US ‘double face’ on Israel reveals Washington’s diplomatic hypocrisy
Published: May 13, 2024 09:30 PM
Illustration:Chen Xia/GT

Illustration:Chen Xia/GT

To deal with domestic and international pressure, the US is beginning to show a "double face" on Israel-related issues: criticizing Israel's military activities in Gaza on the one hand while reaffirming its firm support for Israel on the other. This self-contradiction precisely reflects the Biden administration's increasingly divided policy and fully demonstrates the hypocrisy of US diplomacy.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday delivered the Biden administration's strongest public criticism yet of Israel's conduct of the war in Gaza, saying Israeli tactics have meant "a horrible loss of life of innocent civilians." On the same day, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reiterated "the ironclad US commitment to Israel's security and the defeat of Hamas in Gaza" in his phone call with Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi. 

Washington has consistently condemned Hamas' attacks against Israel, while its criticism of Israel's large-scale bombing of Palestinian civilians, which has resulted in disproportionate casualties, has always appeared hypocritical due to its actions. The US expresses "public criticism" and claims that it cares about "the lives of innocent people;" at the same time, it reiterates its "ironclad commitment" to acquiesce to Israel's moves. This is quite self-contradictory and self-deceptive.

The so-called harsh criticism on Israel is nothing but a stopgap measure aimed at easing domestic and international pressure on the US government. What matters most to US politicians are their political interests. 

"The Biden administration has clearly realized that its blind support for Israel has negatively impacted Biden's approval ratings in some key swing states during the general election, so they need to use superficial criticism on Israel to attract voters," Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

Meanwhile, at the international level, the UN General Assembly voted by a wide margin to support Palestine becoming a full UN member on Friday, with 142 UN member states approving and only nine countries, including the US, voting against the resolution. This is the latest example of Washington's failure to manipulate multilateral mechanisms while opposing the consensus reached by the majority of the international community.

The international influence of the US is now declining immensely, largely due to its own duplicitous nature. Lü Xiang, a research fellow of US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believes that this will lead to a further loss of US influence in the Middle East. 

There has been a divergence in US officials' remarks on Israel, but experts believe that the essence of Washington's pro-Israel policy remains unchanged and it will be difficult to change in the long run.

The US' "double face" on Israel is an attempt to respond to domestic and international pressures without upsetting Israel. However, this approach may ultimately further harm the US' international reputation and backfire on the Biden administration. It is unlikely to effectively help resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict or satisfy those calling for a change in US policy toward Israel. Clearly, the protests at colleges and universities across the US regarding the Palestine-Israel conflict have failed to awaken and prompt reflection in the US. Continuing on the wrong path will only lead to further negative consequences for the US.