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The week

Biden on low expectations wants Israel and Gaza to give ‘calm’ a chance

President Biden is trying to tackle a number of big issues, and he quite clearly hoped that peace in the Middle East was not one of them. But the long-running conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted again last week, more than 200 Palestinians and 10 Israelis died, and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and Hamas rockets at Israel show no signs of abating. Biden said on Monday he expressed support for a ceasefire in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but he is not publicly pressuring Israel to agree to a break in the fighting and Netanyahu made it clear that he was not interested at the moment. Instead, Biden and his senior aides have used a version of exhortation for “calm” or “lasting calm” or de-escalation of “tensions” more than 40 times in the past week, Politico reports. “What about ‘peace’, ‘peace talks’ or even ‘ceasefire’? Not so much.” Biden and his team “have devoted relatively little time and staff to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.” Politico Reports. “The administration, and many other observers for that matter, have also concluded that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians have the political will to engage in serious negotiations.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that “every statement we make is aimed at reducing violence and ending conflict on the ground.” Ilan Goldenberg, a former Obama administration official, said calm was perhaps the most realistic hope right now. “Honestly, all the Israelis and Palestinians I speak to tell us not to use the word ‘peace’,” he told Politico. “They tell us that no one in the two companies thinks it’s possible at the moment.” But Palestinian advocates say Biden is aiming too low. Khaled Elgindy, director of the program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian affairs at the Middle East Institute, said calls for “calm” benefit Israel, as Israelis will return to relatively normal lives when the violence ends. while the Gazans, still under Israeli occupation, will return. to bombed buildings and heavy casualties. 7 terrifyingly funny cartoons about ousting Liz Cheney Researchers: Chinese businessman is the ‘linchpin’ of disinformation network pushing COVID, election lies GOP’s blatant disregard for democracy



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