U.S. Relations With Israel Near Rock-Bottom

HEADS ARE SPINNING in Washington as a decades-long alliance between the U.S. and Israel continues to deteriorate. Strong support for Israel was always a given in this city, but now it is tenuous as politicians increasingly distance themselves from Benjamin Netanyahu.

WE TALKED YESTERDAY to a veteran Mideast-watcher, a moderate Democrat who always was a staunch supporter of Israel. Speaking off the record, he echoed other Democrats in this town in calling for Netanyahu’s exit. “He’s radioactive and he’s hurting Israel’s cause,” our source asserted.

BIDEN’S PROSPECTS FOR THE NOVEMBER ELECTION, meanwhile, have slipped, as we wrote yesterday — in part because the left wing of the Democratic Party is outraged over Biden’s slow reaction to humanitarian casualties.

SOME FIERCE CRITICS of Israel want to suspend all aid, a risky political option for Biden — if he continues to push Netanyahu, supporters of Israel will be livid, especially in states like Florida, while a softening of his criticism will hurt him in states like Michigan.

OUR SOURCE SAID A FIERCE DEBATE AT THE WHITE HOUSE has come down to this conclusion: Israel has become an albatross for many Democrats running for the House and Senate — and for Biden, who lashed out at Netanyahu yesterday. The catalyst has been the killing of aid workers in Gaza, including seven members of a team run by humanitarian chef Jose Andres, who has close ties to Biden and White House officials.

BIDEN PUSHED HARD YESTERDAY, and Israel agreed to open up some border crossings that could help get aid to the territory. But this is seen by many Democrats as insufficient, especially if Israel carries out its threat to invade Rafah within days.

HIGH CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN RAFAH COULD IGNITE A SERIOUS DEBATE in the U.S. on suspending all aid to Israel, as officials in Washington openly assert that the U.S. will shift its policy toward the war — including the U.S. willingness to send weapons to Israel — if the Jewish state does not take immediate steps to protect civilians and provide aid. Even Donald Trump is lashing out at Israel.

A RUPTRE IN U.S.-ISRAELI RELATIONS, of course, would be an enormous victory for the terrorists in Hamas and Iran.

THE IMPACT OF THIS IS SINKING IN among Democrats who are looking at the near-certainty of losing the Senate and perhaps the White House as well, as the Democrats’ left wing threatens to stay at home on Nov. 5 unless there are sanctions against Israel.

MANY OF ISRAEL’S STRONGEST supporters on Capitol Hill are wavering or have broken with Israel. Biden’s closest ally in Congress, Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), said the following yesterday: “If Benjamin Netanyahu were to order the Israel Defense Forces into Rafah and make no provision for civilians or for humanitarian aid, I would vote to condition aid to Israel,” Coons said on CNN.

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