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Biden, Netanyahu, and Gaza

Summary:
First if my obsession with sharing ideas based on my almost total ignorance is getting to be a nuisance please tell me (can’t hurt – might get me to stop – no promises). Second, many commenters (on my pointless posts below) claim that the USA could prevent Israel from killing even larger numbers of Palestinians in the near future. I am not sure that this is possible, but in any case it is a hope not a plan. The USA acting together as actually united people … well there is no need to go on, that’s not going to happen. The USA will certainly not act together to help Arabs or Moslems. The question is what could someone who *might* have good intentions do. I will assume (hope wish) that top Biden administration officials have good intentions.

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First if my obsession with sharing ideas based on my almost total ignorance is getting to be a nuisance please tell me (can’t hurt – might get me to stop – no promises).

Second, many commenters (on my pointless posts below) claim that the USA could prevent Israel from killing even larger numbers of Palestinians in the near future. I am not sure that this is possible, but in any case it is a hope not a plan. The USA acting together as actually united people … well there is no need to go on, that’s not going to happen. The USA will certainly not act together to help Arabs or Moslems.

The question is what could someone who *might* have good intentions do. I will assume (hope wish) that top Biden administration officials have good intentions. There remain two problems. Congress controls the budget. Biden can’t cut off aid just because he feels like it (recall the first impeachment of Trump). He can make a lot of trouble for Israel, but not, I think, take away anything they need (they don’t need to be *given* weapons anyway — Israel is not a poor country).

More importantly, Biden is running for re-election with a roughly 40% approval rating and is roughly tied in the polls with Donald Trump. He is not going to break with standard US policy of letting Israel act as it chooses and mildly suggesting some advantages of some mercy now and then.

I think (I think it’s time for me to get to the damn point of this post damnation) that one possibly useful attempted trick is to appeal to His Holiness Pope Francis I. Now he is not shy about telling Israel to stop (doesn’t seem to be shy about anything). Joseph Biden is known to be an extremely devout Catholic who attends Mass every Sunday and always carries a rosary. I think it would be useful to (accurately) note that he is the most devoutly Christian US president since Carter (that should put the fear of God (Whom some people illogically think is both one and three) in them.

There is no denying that he doesn’t obey every order from every pope (see Paul VI and count the Biden children, John Paul 1 died before telling Joe what to do, see John Paul II and birth control, abortion, operation Desert Storm, authorizing the Bush II invasion of Iraq and on and on and on. I think one can argue that, this time it’s different, because Biden agrees with Francis, actually thinks Francis is not just they guy who holds the office of the Pope but also the guy who should hold that office (OK that’s what I think and I have no power but there is no proof that Joe disagrees).

OK so finally my plan. Jake Lew and the US ambassador to Israel (if the Senate confirms one) should tell Israelis (using worried tones) that Biden is really suffering going against the pope. You know he’s very Catholic. He’s really struggling and he can make a Whole Lot of Trouble for you if he thinks it’s the best way to avoid damnation and hell and stuff. So how about you tone down the revenge a bit ? Biden himself just talks about how devoutly religious he is, quote Francis, and mention how Jesus tended not to favor living by the sword. No public threats just repeated hints backing up the private threats.

Not likely to work. Time for a sports analogy — in the last seconds a losing football team rationally attempts a hail Mary. How about trying an actual original hail Mary ?

Robert Waldmann
Robert J. Waldmann is a Professor of Economics at Univeristy of Rome “Tor Vergata” and received his PhD in Economics from Harvard University. Robert runs his personal blog and is an active contributor to Angrybear.

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