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Joe Biden’s unwavering support for Israel’s Gaza onslaught could come back to haunt him

The US president is failing his first big foreign policy test

By Donald Macintyre  

A building in Gaza housing AP and Al Jazeera collapsed after an Israeli missile strike. Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

There was a striking boast in Benjamin Netanyahu’s 16th May statement defending Israel’s devastating military onslaught on Gaza, delivered even as the casualties (at least 212 Palestinian and 12 Israeli deaths so far) were mounting by the hour. The Israeli prime minister confidently asserted that “we are receiving very serious backing, first of all from the US” and thanked “our friend President Joe Biden” for providing it. This seemed a reasonable inference from Biden’s bland public response on 12th May that “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was initially relatively low priority for the incoming Biden…

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