Danny Ewing Jr. / Wikimedia Commons

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Last week, President Joe Biden issued an ultimatum: If Israel went ahead with its planned invasion of Rafah, where over one million Palestinians are reportedly sheltering, the United States would stop providing offensive weapons to the country. This warning came after the Biden administration paused a shipment of heavy bombs, citing concerns that the bombs would be used in Rafah.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration approved plans to provide more than $1 billion in weapons and ammunition to Israel.

In the subsequent months following Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Biden has attempted to walk the line between supporting Israel in its fight against Hamas and appeasing the progressive faction of the Democratic Party by addressing humanitarian needs in Gaza. Is he succeeding, or will the conflict fracture the Democratic Party and sink Biden's chances of winning reelection in November?

In the Daily Beast (Left bias), Matt Lewis (Center bias) called Biden's ultimatum "dumb politics," stating that the president is "alienating his allies for the sake of adversaries he can neither win over, nor appease." Lewis determined that the progressives critical of Biden will not be won over, and Biden's ultimatum only served to alienate moderate Democrats, concluding, "It’s almost like he’s trying to lose."

A writer in The Atlantic (Left bias) concluded "Biden has a problem with young voters, but it does not appear to be because of Gaza." Citing a study finding that the Israel-Hamas conflict was not a top-ranked priority for young voters, the writer downplayed the likelihood that Biden was losing vast supporters due to his handling of the war, stating, "When it comes to the issues they care about most, young Americans appear closer to the overall electorate than to the activist groups that claim to represent them."

A writer in the Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) asked, "With friends like President Joe Biden, who needs enemies?" The writer determined Biden is "placing conditions on a close ally while its brutal enemy faces no restrictions at all" in an effort to maintain support from the left-wing of his party, concluding, "Does Biden honestly think he will win the 2024 election by pandering to the pro-Hamas wing of his party? Does he naturally assume that Jewish voters in the U.S., who have been a reliable Democratic voting bloc for decades, will stick with him in November? This may prove to be a terrible miscalculation."

In the National Review (Right bias), Noah Rothman (Lean Right bias) deemed Biden's decision-making contained "incomprehensible political stupidity, moral vacuity, and strategic imbecility." Rothman concluded, "This White House cannot envision victory, either for America or its allies. It sees only the prospect of ambiguous outcomes, to which it can muster the contribution of only half measures. And like all who fear success, the administration has embarked on a campaign of self-sabotage."

An article in Bloomberg (Lean Left bias) concluded, "whichever way Biden turns, the choices are grim." Protests in the U.S. against Israel are leading to Biden losing support "among the younger voters who helped propel him to victory in 2020," but when Biden pressures Israel to pull back, he faces "leads to accusations from conservatives that he's emboldening Iran, long the US's main enemy in the region."

Graph reading "96% of U.S. adults 'feel a lot or some sympathy for the Israeli people in the Israel-Gaza conflict.'"

More from AllSides

More from the Center

Young people disapprove of Biden’s Israel policy. It may not mean much for November.

"Those same surveys also find Biden well underwater on his handling of major issues like the economy, inflation and immigration, whether we're talking about attitudes among all Americans or just younger ones. This is not to say that Biden's handling of the Israel situation isn't a contributing factor — he polls quite poorly there, too, and voters can care about multiple issues — but it's likely playing at least second fiddle to other concerns."

More from the Left

Not even the US government knows the US government line on Rafah
Al Jazeera (opinion)

"Officially, the Israeli war has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians although the true death toll is without a doubt far higher given the number of corpses buried beneath rubble and otherwise disappeared. The United States’s sudden professed concern for civilians in Rafah – many of whom were forced to flee to the city from other parts of Gaza – raises the obvious question of why Palestinian civilians weren’t a red line from the get-go.."

More from the Right

Biden’s Israel Arms Embargo Starts to Crack
Wall Street Journal (opinion)

"Press reports suggest the Administration is also pocket-vetoing crucial weapons such as GPS guidance kits for bombs, known as Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which reduce civilian casualties in urban warfare. The Administration isn’t owning up to what it’s doing, apparently even to the Members of Congress it is supposed to inform about arms transfers."

See more big stories from the past week.