s team’s decision even more important, as they have to balance between protecting the safety of its allies in the region and maintaining its neutrality. It remains to be seen how the White House navigates this internal debate within its ranks.