From Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect <[email protected]>
Subject Kuttner on TAP: Will Biden Finally Break With Bibi?
Date February 2, 2024 8:07 PM
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**FEBRUARY 2, 2024**

On the Prospect website

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Election Deniers in the C-Suites

Workers can win union elections, but companies pull out all the stops
to prevent them from obtaining a first contract. BY LUKE GOLDSTEIN

Biden Should Begin the Tax Wars Now

He needs to highlight his positions against the Republicans'. And not
give away too much in interim deals. BY DYLAN GYAUCH-LEWIS

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A New Phase for Gaza: The War on Humanitarian Aid

Why the attack on UNRWA looks a lot like collective punishment BY

Kuttner on TAP








**** Will Biden Finally Break With Bibi?

That would do the whole world a giant service-including Israel.
Biden's own re-election could depend on it.

President Biden and those who care about the survival of American
democracy have gotten some hopeful news in recent days. Nikki Haley's
campaign appears to be damaging Trump. It's getting under his skin and
making him even more demented, nicely proving her point.

Meanwhile, the $83 million damage award for defaming E. Jean Carroll,
after raping her, reminds women of what a total louse Trump is. It's
hard to imagine him getting much of the women's vote outside of
hardcore MAGA country.

Trump's slippage shows up in the latest Quinnipiac poll
, especially among
women. The January 31 poll shows Biden leading Trump, 50 to 44 overall,
but with a widening gender gap of 58 for Biden to just 36 for Trump. And
consumer confidence is up 27 points.

Meanwhile, the MAGA crowd have decided to demonize two cultural icons of
mainstream America, the most popular pop singer in memory and her
football star boyfriend. You couldn't pick a better strategy for MAGA
to self-isolate.

But all of these gains could make little difference as long as the
Israel-Gaza conflict is a festering mess, sponsored and funded by the
U.S., that splits the Democratic Party and alienates younger voters and
voters of color. However, there may be good news on that front as well.

Benjamin Netanyahu has put impossible conditions

on the multilateral plan brokered by the U.S. and key Arab leaders for
an extended cease-fire in exchange for a hostage release. So Biden and
his top foreign-policy officials have begun saying publicly what they
should have said long ago. If details can be worked out with key Arab
nations and Hamas, the U.S. will formally recognize a Palestinian state.

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At a Wednesday press briefing
State Department spokesman Matt Miller confirmed that the administration
is "actively pursuing the establishment of an independent Palestinian
state-with real security guarantees for Israel, because we do believe
that is the best way to bring about lasting peace and security for
Israel, for Palestinians, and for the region." The British government
has also said explicitly that the U.K. is prepared to recognize a
Palestinian state.

However, Netanyahu has made clear that he is unalterably opposed to a
Palestinian state in any form. So if Biden goes ahead with this idea, it
will be without the participation of the Israeli government. That
isolation will signal a devastating defeat for Netanyahu and hasten his
ouster. The Israeli public is ambivalent about a Palestinian state
depending on the specifics, but overwhelmingly in favor of ousting Bibi.

The harder part, of course, will be devising a stable governing
arrangement for the West Bank and Gaza. It would need to include the
active participation of major Arab states, including Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Jordan, and the Emirates, all enemies of Iran, as well as Hamas.

If Biden can pull off some progress toward regional stabilization and
rebuilding of Gaza, he can not only stabilize the region but unify his
party. Israel would then have to decide how to participate. Oust
Netanyahu and a successor government will surely want to be part of the
deliberations. As part of the grand bargain, the U.S. would have to
guarantee Israel's survival.

One other benefit, long overdue, would be the sidelining of AIPAC. The
Israel lobby has long intimidated U.S. presidents into taking the
position of Israel right or wrong.

But most American Jews are appalled by how Bibi is not just killing
Palestinian civilians but jeopardizing Israel's own survival and
serving as a lightning rod for antisemitism. AIPAC also supports
center-right Democrats against Biden progressives. AIPAC is no friend of

By breaking with both AIPAC and Netanyahu, Biden would win far more
support than he would lose, in Israel and in America.


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