Israel sees U.S. support slipping away...and Iran noticing, too

Israel sees U.S. support slipping away...and Iran noticing, too

Israel sees U.S. support slipping away...and Iran noticing, too

Considering that Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, there’s little on which the two Middle East powers can agree. But there is something.

Both are perplexed by President Biden and wonder what exactly is going on with his administration as it relates to decades-long support for Israel by the U.S.

Many regional analysts have speculated that Iran’s weekend air attack on Israel – not an attack through militant proxies supported by Iran – showed an Islamic power made more bold and courageous because of Biden’s actions.

It’s not just an opinion shared by guests on television news shows.

“They did it because they felt that they can, and that Israel is weak enough, and that they are strong enough," Ohad Tal, a member of the Israeli Knesset, said on Washington Watch Tuesday. "And what made them feel that?  I believe that’s because they looked at what is happening between the current administration and Israel." 

The U.S. and other nations played a key role in Israel’s successful defense Saturday of attacks of more than 300 drones and missiles. An estimated 99% of those launches failed, according to Israel Defense Forces.

Hey Israel, you’re on your own

But Biden, in his latest break from Israel, announced that the U.S. would not be part of any counter-offensive against Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will respond.

“It is the dumbest thing I’ve heard any President say regarding the Middle East conflict, telling the Ayatollah, ‘You just attacked Israel with 300 weapons, and Israel’s going to hit you back, but they’ll be doing it without us’ just invites more aggression,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) told show host Tony Perkins.

Biden’s abandonment for the response bothers Tal, but his concerns over the administration’s shift in U.S.-Israel policy go back for many months.

Biden has also pushed for ceasefires at various points and for increased aid for Gaza’s citizens where Hamas interferes with that assistance, according to a top U.S. diplomat. The same diplomat says Israel has not provided “specific evidence of diversion or theft of assistance” by Hamas.

The Times of Israel last December noted social media videos appear to show gunmen, reportedly Hamas operatives, stealing aid trucks.

The biggest letdown for Tal is Biden’s push for a two-state solution at the war’s conclusion. That plan would mean Israel giving up more territory and in essence dividing itself into northern and southern territories.

Tal says the plan would in essence impose “personal sanctions” against Israelis like himself living in Judea and Samaria, an area also known as the West Bank.

The West Bank is home to more than 2 million Palestinians but also a half-million Israelis.

“It’s as if we are the problem and we are the people who are threatening the peace of the world instead of Hamas and Iran," Tal complains. "So Iran is asking themselves what is going on, and we also, to be honest, also are asking ourselves, ‘What is going on? What is happening to America? What is happening to the relationship between Israel and America?’”

Bad messaging to Hamas

Tal told Perkins a two-state solution is nothing more than an endorsement of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks.

“It’s basically telling the terrorists of Hamas, ‘You want to achieve your goals? Keep doing what you're doing. Keep using terror. That will be the right path to go.’ That’s a horrible, horrible message in the Middle East,” Tal said.

Tal says this is not just your run-of-the-mill Middle East skirmish, something Americans have been accustomed to seeing for decades.

“No, no, no. We are fighting on seven fronts,” he said, listing Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, the Yemen-based Houthis, Judea and Samaria.

“For the first time Israel is really in a difficult situation trying to defend itself,” he said.

Sen. Graham says Americans need to fully understand the enemy Israel faces – and the enemy America faces as well.

“I want this evil to go away. I want the Iranian people to know prosperity and peace. The religious theocracy in Iran is built around world dominance of faith. They literally believe that they’re the only true keepers of the faith, that there’s no place for Jews, no place for Christians or Sunni Muslims in the world they want to create,” the Senator said.

The Ayatollahs’ pursuit of world dominance won’t end with Israel, he said.

“The best way to keep America safe from radical Islam coming back to our shores is to fight it over there before it gets here. If you throw Israel over, they’re coming after you next, so the best thing we can do to protect America is to stand with them as they face a religious Nazi in the form of the Ayatollah,” Graham said.

The danger of Biden’s position

That’s why Biden’s break from Israel is dangerous for America, Graham said. The simple threat of continued support for the Jewish state could be a deterrence for Iran, but publicly stating that America will play no role in a response removes that threat.

“Iran, if they believed America would be with Israel, that we would wipe them off the map if they tried to destroy the Jewish state, they would think twice,” Graham said.

Netanyahu has said Israel will pursue its war plans alone if necessary.

Tal and his fellow Knesset members hope the U.S. will change its tune.

“I think it's important, and we really hope to see the policies of America changing,” he said.

Perkins, meanwhile, is asking churches to set aside Sunday, May 19, to pray for Israel. 

"We want to see as many churches as possible, across the country, taking at least a few minutes [to pray]," Perkins told American Family Radio this week. "They can take more if they want but just a few minutes of praying for Israel." 

On his recent visit to Israel, Netanyahu asked Perkins to ask the churches to support Israel with prayers. 

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comments from Tony Perkins about praying for Israel.