A top US official admitted that the White House had made some missteps in how it has handled the Israeli slaughter in Gaza. President Biden has shipped 25,000 tonnes of weapons to Israel per Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, and refused to place any conditions on the aid the US provides to Israel. The unfettered support has allowed Israel to conduct a genocidal military campaign that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians and pushed hundreds of thousands into famine.
On Thursday, Jon Finer, a deputy national security adviser, told Arab American leaders in Michigan that Biden had made “missteps” in handling Gaza and that Israel had no intentions of allowing Palestinian statehood. The aide made the remarks during a closed-door meeting, but an audio recording was leaked to the New York Times.
“We are very well aware that we have missteps in the course of responding to this crisis since Oct. 7,” Finer said. The Times did not report if the aide explained what Biden believed his missteps were.
The mistakes Finer admitted Biden had made are rhetorical, such as not issuing a faster condemnation of calls for genocide from Israeli government officials. Many top Israeli government officials, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, have made remarks that have incited the genocide in Gaza.
After the meeting, participants in the meeting were dissatisfied because Finer would not agree to any policy changes. The US has provided Israel with near-daily weapons shipments that allow the Israeli forces to continue fighting. Washington has refused to condemn any Israeli actions, even well-documented war crimes.
Biden’s full-throated support for the Israeli onslaught in Gaza has harmed Biden’s reelection chances. His approval rating is plummeting, and about half of his 2020 voters believe Israel is committing a genocide in Gaza. During campaign rallies, Biden has often faced protesters calling him “genocide Joe.”
The Michigan meeting was an effort to shore up Biden’s Arab-American base in a battleground state. Participants said the meeting was intense. The Arab-American attendees were disappointed that the White House was still unwilling to commit to calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Finer also told the attendees that Washington was committed to a Palestinian state but that Tel Aviv would not accept it. “Will Israel be willing to do the hard thing that’s going to be required of them, which is meaningful steps for the Palestinians on the question of two states?” He added, “I don’t know if the answer to that is yes. I do not have any confidence in this current government of Israel.”